For second time this session, Arkansas puts more student media protections into law

(Left to right) Bill sponsor Rep. Mark Lowery, Henderson State University student D'erra Talley, Arkansas Press Association executive director Ashley Wimberly, HSU student Sara Densmore, HSU adviser Steve Listopad and HSU student Cle'varus Oney. Credit: Aaron Sadler, Arkansas Press Association communications director.

UPDATE: Protections for Arkansas student journalists were again expanded this year after amendments to the 1995 Student Publications Act were signed by the governor. HB1432, now Act 912, was signed by Gov. Asa Hutchinson during the week of April 8 and makes several incremental changes to the decades-old law. The law now covers all school-sponsored… Continue reading For second time this session, Arkansas puts more student media protections into law

U. Arizona student media facing uncertainty after being told to vacate offices

The University of Arizona student radio station will have to abandon two newly-built recording studios under a plan that would move student media out of their offices. Credit: Robby Leaño/KAMP Radio

ARIZONA — Student media are looking for a new home at the University of Arizona, Tucson. In late 2018, university officials told student media leaders through their adviser they would likely not need to move as the school looks to find space for a new international student center. They reversed course at the beginning of… Continue reading U. Arizona student media facing uncertainty after being told to vacate offices

‘Go take pictures of birds’: Firefighter tells student reporters to beat it, refuses to give identification

Emergency vehicles outside the health center at El Camino College outside Los Angeles. Student journalists were told to "go take pictures of birds" and were threatened with arrest while trying to report on the scene. Credit: Rosemary Montalvo / The Union

CALIFORNIA — A Los Angeles county firefighter threatened student reporters with arrest and repeatedly rebuffed them while they were trying to gather information on emergency crews on campus, according to the journalists. Emergency crews, including police and an ambulance, appeared to be responding to a medical incident at the college’s student health center. A man… Continue reading ‘Go take pictures of birds’: Firefighter tells student reporters to beat it, refuses to give identification

Citing too many leftover copies, officials cut a Utah student newspaper’s budget. Student journalists feel targeted.

Caption: Recent copies of the Dixie Sun News on a newsstand. After a year of tough coverage of the campus by student journalists and a fight over what constitutes an open meeting, campus officials cut Sun's budget. Officials say the cut was due to too many leftover papers. Credit: Rhiannon Bent, adviser to the Dixie Sun News.

UTAH — The newspaper at Dixie State University in Utah just lost a quarter of its student fee funding; editors say they’re being targeted, but the student government and administration say it’s to curb paper waste. The university’s board of trustees made the cut on March 22 at the recommendation of a student government committee… Continue reading Citing too many leftover copies, officials cut a Utah student newspaper’s budget. Student journalists feel targeted.

Ask SPLC: Can we use the title of a show as a headline or yearbook theme?

Q. We want to use soap opera titles, such as "Days of our Lives," to head our yearbook sections. Any problems? A.  This question has many popular variants. For example, can we use book titles (Dr. Seuss's "Oh, the Places You'll Go" is a perennial favorite) as our yearbook theme? Can we use movie titles… Continue reading Ask SPLC: Can we use the title of a show as a headline or yearbook theme?

Ask SPLC: Is my newspaper responsible for comments on our posts?

Q: Is my student newspaper legally responsible for online comments that someone outside of our organization may post? A: If the comments are made by outsiders and not your own staff, the Communications Decency Act provides legal shield to you and your website. These protections apply even if you are aware of objectionable content or voluntarily… Continue reading Ask SPLC: Is my newspaper responsible for comments on our posts?

Utah bill that would subject BYU police department to public records law sent to governor’s desk

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A bill that would force campus police to comply with Utah public records law was approved by the state House of Representatives Tuesday. The Senate approved the bill earlier this month, and the measure now goes to Gov. Gary Herbert to sign. The law would expand the definition of a law enforcement agency to cover… Continue reading Utah bill that would subject BYU police department to public records law sent to governor’s desk

Ask SPLC: Do we have the right to reject advertisements?

Q: Is my newspaper legally responsible for online comments that someone outside of our organization may post? A: If the comments are made by outsiders and not your own staff, the Communications Decency Act provides legal shield to you and your website. These protections apply even if you are aware of objectionable content or voluntarily screen… Continue reading Ask SPLC: Do we have the right to reject advertisements?

Student tour guides threw away, moved newspapers in “one-time” incident at Baylor University

A screenshot of the Feb. 8, 2019 edition of The Baylor Lariat. Copies of these papers were thrown away and moved during an admitted student day at Baylor University in Texas.

TEXAS — Student tour guides at Baylor University in Texas threw away and moved some student newspapers in what a university spokesperson called a “one-time” incident. During a prospective student day in early February, copies of The Baylor Lariat were moved in two buildings at the direction of an admissions staffer, according to a statement… Continue reading Student tour guides threw away, moved newspapers in “one-time” incident at Baylor University

A record number of states have introduced New Voices bills in 2019

More bills protecting the First Amendment rights of student journalists are moving through statehouses than ever before, according to a Student Press Law Center tally. The 11 bills are part of a nationwide effort to pass “New Voices” bills in state legislatures, which effectively counteract and clarify the limits of the 1988 Hazelwood School District… Continue reading A record number of states have introduced New Voices bills in 2019