Student Press Freedom Day is an annual day of action organized by SPLC and a group of partner organizations with three main goals:
- Spreading awareness to educate and engage the general public on the struggles student journalists face and why it’s important to support student press freedom.
- Making change through New Voices laws — the day is an opportunity to generate attention and showcase why students need state-based New Voices laws to protect their First Amendment rights.
- Building community — Student Press Freedom Day events and facilitated social media discussions help student journalists and their supporters deeply connect with each other over shared challenges and triumphs.
On Feb. 26, people around the country joined the Student Press Law Center in celebrating Student Press Freedom Day 2021: Journalism Against the Odds. The theme was chosen in acknowledgment of the phenomenal news coverage student journalists produced despite being faced with incredible challenges including COVID, the sudden shift to remote learning, major racial justice protests, a contentious election, a student media financial crisis and more. Weeks of events, new resources and community building activities culminated on that day with overwhelming nationwide support for a free student press. Read about it here:
Each year, one major element of Student Press Freedom Day is an op-ed writing campaign. 2021 was our most wide reaching campaign yet. Publications like The Chicago Tribune, CNN, Poynter and Newsweek all ran editorials about student press freedom. So did local papers across the country and many student publications.
Learn more about Student Press Freedom Day including the history of the day, top issues student journalists are facing, talking points, a white paper about censorship in the past year and more at StudentPressFreedom.org:
So what’s next?
The movement for student press freedom carries on year round! See these ideas for how to take action right now.
We’ll also be back for Student Press Freedom Day 2022. Stay tuned to SPLC’s social media and subscribe to our newsletter so you never miss out.
Student journalism keeps us connected and informed. It is a public good that we must protect. As 17 year-old Lily Wobbe told Teen Vogue, “There’s no reason we should be censored and prevented from covering things like gun control or racism or climate change, because these things impact our lives just as much as they impact adults’ lives.”
Join the movement to protect student journalism!