Three states have passed significant pieces of legislation this semester affecting public access to government information. Some of these bills have increased access to information for high school and college journalists while others have decreased it.
High school and college journalism advisers in California -- with the help of Sen. Leland Yee (D-San Francisco/San Mateo) -- could soon receive more protection against administrators who are irked by student newspaper content.
Twelve states have laws against cyber-bullying, requiring schools to develop Internet safety programs or policies to control the electronic harassment that many believe is becoming more prevalent. Still, First Amendment advocates and attorneys have expressed concern over the laws' broad definitions of "bullying" and whether schools should get involved in incidents that happen outside school.
High school students and administrators often have very different ideas about what kind of language is appropriate. On school grounds administrators usually have the last word, but questions are being raised when the speech occurs off campus and not on school time.
A penny saved means thousands earned for the Student Press Law Center, thanks to some creative teachers and their energetic students.
It is not unusual to hear stories about administrators in higher education censoring student media; what is strange is when the students ask officials to censor content.
Scholastic journalism lost a loyal and enduring champion with the March 19 passing of Charles O'Malley, a former director of the Columbia Scholastic Press Association. He was 93.
A student paper in New Jersey is unable to print its first issue of the semester because the student government that funds the paper freezes its entire budget. Three editors of the student paper at a private university in Illinois resign when officials tell them they cannot publish controversial content without prior approval. A student paper in Colorado is kept in the dark about a media giant's attempt to buy it. All these events happened this year at colleges where the student papers are still under the watchful eye of the university administration.
Journalism faculty met with Campus Press staffers on April 2 to discuss the possibility of separating the publication from the journalism department. The meeting, which was taped and posted on the Campus Press Web site, quickly became tense as Herdy commented on a lack of faculty support for an independent Campus Press.