Can I be punished for fighting censorship at my school?

Q: Can I be punished for fighting censorship at my school? A:  You cannot be punished for speaking out and expressing views opposing those of school officials unless you break laws or school rules in how you choose to fight the censorship. For example, if you organized or participated in a protest that included walking out of… Continue reading Can I be punished for fighting censorship at my school?

Rutgers newspaper moving forward without school funding

The Daily Targum’s News Editor Brendan Brightman and Associate News Editor Catherine Nguyen in the newsroom / Photo via Priyanka Bansal

NEW JERSEY — A 150-year-old student newspaper at Rutgers University says it plans to continue publishing despite school funding being cut until at least the 2022-23 academic year.  The Daily Targum faces a referendum every three years where at least 25 percent of Rutgers students must vote to approve funding the newspaper for the following… Continue reading Rutgers newspaper moving forward without school funding

New Voices bills see success and defeat in 2019 state legislative sessions

The New Voices movement has made significant strides in 2019, with a record number of state bills (11) introduced, and two measures adopted in Arkansas to strengthen protections for student journalists. New Voices is a student-powered nonpartisan grassroots movement of state-based advocates who seek to protect student press freedom with state laws. These laws counteract… Continue reading New Voices bills see success and defeat in 2019 state legislative sessions

Applications are open for paid spring and summer journalism internships

Pixabay / StartupStockPhotos

Every month, the Student Press Law Center publishes a list of paid journalism internships. Here are more than 30 spring and summer internships with upcoming deadlines.  Did we miss any? Email SPLC reporter Joe Severino to add an internship. Student Press Law Center, (Washington, D.C.)• Journalism Internship — Join our small and scrappy team! The… Continue reading Applications are open for paid spring and summer journalism internships

Kansas school board revises, approves student publications policy after initial 1A scare

Ben Henschel, Editor-in-Chief of The Harbinger, speaks out against the proposed policy at a July 8 school board meeting. Shawnee Mission School District / YouTube

UPDATE: The Shawnee Mission School Board in Kansas unanimously approved a policy on Aug. 12 that set lawful parameters for what student media in the district can and can't publish.  The final policy is a revision of an initial proposal introduced in July the school board that would have allowed administrators to censor any student… Continue reading Kansas school board revises, approves student publications policy after initial 1A scare

Can student journalists claim reporter’s privilege?

Q: Are student journalists allowed to claim reporter’s privilege to protect the identity of their sources? A: State reporter’s privilege laws allow journalists to withhold confidential newsgathering materials from the parties in a criminal investigation or a civil lawsuit. In most states, the shield applies to anyone who regularly gathers and distributes news to the public… Continue reading Can student journalists claim reporter’s privilege?

Ask SPLC: Can police search our newsroom?

Q: Can the police or campus security search our newsroom to get unpublished photos, notes or videos? A: Almost never. The federal Privacy Protection Act makes it illegal for law enforcement officers or government officials to search a newsroom (or anywhere else that newsgathering materials are kept, such as the trunk of a reporter’s car)… Continue reading Ask SPLC: Can police search our newsroom?

Ask SPLC: Can we use yearbook photos on social media?

Q: Can we post photos we take for the yearbook or newspaper on a social media page? A: If they are staff-generated photos and not photos taken by a private contractor, yes. A private photo studio will have contractual limits on how its photos can be used, and typically (without a substantial extra charge) they are licensed… Continue reading Ask SPLC: Can we use yearbook photos on social media?

Ask SPLC: An advertiser wants to include a photo of himself holding a gun. Can we say no?

Q: I am the editor of a public high school yearbook. An advertiser — a local real estate agent — submitted a family photo as part of his ad. In it, he is holding a hunting rifle (we live in hunting country.) Given the many incidents of gun-related school violence I asked for a different photo, but… Continue reading Ask SPLC: An advertiser wants to include a photo of himself holding a gun. Can we say no?

A satirical student publication’s free speech rights may have been violated, court says

Cover of the most recent print issue of The Koala, published in 2016

CALIFORNIA — A student-run satirical publication will proceed with its lawsuit against the University of California San Diego now that an appeals court has reversed a lower court’s dismissal of the case.  The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit says that the university may have violated students’ rights to free speech. The… Continue reading A satirical student publication’s free speech rights may have been violated, court says