Minnesota’s New Voices bill set to advance in House, faces rougher waters in Senate

Emma Yarger, a student journalist at the Echo at St. Louis Park High School testifies in support of the Minnesota New Voices bill moving through the statehouse. Credit: Grace Farley, The Echo

MINNESOTA - A New Voices bill that would protect student journalists in grades six through 12 is making its way to the House floor of the Minnesota Statehouse. The bill, HF1868, was first introduced four years ago. It took a change of party control in the House, and the bill’s author becoming chair of the… Continue reading Minnesota’s New Voices bill set to advance in House, faces rougher waters in Senate

Arkansas bill adding First Amendment protections for college students signed 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.

College students in Arkansas just gained new protections against censorship and prior review, thanks to a new law expanding on long-standing student media protections in the state. Lawmakers unanimously passed the “New Voices” bill, HB1231, and Gov. Asa Hutchinson signed it into law on March 8, 2019. The measure builds on the 1995 Arkansas Student… Continue reading Arkansas bill adding First Amendment protections for college students signed into law

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?

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

Ask SPLC: Am I obligated to take down an embarrassing story if the subject of it asks?

A: It depends. First of all, it is a good idea for your publication to have a policy on takedown demands or retractions. Many publications have a policy that is some variation of stating that there will be no takedowns or retractions unless something in the article is false.  It is important to keep in mind… Continue reading Ask SPLC: Am I obligated to take down an embarrassing story if the subject of it asks?

Arkansas high school paper republishes censored story, but prior review and threat to adviser’s job remain

Halle Roberts (middle right) and Jack Williams (right) stand with other staff members of The Herald in Har-Ber High School in Springdale, Ark. Photo courtesy of Jack Williams

ARKANSAS — An Arkansas school district drew national criticism after it apparently broke state law by censoring the paper and halting its publication. The district also announced it would implement prior review. Springdale Public Schools backtracked and allowed online publication of the censored story and editorial, but significant obstacles remain unresolved. The Student Press Law… Continue reading Arkansas high school paper republishes censored story, but prior review and threat to adviser’s job remain

Vermont high school students use New Voices law to win censorship dispute

BHS Register editors speak to the Burlington school board on Thursday. Left to right: Jenna Peterson, Julia Shannon-Grillo, and Halle Newman. VTDigger / Lola Duffort

VERMONT — Student journalists at Burlington High School used the state’s New Voices law to successfully fight back against censorship and prevent the reinstatement of a prior review policy. On Sept. 10, the BHS Register was the first to report  about an investigation by the Vermont Agency of Education focused on the school’s director of guidance, Mario Macias.… Continue reading Vermont high school students use New Voices law to win censorship dispute

As Hurricane Florence crashes into the Carolinas, student journalists report through the storm

Hurricane Florence approaching North and South Carolina. Photo by NOAA

NORTH CAROLINA — Alexis Wray, editor in chief of The A&T Register at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, is among the few who was looking forward to Hurricane Florence’s east coast arrival on Thursday. “I am extremely excited,” Wray said. She’s not excited about the Category 2 hurricane, but does want to be a source of… Continue reading As Hurricane Florence crashes into the Carolinas, student journalists report through the storm

Back to School Tips — Day Four: Start the year right with your school’s administrators

FRIDAY, SEPT. 7 Welcome back to school! From Sept. 4-7 we're posting an article each day with links to key legal issues and topics that will help get your academic year off to a strong start.  Our Day Four links can help you develop a professional, candid relationship with administrators. They don’t always like what… Continue reading Back to School Tips — Day Four: Start the year right with your school’s administrators

Back to School Tips — Day Three: Copyright, model agreements and other key topics

Thursday, Sept. 6 Welcome back to school! From Sept. 4-7 we're posting links to key legal issues and topics to ensure your academic year is off to a great start.Day One: Strong journalism is your best defense.Day Two: Having "The Talk"Our Day Three links center on the complexities of copyright and other journalism and legal… Continue reading Back to School Tips — Day Three: Copyright, model agreements and other key topics