Open-government advocates unite to support transparency in university foundation finances

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. A string of mismanagement scandals at university foundations across the country demonstrates the urgency of opening foundations’ financial records to public… Continue reading Open-government advocates unite to support transparency in university foundation finances

Admissions staff conceal copies of student newspapers after front page story about hazmat incident

A coat was put on a newspaper rack to obscure copies of The Mass Media. Photo courtesy of The Mass Media.

Admissions staffers weren’t happy with the front page story run by the University of Massachusetts-Boston’s student newspaper, the Mass Media, during a welcome day earlier this month. The newspaper had reported about a hazmat scare in the dorms that led to a resident being taken to the hospital on a stretcher. Admissions staff, concerned about… Continue reading Admissions staff conceal copies of student newspapers after front page story about hazmat incident

For second time this session, Arkansas puts more student media protections 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.

UPDATE: Protections for Arkansas student journalists were again expanded this year after amendments to the 1995 Student Publications Act were signed by the governor. HB1432, now Act 912, was signed by Gov. Asa Hutchinson during the week of April 8 and makes several incremental changes to the decades-old law. The law now covers all school-sponsored… Continue reading For second time this session, Arkansas puts more student media protections into law

In the midst of a student body presidential campaign, police are investigating trashed student newspapers

A copy of the Rocky Mountain Collegian in a recycling bin at Colorado State University. Photo courtesy of Haley Candelario.

COLORADO — About 1,000 copies of the Rocky Mountain Collegian went missing April 9, and fingers are being pointed at a team running for student leadership who were the subject of a critical article published the day before the thefts. The Collegian ran a story in its Monday edition that examined campaign spending discrepancies by… Continue reading In the midst of a student body presidential campaign, police are investigating trashed student newspapers

Ask SPLC: What can private school students do when they’re censored?

Q: Do private school students have any recourse when their free speech rights are stripped? A: Options for fighting private school censorship can vary significantly from school to school. As you are probably already aware, you don't have First Amendment protection from censorship in private schools, so you have to look elsewhere. Reminder: The First Amendment only protects… Continue reading Ask SPLC: What can private school students do when they’re censored?

U. Arizona student media facing uncertainty after being told to vacate offices

The University of Arizona student radio station will have to abandon two newly-built recording studios under a plan that would move student media out of their offices. Credit: Robby Leaño/KAMP Radio

ARIZONA — Student media are looking for a new home at the University of Arizona, Tucson. In late 2018, university officials told student media leaders through their adviser they would likely not need to move as the school looks to find space for a new international student center. They reversed course at the beginning of… Continue reading U. Arizona student media facing uncertainty after being told to vacate offices

‘Go take pictures of birds’: Firefighter tells student reporters to beat it, refuses to give identification

Emergency vehicles outside the health center at El Camino College outside Los Angeles. Student journalists were told to "go take pictures of birds" and were threatened with arrest while trying to report on the scene. Credit: Rosemary Montalvo / The Union

CALIFORNIA — A Los Angeles county firefighter threatened student reporters with arrest and repeatedly rebuffed them while they were trying to gather information on emergency crews on campus, according to the journalists. Emergency crews, including police and an ambulance, appeared to be responding to a medical incident at the college’s student health center. A man… Continue reading ‘Go take pictures of birds’: Firefighter tells student reporters to beat it, refuses to give identification

There are still plenty of summer journalism internships left — but don’t wait to apply

Every month, the Student Press Law Center makes a list of paid journalism internships. It’s not too late to apply for a great summer internship at premier outlets like American Public Media, The Daily Beast, The Nation and major broadcasters. Did we miss any? Send an email to SPLC reporter Cory Dawson to get internship… Continue reading There are still plenty of summer journalism internships left — but don’t wait to apply

Citing too many leftover copies, officials cut a Utah student newspaper’s budget. Student journalists feel targeted.

Caption: Recent copies of the Dixie Sun News on a newsstand. After a year of tough coverage of the campus by student journalists and a fight over what constitutes an open meeting, campus officials cut Sun's budget. Officials say the cut was due to too many leftover papers. Credit: Rhiannon Bent, adviser to the Dixie Sun News.

UTAH — The newspaper at Dixie State University in Utah just lost a quarter of its student fee funding; editors say they’re being targeted, but the student government and administration say it’s to curb paper waste. The university’s board of trustees made the cut on March 22 at the recommendation of a student government committee… Continue reading Citing too many leftover copies, officials cut a Utah student newspaper’s budget. Student journalists feel targeted.

Ask SPLC: Can we use the title of a show as a headline or yearbook theme?

Q. We want to use soap opera titles, such as "Days of our Lives," to head our yearbook sections. Any problems? A.  This question has many popular variants. For example, can we use book titles (Dr. Seuss's "Oh, the Places You'll Go" is a perennial favorite) as our yearbook theme? Can we use movie titles… Continue reading Ask SPLC: Can we use the title of a show as a headline or yearbook theme?