News

University settles lawsuit with satirical campus publication, affirming 1A protections for students

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

UPDATE — The University of California San Diego settled a First Amendment lawsuit with a student-run satirical publication on Sept. 8, 2020, which legal experts say secured significant protections for student journalists against financial censorship. The lawsuit stemmed from a controversial November 2015 article from The Koala, a satirical newspaper on campus. The student government… Continue reading University settles lawsuit with satirical campus publication, affirming 1A protections for students

Celebrating Student Press Freedom on Constitution Day

We honor Constitution Day by recognizing we have the right, and the responsibility, to uphold one of the First Amendment’s core values: to protect and support the free press – including student press freedom. On Constitution Day we need to recognize and fight to protect the rights of student journalists to report the news fairly… Continue reading Celebrating Student Press Freedom on Constitution Day

SPLC & seven groups send Letter of Concern to police chief and mayor of Richmond, Va. over mistreatment of journalists covering protests

The Student Press Law Center, joined by seven press freedom and First Amendment groups, has sent the following Letter of Concern in response to repeated clashes between officers of the Richmond Police Department and journalists covering protests for racial justice this summer. In recent months, journalists, including several college journalists, have been pepper sprayed, tear… Continue reading SPLC & seven groups send Letter of Concern to police chief and mayor of Richmond, Va. over mistreatment of journalists covering protests

Guidance on creating a policy about reporting in-person during COVID-19

As student journalists prepare for reporting this semester in the midst of major uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, many are wondering what policies to institute concerning in-person reporting. Below you’ll find suggested language crafted by the SPLC to guide you should you decide to implement newsroom policies regarding how staff members and contributors conduct their reporting.  This… Continue reading Guidance on creating a policy about reporting in-person during COVID-19

Countering COVID-related FERPA objections

Many times administrators cite FERPA as a reason to restrict access to information which the public is entitled to receive. During the pandemic, we see FERPA being used inappropriately to deny important information to student media. SPLC has developed the letter below for you to download and send (or give) to administrators when they misapply FERPA… Continue reading Countering COVID-related FERPA objections

Can we publish photos of crowded hallways at our school during COVID-19?

Every week, Student Press Law Center attorneys answer a frequently asked question about student media law in “Ask SPLC.” Q: As students and teachers return to school during the COVID19 pandemic, can we take and publish news photos of students/teachers — masked or unmasked — walking in a crowded school hallway?A: Yes. It is long-established law that… Continue reading Can we publish photos of crowded hallways at our school during COVID-19?

Student media advisers say they’re anxious about going back to school during COVID-19

Some student media advisers are scared going into the fall semester—both for their students’ safety, and the state of their journalism programs. Photo by Engin Akyurt via Unsplash

Sarah Verpooten watched as a parent at an Aug. 3 school board meeting advocated for returning to in-person classes. He was speaking into the microphone when he pulled down his mask to wipe his nose, pulled his mask back up, and continued speaking. That meeting resulted in a “very surprising vote” to return to in-person… Continue reading Student media advisers say they’re anxious about going back to school during COVID-19

Can my school cut my student publication’s budget because they don’t like the stories we produce?

Every week, Student Press Law Center attorneys answer a frequently asked question about student media law in “Ask SPLC.” Q: Can my public school cut funds to my student publication because they don’t like the stories we are producing?  A: Absolutely not. This is censorship. At a public school, student editors are responsible for determining the content… Continue reading Can my school cut my student publication’s budget because they don’t like the stories we produce?