As ambitious college reporters and editors aim to build resumes and do it all on campus, student newspapers must fight to keep conflicts of interest out of their newsrooms.
A press pass is the ticket to successfully covering sports news for any college media outlet. But restrictions attached to passes by athletic conferences have caused concern among journalists.
The First Amendment protects the freedom of the student press at public colleges across the country, but private institutions operate under a different set of rules -- they are not under the same constitutional obligation to allow any type of speech or any freedom of the press on campus. Some student journalists at private colleges have found ways to protect themselves, though.
Students, advisers and administrators engage in confrontations every day about the limits of free speech for student journalists. Students and advisers often must act bravely, putting their reputations and even careers on the line in the name of press freedom. And yet, despite courageous efforts, those involved in conflicts over First Amendment issues rarely receive the attention deserved for their heroism in defending principles of free speech.
In the age of social media, school Internet filters can limit high school journalists.
There are legitimate policy arguments for drafting and applying shield laws with reasonable limitations to guard against their abuse to frustrate justice. But we should be beyond the point where your authenticity as a journalist is defined by who signs your paycheck. Shield laws are about protecting the integrity of the newsgathering process, and unpaid students increasingly work at the heart of that process.
Whether and how to cover suicide cases in a high school publication presents a dilemma. The newsworthiness of such a topic is clear, but the effects of reporting on such an unfortunate event to an age group in the height of self-discovery can be brutal, unlike many other stories in the publication. There is no simple "right" or "wrong" answer to covering suicide.
A confusingly worded federal law has many schools worried about the amount of student information they can legally put on their Web sites.
Lucrative nature of high school sports leads to limitations on news media
Advertisements are an economic necessity for many student newspapers, but when their content is controversial, student editors may wonder whether the revenue is worth the headache.