The fear of liability by school administrators — whether expressed publicly or not — is increasingly being used as a justification for censorship.
On May 18, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals came down with a decision in R.O. v. Ithaca City School District that student journalism advocates say is one of the most damaging rulings for free speech in the nation’s high schools in decades.
For most student journalists, covering the news in Englishis challenging enough. But at a handful of schools across the country, studentsare leaping beyond expectations by publishing all or part of their publicationsin multiple languages.
As the only student-run paper in the school’s three-year history to take root and publish more than one issue, The Voice is looking to continue what it started while facing educational hurdles and a professional media culture that operates completely opposite of American-style journalism.
Today’s student journalists can be at the forefront of efforts to shed more light on college admissions. From a team of editors keeping up with the Chicago Tribune series to an enterprising reporter at the University of California - Los Angeles poking around the School of Dentistry, admissions coverage has taken on more and more prominence at many student publications.
College newspapers rely on advisers for guidance and support, but sometimes those advisers are in need of advice themselves. As university employees charged with ensuring students produce the highest quality work, advisers are often caught between a rock and a hard place when the threat of a sensitive story pushes them to choose sides. With a rash of adviser firings and “removals” sweeping through colleges around the country, advisers are treading carefully.
Students published what they believed to be protected speech from an off-campus location. Every time, the students were punished by their school’s administration, arguing that the students’ speech substantially interfered with the educational process. A central issue in each case: Whether the Supreme Court’s 1969 Tinker ruling, which permitted schools to punish on-campus speech if it crosses the line of causing “substantial” disruption, can be applied to off-campus speech as well.
Experts are discovering that the collegiate media has been fast to sign up and utilize social media, but rather slow to self-police.
Open government advocates have their sights set on fundraising groups that have evaded public records laws for years despite being run by public employees and conducting the state’s business — university foundations.
Student journalists who report on police activity must be aware of the legality or potential illegality of their actions when they seek to capture images and sounds of police in action.