Stop Hazelwood from spreading
You can help prevent Hazelwood by making sure your state has taken the proper precautions to contain it. There are no known side effects to free speech, making it the best antidote to Hazelwood.
If your state doesn’t have precautions already in place, become an advocate for yourself and others. Explain to your state and local lawmakers the importance of countering Hazelwood’s spread, and tell them how it affects you.
Ongoing efforts to stop Hazelwood
In April 2015, North Dakota’s governor signed The John Wall New Voices Act, which ensures the free-speech rights of journalism students in North Dakota public schools and colleges. The anti-Hazelwood law originated from the University of Jamestown’s civic and citizen journalism class — a passionate journalism professor and his students researched and wrote the bill and got legislators to co-sponsor it. The bill eventually passed unanimously.
You too can help stop Hazelwood. Contact us if you or someone you know is interested in leading the effort in your state.
Currently, there are seven established Facebook campaigns for curing Hazelwood: New Voices of Wisconsin, New Voices of Michigan, New Voices of New Jersey, New Voices of Illinois, New Voices of Minnesota, New Voices of New York and New Voices of Maryland. Click to get involved and stay informed.
In the News
- Administrators still a bigger threat than campus activists to student journalism, groups say, The College Fix (12/1/2015). New Voices staff discuss their strategy to protect student media from administrative censorship. “[In North Dakota], we didn’t have an army; we just had a SWAT team. We had a very motivated nucleus of about half a dozen educators and students, who did all the heavy lifting,” said Frank LoMonte, SPLC’s executive director.
- From the Daily: Defending student journalists, Michigan Daily (10/6/2015). “If young journalists are not allowed to report freely, they will not properly learn and practice the ethics of journalism and therefore not be able to keep university administrators in check. Ensuring their freedom of speech through law is the only practical option to keep the college press free,” the editorial said.
- For student journalists in North Dakota, free press is getting a bit more free, Associated Press (8/31/2015). “Student journalism is a resource to the entire school community, but too often students are told they’re not permitted to express any opinions or expose any facts that portray the school in an unflattering light,” said Frank LoMonte, SPLC’s executive director.
- A catalyst for reform: North Dakota’s new anti-Hazelwood law has rebuilt a national movement, SPLC (8/24/2015). “I think the field’s open and every state should try to get on board and try to do something,” said Steve Listopad, a journalism professor who helped write the law in North Dakota.
- Michigan Needs a New Voice: Challenging Censorship in the Wolverine State, Huffington Post (7/24/2015). “Curing Michigan’s campuses of Hazelwood won’t be easy, but the experience of 12 states with student-press-rights laws or regulations proves it is possible,” writes Neel Swamy, a student at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor and a summer 2015 SPLC intern.
- College Media Association supports student press freedom efforts in Michigan, CMA (7/22/2015). “Student journalists at public schools are supposed to be protected by the First Amendment, but sometimes administrators need to be reminded of that,” CMA President Rachele Kanigel said.
Vaccinate yourself from Hazelwood
The following resources are designed to help you protect yourself from Hazelwood:
- Know what others have done to treat Hazelwood: This detailed analysis shows how some states have countered the spread of Hazelwood. These examples illustrate proven methods of effectively shutting down Hazelwood.
- Learn from others. In this video, California State Sen. Leland Yee and Jim Ewert of the California Newspaper Publishers Association talk about how they put in place the nation’s best protection from Hazelwood.
- For more inspiration, listen to this podcast, where Brian Schraum of Washington and Josh Moore of Kentucky talk about how they convinced their states to introduce anti-Hazelwood legislation (although it unfortunately did not pass).