The voices of student journalists need to be protected and advanced, now more than ever.
New Voices is a student-powered nonpartisan grassroots movement of state-based activists who seek to protect student press freedom with state laws. They include advocates in law, education, journalism and civics who want schools and colleges to be more welcoming places for student voices.
There are New Voices laws in 14 states: Arkansas, California, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington. In addition, there are codes protecting the rights of student journalists in the District of Columbia and Pennsylvania.
Read the specifics about the laws and regulations here or by clicking on the map below.
In 2019, bills were introduced in 11 states – a record number. Highlighted states below have their own New Voices pages or websites:
Arkansas (In 2019, adding protections for college journalists and a language revision to protect all school-sponsored student “media” as opposed to all “publications,” to improve the 1995 law)
Hawaii (Bill died week of Feb. 11 after not being assigned to a committee)
Nebraska March 25, 2019 update: Nebraska New Voices legislation not likely to pass in 2019, but there is optimism about the future
Virginia (Bill died in House Education Subcommittee #1 tie vote on Jan. 28)
During state legislative sessions in 2018, bills were introduced in seven states and passed into law in one (Washington).
- Distribute this New Voices Flier
- Talking points and FAQs
- Who New Voices Protects
- A free press shouldn’t stop at the schoolyard
- New Voices Laws and Statutes
- New Voices In The News
- New Voices Advocates Speak Out
- Endorsements and other resources
- Tinker v. Des Moines (1969), a better standard than Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier (1988)
- Journalism Education Association – Scholastic Press Rights Committee
- 2016 report: College Student Journalism Under Fire
- JEA-SPRC New Voices podcasts
- New Voices Idaho Study: A Survey and Recommendations for Other States
- Constitution Day Lesson Plan
Join your state’s campaign on Facebook:
Note: If your state does not have an active New Voices page on Facebook, you’ll be directed to the state volunteer coordinator or SPLC’s Director of Engagement Diana Mitsu Klos. Please provide your contact information, including city and state, and tell us if you’re a student, educator or other interested party.