Florida college SGA cuts paper’s budget following election violation story

The PantherNOW staff in a Zoom meeting. Photo from Gerard Albert

Florida International University's student government cut the budget of the student paper, PantherNOW, for the fourth year in a row on March 24. This came just two weeks after the paper reported the Elections Board violated an election code that said SGA must publish the ballot a week before the election, leaving students unaware of… Continue reading Florida college SGA cuts paper’s budget following election violation story

No criminal charges filed after VCU student government members trashed 875 copies of The Commonwealth Times

An empty newsstand of The Commonwealth Times
SGA members allegedly cleared out kiosks and trashed newspapers last Wednesday VCU’s main campus. (The Commonwealth Times / Hannah Eason)

UPDATE: No criminal charges are being filed after 13 newsstands were emptied at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond.  On Feb. 26, 2020, members of VCU's Student Government Association were seen trashing copies of The Commonwealth Times that included an article detailing ongoing conflicts within SGA. According to a statement by the VCU Police Department, detectives… Continue reading No criminal charges filed after VCU student government members trashed 875 copies of The Commonwealth Times

Student media advisers in new territory during campus shut downs over the coronavirus

Photo by Craig Whitehead on Unsplash

Editor’s note: Check out the Student Press Law Center’s guide to covering the coronavirus pandemic for resources and tips to help with your reporting. Advisers, see SPLC's resources for teaching remotely. How do you find story ideas when your students aren't at school? How do you transition tried-and-true lesson plans to work in an online format? How do… Continue reading Student media advisers in new territory during campus shut downs over the coronavirus

An underground news operation: How student journalists paved their own space at their school

The current staff of Devil’s Advocate, established in 2018, is working as Ellenville High School’s underground news source. Jasmine Shiffer, the editor-in-chief of the outlet, is top row, second from the right. (Devil’s Advocate / Alex Shiffer)

NEW YORK — After Ellenville High School's newspaper was cut, a group of students (and a few supportive adults) created a news app called Devil’s Advocate to bring student journalism back to the school. The app serves as the school’s underground news outlet, operating completely independently of the school.  Ellenville had a well-established newspaper through… Continue reading An underground news operation: How student journalists paved their own space at their school

Southern Oregon student paper fights entire budget being cut and wins

The Siskiyou's staff successfully appealed student government's decision to defund their paper. From left to right: Clare DiMuzio (staff writer), Autumn Micketti (co-editor), Emiliana Rawley (co-editor), Emily Perry (staff writer), and Tally Broderick (staff writer). Photo by Melissa Matthewson

Editor's note: If you're facing a newsroom budget cut, contact SPLC's legal hotline for help. OREGON — Southern Oregon University’s student newspaper, The Siskiyou faced a dwindling bank account after the student government budget committee voted to cut all their funding for the 2020-2021 academic year. But after the editors’ testimony and alumni appeal letters,… Continue reading Southern Oregon student paper fights entire budget being cut and wins

Do open meetings laws apply to public school student governments?

Every week, Student Press Law Center attorneys answer a frequently asked question about student media law in “Ask SPLC.” Q: Does the student government at my public school have to abide by my state's open meetings laws? A: Maybe. Open meetings laws vary by state, and most courts haven’t specifically ruled on whether state open meetings laws apply… Continue reading Do open meetings laws apply to public school student governments?

“How long are we going to wait?” Editor-in-Chief criticizes Radford’s newspaper theft investigation

The Tartan newsroom / Dylan Lepore

UPDATE: Dylan Lepore, editor-in-chief of The Tartan, wrote a letter to Radford University President Brian Hemphill on Student Press Freedom Day voicing his disapproval for how the university handled its investigation into the theft of 1,000 newspapers in fall 2019. Lepore criticized Radford police's decision not to charge the employee found responsible for stealing several racks… Continue reading “How long are we going to wait?” Editor-in-Chief criticizes Radford’s newspaper theft investigation

Resources for covering the 2020 election as a student journalist

Covering the upcoming election as a student journalist can be daunting — but it’s crucial. Student media coverage helps to inform young voters.  The youth vote is always important, but could be especially so in 2020. In 2018, 40.3 percent of college students voted in the midterm, according to Tufts. That’s up from just 19.3… Continue reading Resources for covering the 2020 election as a student journalist

How to report on school employee contracts and salaries

(Pixabay / Free-Photos)

Do you know how much top administrators at your school make?  Employee contracts can provide reporters with newsworthy information about how a public school is utilizing taxpayer money for employee salaries and other benefits. Every record created by a public agency or government body, including public schools, is presumed to be open unless a law… Continue reading How to report on school employee contracts and salaries

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