Suit alleges school snoop-cams peeped into students’ bedrooms

Things in the Lower Merion School District just keep getting creepier.The Philidelphia Inquirer reported today that the webcams installed in laptops school-issued at Lower Merion High School in Pennsylvania secretly captured thousands of images—including students' website history and online chat excerpts.But it doesn't stop there: the cameras also took photos of students in their bedrooms while they were asleep or undressing, according to a new motion filed in a suit against the school district yesterday by the parents of sophomore Blake Robbins of Harriton High School.The motion states the webcam took multiple photos of Robbins in bed as he slept.

UWIRE makes a comeback

UWIRE has started the climb back to the top of college content-sharing services. After abruptly disappearing six months ago, the Web site plans to re-launch tomorrow (April 1).“Our main focus to start with is to get back to the core of the business, which is the wire service, to really have the best content available and slowly grow outward from that into other areas,” said Tom Orr, UWIRE supervisor and general manager of, UWIRE’s partner site.UWIRE is an online wire service founded in 1994 that aggregates college newspaper content to share with college and professional news organizations.While the reasons for UWIRE’s departure are kept under wraps, CEO Joe Weasel said on that the hiatus resulted from a "directional change" involving Palestra partner Fox “that happened rather quickly and it happened in such a way that we were left with very few options…”By decreasing the costs to run the business, keeping its 800 members and planning to start new partnerships, Orr said UWIRE is positioning itself to be back in the lead of the college content-sharing market.“We really do regret what happened and how it happened, but ultimately I think it helped us make the changes that we needed to make to be a better company today,” Orr said.To read more about how content-sharing organizations like UWIRE, the College News Network, and the Huffington Post College could affect college journalism, check out the upcoming Spring 2010 issue of the SPLC Report magazine.

Illinois prosecutors’ subpoena to student journalists smacks of harassment

It is hard to know where to start in describing what is wrong with the Cook County, Illinois, district attorney’s attempt to compel disclosure of student records underlying investigative journalistic work by students at Northwestern University.The dispute between Northwestern’s Innocence Project and State's Attorney Anita Alvarez was well-explored in a recent New York Times article, reflecting the national attention that the case is properly receiving.It is of course troubling that the government is arguing, wrongly, that the journalism students investigating the murder case against Anthony McKinney are not “real” journalists protected by Illinois’ shield law.The purpose of shield laws is to protect the integrity of the newsgathering process.