Student journalists can get in trouble when they carelessly collect and/or publish private details or false information about an individual or entity that seriously harms their reputation. Knowing the basics of defamation law, which includes both libel (written defamation) and slander (spoken defamation), and invasion of privacy law can help you avoid such trouble.
- Libel and privacy FAQs -
The Student Press Law Center answers your most frequently asked questions about obtaining information and privacy laws.
- Sample minor interview consent form -
This is a sample release form for the non-commercial use of material provided by a minor to student media.
- Invasion of privacy law, in brief -
A brief guide to the four separate types of privacy invasion.
- Naming names: Identifying minors -
A discussion of the legal and ethical issues concerning publishing minor names and photos in student media.
- Liability for student media: Who’s responsible in the event of a lawsuit -
A growing body of law indicates that censorship is more likely to create, rather than counteract, a school's potential for liability. This guide explores liability for student media at public and private high schools and colleges.
- Saying ‘yes’: Minors’ ability to consent permission to stories -
By Mike Hiestand, SPLC legal consultant
During the summer following her freshman year of high school, Jane completed treatment for an eating disorder.
- Student media guide to surveying classmates -
The Arrow newspaper staff knew from experience that surveying fellow students at Norte Vista High School in Riverside, Calif., was popular with readers.
- SPLC guide to publishing leaked material -
Handling and publishing material that has (possibly) been illegally obtained and provided by third-parties.
- Four elements of libel law -
The four elements of a libel claim, and the ways to defend against a claim.
- A dozen tips to avoid being burned by a hot story -
As more student media move from being merely a showcasefor football players and prom queens to being serious news organizations,not afraid to address controversial or sensitive subjects, theyface many of the hazards that have long confronted their commercialcounterparts: threats of libel lawsuits, invasion of privacy claims,charges of bias, etc.