Students face restricted access to open records and meetings due to COVID-19

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Due to the coronavirus pandemic, student journalists are facing issues obtaining public records and accessing what should be open meetings. SPLC staff attorney Sommer Ingram Dean said a majority of the calls to SPLC's legal hotline in March and April have been about COVID-19 related access issues. She said student journalists have called about:  Experiencing… Continue reading Students face restricted access to open records and meetings due to COVID-19

“Everyone I know has had their internships canceled”: Students face journalism internship and job cuts due to COVID-19

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News outlets around the country are laying off staff, furloughing employees and implementing hiring freezes due to the financial fallout of COVID-19. Many college journalists have lost internships or had post-grad job offers withdrawn, while others are in limbo waiting to hear back from potential employers. On April 29, the U.S. Department of Commerce reported… Continue reading “Everyone I know has had their internships canceled”: Students face journalism internship and job cuts due to COVID-19

Can we run a column about a student’s experience being tested for COVID-19?

Every week, Student Press Law Center attorneys answer a frequently asked question about student media law in “Ask SPLC.” Q: One of my classmates, a high school junior, has written a column about being tested for COVID-19. It’s well-written and informative. She talked it over with her parents and wants to use her name. Are there… Continue reading Can we run a column about a student’s experience being tested for COVID-19?

WEBINAR: SPLC and PEN America talk to leading college journalists about how COVID-19 has changed their newsrooms

Student journalists discussed their transition to remote reporting via Zoom in a virtual roundtable with SPLC and PEN America on Friday, April 24

https://youtu.be/qLO97YLr57s On April 24, the Student Press Law Center and PEN America’s Campus Free Speech Program hosted an online forum with college journalists who discussed the challenges they are facing because of the COVID-19 pandemic.  The forum was moderated by Nicholas “Niko” Perez, program coordinator for campus free speech at PEN America. It also featured… Continue reading WEBINAR: SPLC and PEN America talk to leading college journalists about how COVID-19 has changed their newsrooms

Can school boards require registration to online meetings?

Every week, Student Press Law Center attorneys answer a frequently asked question about student media law in “Ask SPLC.” Q: Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, our community is practicing social distancing, so school board meetings are now held via videoconference. Our administration requires anyone who wants to attend a meeting to complete a registration form, which… Continue reading Can school boards require registration to online meetings?

“We’re documenting history”: How students are reporting, producing and distributing yearbooks during the coronavirus pandemic

Photo courtesy of Samantha Berry, yearbook adviser at Bridgeland High School in Cypress, Texas. Because the school was closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Berry's students had to work late nights on laptops from cars parked in the school's lot to get the server access they needed to finish the yearbook.

At the beginning of March, yearbook staffs around the country were putting the final touches on spreads they'd been working on for months, getting ready to send final copies to printing plants to be printed and distributed like normal. Now, just weeks later, the COVID-19 outbreak has thrown yearbook students and advisers into chaos.  RELATED:… Continue reading “We’re documenting history”: How students are reporting, producing and distributing yearbooks during the coronavirus pandemic

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

NEWS RELEASE: SPLC joins AAJA statement decrying racism during the COVID-19 pandemic

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 30, 2020 The Student Press Law Center has added its support to a statement from the Asian American Journalists Association denouncing anti-Asian racism during the coronavirus pandemic. "There is no place for racist and inflammatory language or sentiments in the reporting or coverage of the current coronavirus pandemic. The Student Press Law Center is… Continue reading NEWS RELEASE: SPLC joins AAJA statement decrying racism during the COVID-19 pandemic

Access to public information restricted as schools move online

Many schools across the country are failing to comply with Sunshine Laws during the coronavirus pandemic, which is making it even more difficult for student journalists to cover the news. Daniel Bevarly, executive director of the National Freedom of Information Coalition, said the coronavirus isn’t a legally acceptable reason for universities to withhold public information… Continue reading Access to public information restricted as schools move online

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

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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