Apply now: Nick Ferentinos New Voices Fellow

The SPLC is accepting applications for the Nick Ferentinos New Voices Fellows Program to assist in advocating for state-based student press freedom laws. The Fellow will work full-time remotely for ten weeks (tentatively June 1 - August 6), and receive a stipend of $5,250. The Nick Ferentinos New Voices Fellows Program provides an opportunity for college students, including… Continue reading Apply now: Nick Ferentinos New Voices Fellow

Nebraska high school journalist refuses to back down, publishes her censored article on Confederate flags and racism at school in local paper

A student truck at North Platte High School, Nebraska displays the Confederate flag in the school parking lot. A student stole one of these flags, and another wrote a story about the incident. (George Lauby/The North Platte Bulletin)

NEBRASKA — In September, Jessica Mathieu, a senior at North Platte High School, in southwest Nebraska, stole a Confederate flag from another student’s pickup truck parked in the school parking lot. She posted a video on social media acknowledging that she had stolen the flag, saying, “I know what I did was wrong, but what you’re doing is worse. You’re making people at your school feel like they’re not welcome.”

Illinois has a law protecting student press freedom, so why is censorship still happening?

The exterior of the Illinois capitol building on a sunny day

ILLINOIS — In 2016, Illinois passed the Speech Rights of Student Journalists Act, which protects student journalists at public schools from censorship by their administration. But the language in the law does not protect advisers from retaliation over news stories their students produce. Those protections were initially part of HB 5902, but were stripped from… Continue reading Illinois has a law protecting student press freedom, so why is censorship still happening?

Nebraska high school censors student editorial about censorship, and journalism adviser resigns

Three high school students wearing face masks work at laptops at a table.
From left to right, student editors Ramya Iyer, Jaden Taylor and Caleb De La Cruz work in the Westside newsroom in Omaha, Nebraska, Feb. 8, 2021. Photo by Mina Testolin

UPDATE: On Feb. 12, the administration at Westside High School in Omaha, Nebraska censored a student editorial about censorship. The same day, one of the Westside journalism advisers resigned. This came shortly after Westside student journalists testified on Jan. 29 for a bill that would have prevented this censorship. On Feb. 10, District 66 Superintendent… Continue reading Nebraska high school censors student editorial about censorship, and journalism adviser resigns

Censorship of Student Journalists Persists Despite their Essential Role Reporting on COVID, Protests, Racial Justice and Elections, New White Paper Finds

Contact: Hadar Harris, Executive DirectorStudent Press Law Center(202) 549-6316 / hharris@splc.org Student Journalists Celebrate 3rd Annual Student Press Freedom Day on Feb. 26  Washington, D.C. — In anticipation of the 3rd annual Student Press Freedom Day on Friday, Feb. 26th, the Student Press Law Center released a white paper today detailing a continuing pattern of censorship of student journalists by… Continue reading Censorship of Student Journalists Persists Despite their Essential Role Reporting on COVID, Protests, Racial Justice and Elections, New White Paper Finds

Despite COVID, New Voices made significant progress in 2020

When the legislative sessions began in January, New Voices advocates in more than a dozen states intended to make 2020 an historic year for student media. They had no way of knowing what was to come. Throughout 2020 student journalists and New Voices advocates weathered a pandemic, interrupted legislatures, a record-setting election, widespread protests, risks… Continue reading Despite COVID, New Voices made significant progress in 2020

PRESS RELEASE: Virginia expands college press freedom protections

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 13, 2020 Contact: Hillary Davis, New Voices Advocacy and Campaign Organizerhdavis@splc.org Governor Ralph Northam has signed legislation codifying press freedom protections for student journalists at colleges and universities and protecting college media advisers from retaliation for refusing to infringe upon those protections. Sponsored by Delegate Chris Hurst, HB36 ensures that student journalists… Continue reading PRESS RELEASE: Virginia expands college press freedom protections

NEWS RELEASE: Colorado expands student press freedom; protects advisers

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 25, 2020 Contact: Hillary Davis, New Voices Advocacy and Campaign Organizer hdavis@splc.org Governor Jared Polis has signed into law legislation expanding the press freedom of Colorado’s student journalists.  Sponsored by Rep. Barbara McLachlan (D-59), herself a former journalism teacher, HB20-1062 brings Colorado’s law in line with the other New Voices laws that have passed… Continue reading NEWS RELEASE: Colorado expands student press freedom; protects advisers

SPLC Statement: Virginia HB 36 As Amended Does Not Meaningfully Advance Protections for Student Journalists

The Student Press Law Center is deeply concerned and disappointed by the Virginia House of Delegates’ elimination of essential protections for high school journalists in HB 36. Two weeks ago, on Student Press Freedom Day, student journalists from across Virginia gathered before a House of Delegates subcommittee in support of New Voices legislation (HB 36).… Continue reading SPLC Statement: Virginia HB 36 As Amended Does Not Meaningfully Advance Protections for Student Journalists

Virginia Education Committee guts New Voices legislation with a major amendment, leaving high school journalists unprotected

UPDATE: The Virginia House Education Committee passed an amended version of HB 36 that did not include free speech protections for middle and high school journalists on Monday, Feb. 3. Hillary Davis, Student Press Law Center's New Voices advocacy and campaign organizer, said the Virginia New Voices coalition hopes the legislature will decide to hold… Continue reading Virginia Education Committee guts New Voices legislation with a major amendment, leaving high school journalists unprotected