Ineffective protections: A recent court decision has rendered California's private college free-expression law useless, advocates say

First Amendment advocates say a recent California Supreme Court decision not to hear an appeal from a former Occidental College radio host has left a gaping hole in California’s Leonard Law, which affords freedom of expression protection to private college students.

Dangerous minds

Several First Amendment organizations dedicated to protecting student rights recognize that in the Internet age, it is even more important that students understand the possible consequences of their speech. The popularity of social networking sites, including MySpace.com and Facebook.com, is increasing, with MySpace becoming the most visited site on the Internet in July 2006.

Taking the plunge

As media sources increasingly use technology and the Internet to disseminate up-to-the-second information, experts say that student media groups may lead the way. While many student newspapers have online versions of their paper, The Campus Lantern is the first college student media organization to cease print publication and create an online-only daily newspaper, said Consultant Bryan Murley from The Center for Innovation of College Media, a think tank assisting student media in adapting and flourishing in the new media environment.