An underground news operation: How student journalists paved their own space at their school

The current staff of Devil’s Advocate, established in 2018, is working as Ellenville High School’s underground news source. Jasmine Shiffer, the editor-in-chief of the outlet, is top row, second from the right. (Devil’s Advocate / Alex Shiffer)

NEW YORK — After Ellenville High School's newspaper was cut, a group of students (and a few supportive adults) created a news app called Devil’s Advocate to bring student journalism back to the school. The app serves as the school’s underground news outlet, operating completely independently of the school.  Ellenville had a well-established newspaper through… Continue reading An underground news operation: How student journalists paved their own space at their school

Southern Oregon student paper fights entire budget being cut and wins

The Siskiyou's staff successfully appealed student government's decision to defund their paper. From left to right: Clare DiMuzio (staff writer), Autumn Micketti (co-editor), Emiliana Rawley (co-editor), Emily Perry (staff writer), and Tally Broderick (staff writer). Photo by Melissa Matthewson

Editor's note: If you're facing a newsroom budget cut, contact SPLC's legal hotline for help. OREGON — Southern Oregon University’s student newspaper, The Siskiyou faced a dwindling bank account after the student government budget committee voted to cut all their funding for the 2020-2021 academic year. But after the editors’ testimony and alumni appeal letters,… Continue reading Southern Oregon student paper fights entire budget being cut and wins

Connecticut schools can’t claim employee misconduct records are FERPA protected, FOI commission rules

Pexels / Andrea Piacquadio

The Connecticut Freedom of Information Commission, an administrative agency that enforces open record laws, unanimously decided on Feb. 13 that schools cannot withhold educator misconduct records on the grounds of protecting student privacy. The ruling clarifies that public schools can't withhold an entire employee misconduct document because it contains identifying information about a student —… Continue reading Connecticut schools can’t claim employee misconduct records are FERPA protected, FOI commission rules

There’s still time to get a paid summer 2020 journalism internship

Pexels / Fox

Every month the Student Press Law Center publishes a list of paid journalism internships. Here are some internships with upcoming deadlines. March 1 American Association for the Advancement of Science Internship (Washington, D.C.) Science News Writer Intern – Science, a website and magazine owned by AAAS, is looking for interns to write and report for… Continue reading There’s still time to get a paid summer 2020 journalism internship

What to do when your student news outlet’s budget gets cut

Piggy bank tipped over with coins spilling out
Pixabay / kschneider2991

If your student publication is funded fully or in part by student fees, you should have a plan in place in case of a budget cut. If the cuts come after critical coverage of the university or your student government, you may be able to claim the university or student government violated your First Amendment… Continue reading What to do when your student news outlet’s budget gets cut

“How long are we going to wait?” Editor-in-Chief criticizes Radford’s newspaper theft investigation

The Tartan newsroom / Dylan Lepore

UPDATE: Dylan Lepore, editor-in-chief of The Tartan, wrote a letter to Radford University President Brian Hemphill on Student Press Freedom Day voicing his disapproval for how the university handled its investigation into the theft of 1,000 newspapers in fall 2019. Lepore criticized Radford police's decision not to charge the employee found responsible for stealing several racks… Continue reading “How long are we going to wait?” Editor-in-Chief criticizes Radford’s newspaper theft investigation

Resources for covering the 2020 election as a student journalist

Covering the upcoming election as a student journalist can be daunting — but it’s crucial. Student media coverage helps to inform young voters.  The youth vote is always important, but could be especially so in 2020. In 2018, 40.3 percent of college students voted in the midterm, according to Tufts. That’s up from just 19.3… Continue reading Resources for covering the 2020 election as a student journalist

How to use the Clery Act to cover campus crime

The Clery Act is a college journalist’s holy grail to reporting on campus crime. The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Crime Statistics Act, or the Clery Act for short, requires that schools participating in federal student aid funding notify the campus when a crime has been reported. Virtually every college and university… Continue reading How to use the Clery Act to cover campus crime

Op-eds, panels, newsroom open houses, TikToks: How student journalists celebrated Student Press Freedom Day 2020

Student journalists around the country engaged with readers, called for grassroots movements to ensure their First Amendment rights, and took a stand against censorship for Student Press Freedom Day on Jan. 29. Student Press Freedom Day was launched by the Student Press Law Center in 2018 to mark the 30th anniversary of the landmark 1988… Continue reading Op-eds, panels, newsroom open houses, TikToks: How student journalists celebrated Student Press Freedom Day 2020

How to report on school employee contracts and salaries

(Pixabay / Free-Photos)

Do you know how much top administrators at your school make?  Employee contracts can provide reporters with newsworthy information about how a public school is utilizing taxpayer money for employee salaries and other benefits. Every record created by a public agency or government body, including public schools, is presumed to be open unless a law… Continue reading How to report on school employee contracts and salaries