COVID-19 severely affected student newspapers’ advertising sales. This is how some news organizations are coping

Universities around the country have closed their doors and student publications canceled their print editions, leaving news organizations and worried about the coronavirus’s economic impact.

In early March, University Daily Kansan was gearing up for their biggest advertising sales of the academic year because of their No. 1 ranked men’s basketball team. Then, the coronavirus pandemic started spreading more rapidly in the U.S. prompting a slew of event cancelations followed by the University of Kansas shutting its doors for the… Continue reading COVID-19 severely affected student newspapers’ advertising sales. This is how some news organizations are coping

Opinion: Marsy’s Law needs to be amended to keep the public better informed on crime

Police agencies are misinterpreting a victim rights law, and it isn’t helping the victims or the public

This opinion piece reflects the point of view of the writer. Cameren Boatner is a reporting intern for the Student Press Law Center. Students have a right to know when a crime occurs in their backyard – especially when the crime is sexual violence. But a law intended to protect victims is leaving the public… Continue reading Opinion: Marsy’s Law needs to be amended to keep the public better informed on crime

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

How to access the information you need to cover mental illness at your school

Ulrike May / Pixabay

Editor's note: This story provides tips for finding information about mental health in schools. For guidance on ethical considerations while covering these stories, please consult National Alliance on Mental Illness or Active Minds. For legal considerations, contact SPLC's legal hotline.  Mental illnesses such as anxiety and depression are rising among teenagers. According to Active Minds,… Continue reading How to access the information you need to cover mental illness at your school

Student media advisers in new territory during campus shut downs over the coronavirus

Photo by Craig Whitehead on Unsplash

Editor’s note: Check out the Student Press Law Center’s guide to covering the coronavirus pandemic for resources and tips to help with your reporting. Advisers, see SPLC's resources for teaching remotely. How do you find story ideas when your students aren't at school? How do you transition tried-and-true lesson plans to work in an online format? How do… Continue reading Student media advisers in new territory during campus shut downs over the coronavirus

Coronavirus: Classes canceled, coverage continues

The coronavirus has caused schools to cancel classes, but their student publications are still working to keep their readers informed. Illustration by CDC

Editor's note: Check out the Student Press Law Center’s guide to covering the coronavirus pandemic for resources and tips to help with your reporting.  Daniel Albert, editor-in-chief of The Clipper at Everett Community College in Everett, WA just finished sending the latest issue of the paper to the printer on March 5 when he got… Continue reading Coronavirus: Classes canceled, coverage continues

Syracuse paper struggles to cover racist, anti-Semitic incidents and student protests when students, admin won’t talk

#NotAgainSU protesters blocked a road near the building they’re occupying in an attempt to get the chancellor to speak with them. (Photo by Daily Orange Photo Editor Corey Henry)

NEW YORK — Over 30 racist and anti-Semitic incidents have occurred at Syracuse University since Nov. 7, 2019. The Daily Orange, SU’s student paper, has spent months covering the incidents, but has struggled to get the information they need because administration and protesters are hesitant to speak with or provide information to reporters. SU Chancellor Kent… Continue reading Syracuse paper struggles to cover racist, anti-Semitic incidents and student protests when students, admin won’t talk

Southern Oregon student paper fights entire budget being cut and wins

The Siskiyou's staff successfully appealed student government's decision to defund their paper. From left to right: Clare DiMuzio (staff writer), Autumn Micketti (co-editor), Emiliana Rawley (co-editor), Emily Perry (staff writer), and Tally Broderick (staff writer). Photo by Melissa Matthewson

Editor's note: If you're facing a newsroom budget cut, contact SPLC's legal hotline for help. OREGON — Southern Oregon University’s student newspaper, The Siskiyou faced a dwindling bank account after the student government budget committee voted to cut all their funding for the 2020-2021 academic year. But after the editors’ testimony and alumni appeal letters,… Continue reading Southern Oregon student paper fights entire budget being cut and wins

Connecticut schools can’t claim employee misconduct records are FERPA protected, FOI commission rules

Pexels / Andrea Piacquadio

The Connecticut Freedom of Information Commission, an administrative agency that enforces open record laws, unanimously decided on Feb. 13 that schools cannot withhold educator misconduct records on the grounds of protecting student privacy. The ruling clarifies that public schools can't withhold an entire employee misconduct document because it contains identifying information about a student —… Continue reading Connecticut schools can’t claim employee misconduct records are FERPA protected, FOI commission rules

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