SPLC urges Frostburg State University President to terminate investigation into student journalist

SPLC joined the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) in sending a December 14 letter to Frostburg State University President Ronald Nowaczyk expressing concern after the university targeted a student journalist and directed the student newspaper to investigate and punish her.  Read the full letter: https://splc.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/FIRE-and-SPLC-Letter-to-Frostburg-State-University-December-14-2020.pdf

What is the difference between prior restraint and prior review?

Every week, Student Press Law Center attorneys answer a frequently asked question about student media law in “Ask SPLC.” Q: What is the difference between prior restraint and prior review? A: Put simply, prior review can be legal (at the high school level) and prior restraint is limited by the First Amendment.  Prior review is when your principal… Continue reading What is the difference between prior restraint and prior review?

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

SPLC and the New England First Amendment Coalition call on schools to protect speech, press rights

The Student Press Law Center and the New England First Amendment Coalition are calling on public school administrators across New England to protect the speech and press rights of students as they return to class this fall.

A high school newspaper was cut during the pandemic. Is it a sign of things to come?

(Medieval Times seniors pose in front of Rialto High School in Southern California. The journalism course’s adviser, Cassandra Rodriguez, is pictured second from left / Photo by Cassandra Garcia)

CALIFORNIA — Cassandra Garcia, a rising senior at Rialto High School in Southern California is fighting to bring back a journalism course at her high school after her principal removed the class from the fall schedule without informing students or the adviser.  Garcia is a reporter for the Medieval Times, Rialto's student newspaper. The school’s… Continue reading A high school newspaper was cut during the pandemic. Is it a sign of things to come?

No criminal charges filed after VCU student government members trashed 875 copies of The Commonwealth Times

An empty newsstand of The Commonwealth Times
SGA members allegedly cleared out kiosks and trashed newspapers last Wednesday VCU’s main campus. (The Commonwealth Times / Hannah Eason)

UPDATE: No criminal charges are being filed after 13 newsstands were emptied at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond.  On Feb. 26, 2020, members of VCU's Student Government Association were seen trashing copies of The Commonwealth Times that included an article detailing ongoing conflicts within SGA. According to a statement by the VCU Police Department, detectives… Continue reading No criminal charges filed after VCU student government members trashed 875 copies of The Commonwealth Times

High school paper censored for “offensive” headline on story about district’s lack of diversity

This is the former cover of the Feb. 13 issue of The Bruin. The students had to reprint the paper and take out the words “in a white school district.” Photo courtesy of Halle Shaeffer

OHIO — Wadsworth High School's student paper, The Bruin, sparked district-wide controversy and conversations about racism with their Feb. 13 story "Black History Month in a White School District." Some praised the coverage for bringing attention to the lack of diversity in the district, while others said the headline discounted the experiences of the already… Continue reading High school paper censored for “offensive” headline on story about district’s lack of diversity

What to do when your student news outlet’s budget gets cut

Piggy bank tipped over with coins spilling out
Pixabay / kschneider2991

If your student publication is funded fully or in part by student fees, you should have a plan in place in case of a budget cut. If the cuts come after critical coverage of the university or your student government, you may be able to claim the university or student government violated your First Amendment… Continue reading What to do when your student news outlet’s budget gets cut

College journalists in New Jersey describe years of “intimidation, harassment, threats” by administrators

Youngtown Edition’s staffers posing with signs of support at Board of Trustees meeting / Luna Wroblewski

NEW JERSEY — Student journalists at the County College of Morris recently went before the school’s Board of Trustees with more than two years of documented incidents with school administrators — saying administrators intimidated the student newspaper staff from doing their jobs and eventually ousted their adviser. The Youngtown Edition’s Editor-in-Chief Alexa Wyszkowski, Managing Editor… Continue reading College journalists in New Jersey describe years of “intimidation, harassment, threats” by administrators

Newspaper theft in 2019: 8,500+ issues stolen, trashed in 13 incidents

A copy of the Rocky Mountain Collegian in a recycling bin at Colorado State University. Photo courtesy of Haley Candelario.

Editor’s Note: If you’ve experienced a newspaper theft this year, or if one ever occurs in the future, email Danielle Dieterich at ddieterich@splc.org to report it. At least 8,500 copies of student newspapers at colleges in the United States were reported stolen, trashed or destroyed in 2019. In November alone, thefts were reported at County… Continue reading Newspaper theft in 2019: 8,500+ issues stolen, trashed in 13 incidents