COVID-19 coverage by student journalists

Student journalist have been at the forefront of news reporting amid the coronavirus outbreak. In this unprecedented time, student reporters are working together, sometimes from thousands of miles apart, to cover campus and community news. In recognition of the essential work of student journalist, the Student Press Law Center has put together a list featuring… Continue reading COVID-19 coverage by student journalists

Can my school deny a public records request because of COVID-19?

Every week, Student Press Law Center attorneys answer a frequently asked question about student media law in “Ask SPLC.” Q: I recently submitted an open records law request to my public school for budgetary information related to a time-sensitive story I’m working on. No one is disputing that the records are “public records” that must be… Continue reading Can my school deny a public records request because of COVID-19?

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 Many college journalists have lost internships or had post-grad job offers withdrawn, while others are in limbo waiting to hear back from potential employers.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

Does HIPAA limit my ability to report on COVID-19 cases?

Every week, Student Press Law Center attorneys answer a frequently asked question about student media law in “Ask SPLC.” Q: I’m being told the federal HIPAA law limits my ability to report on COVID-19 cases. Is this true?A: No. While HIPAA (the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) may limit the information a medical provider can provide… Continue reading Does HIPAA limit my ability to report on COVID-19 cases?

Can (and should) we publish the name of a student who tested positive for COVID-19?

Every week, Student Press Law Center attorneys answer a frequently asked question about student media law in “Ask SPLC.” Q: Recently, we had a student at our school test positive for COVID-19. He lived in an on-campus dorm and rumors are starting to fly, many of them inaccurate. He has not gone public, but we have… Continue reading Can (and should) we publish the name of a student who tested positive for COVID-19?