New Voices in Virginia (2020)

Current Status: HB 36 awaits a hearing in the House Education committee. SB 80 was heard by the Senate Education and Health committee and tabled until 2021.

For the second time, Virginia is considering legislation (HB36, SB80) to restore and protect the rights of student journalists and protect student media advisers from punishment for refusing to violate those rights. First championed in 2019 by Delegate Chris Hurst, himself a former journalist, the legislation is also sponsored in 2020 by Senator David Marsden.

In January, the Washington Post profiled the legislation and the student journalists who have fought against censorship in Virginia.

Later in January, the Senate committee heard the legislation and decided to table it until 2021.

In 2019, similar legislation failed with a 5-3 vote in the House Education Subcommittee #1.

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Why Virginia needs New Voices
Endorsements
Recent news

Get involved

  • Contact your delegate and senator to let them know why this bill is important to you. Find out who your representatives are here. Not sure what to say? Check out our phone script and letter-writing tips here.
  • Refine your thoughts with talking points, a printable flyer and other resources here.
  • Get looped in with volunteer coordinators to let them know about your efforts and learn about other ways to get involved:
  • Like and follow New Voices of Virginia on Facebook.
  • Enlist all your friends in Virginia to raise their voices in support of this measure, which ensures the basic First Amendment rights of student journalists and protects their advisers from retaliation.
  • If you are a student or adviser who was censored, intimidated or retaliated against, contact SPLC’s legal hotline.

Why Virginia needs New Voices

Endorsements

Virginia Press Association
Virginia Association of Journalism Teachers and Advisers
You can see the list of national endorsers at the bottom of this page.

Recent news