Student journalists covering protests face unprecedented violence from police

Daily Lobo photographer Liam DeBonis works in the field during protests in Albuquerque, New Mexico / Photo by Sharon Chischilly

Student journalists covering nationwide demonstrations against police brutality and systemic racism are being met with unprecedented pushback from law enforcement. According to the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker, there have been more than 440 reported aggressions against the press — including high school and college journalists — covering public protests in at least 140 cities across… Continue reading Student journalists covering protests face unprecedented violence from police

How to communicate to police that you’re a journalist while covering a protest

Law enforcement may not be familiar with the student press. They may see you only as students, and not know or understand the essential role of student journalists in covering public events such as protests. This letter may be helpful in providing law enforcement with evidence of your claims. Carry a physical copy (do not… Continue reading How to communicate to police that you’re a journalist while covering a protest

Student coverage of racial justice protests

Protestors in Wilmington (NC) gather on the steps of City Hall downtown. (Panda Omo)

Student journalists are on the frontlines of protests sparked by the killing of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis on May 25. Through their coverage, students are keeping their communities informed on protests, curfews and local government response, despite attacks from police and risk of exposure to COVID-19. In order to recognize and express our appreciation for… Continue reading Student coverage of racial justice protests

The Student Press Law Center condemns the attack on Ohio State University student journalists who were covering protests

The Student Press Law Center, joined by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education and the College Media Association, condemns the attack on student journalists from Ohio State University who were covering a protest in Columbus on June 1. Journalists from The Lantern were lawfully covering a protest taking place adjacent to the campus. Confronted… Continue reading The Student Press Law Center condemns the attack on Ohio State University student journalists who were covering protests

Ask SPLC: Can police search our newsroom?

Q: Can the police or campus security search our newsroom to get unpublished photos, notes or videos? A: Almost never. The federal Privacy Protection Act makes it illegal for law enforcement officers or government officials to search a newsroom (or anywhere else that newsgathering materials are kept, such as the trunk of a reporter’s car)… Continue reading Ask SPLC: Can police search our newsroom?

Campus police records should be open for public inspection, open-government coalition tells state Supreme Court

Editor's Note: The Student Press Law Center signed onto a friend-of-the-court brief from the Brechner Center for Freedom of Information at the University of Florida. This story was originally published by the Brechner Center. Police who exercise arrest powers at private universities should abide by the same transparency standards as all other law-enforcement agencies, a… Continue reading Campus police records should be open for public inspection, open-government coalition tells state Supreme Court

Utah bill that would subject BYU police department to public records law sent to governor’s desk

Wikimedia Commons

A bill that would force campus police to comply with Utah public records law was approved by the state House of Representatives Tuesday. The Senate approved the bill earlier this month, and the measure now goes to Gov. Gary Herbert to sign. The law would expand the definition of a law enforcement agency to cover… Continue reading Utah bill that would subject BYU police department to public records law sent to governor’s desk