Yearbooks are an essential platform for student journalists. They allow students to capture what life is like both in their school and in the world around them, which is important now more than ever given so many challenging national and global circumstances. The Student Press Law Center has created a number of resources to help support yearbook students, make sure you understand your rights, answer your top media law questions and provide help if you face censorship.
Your Top Yearbook Questions, Answered
- Can we use a student’s preferred name?
- Can we be required to cover certain stories?
- Can we use yearbook photos on social media?
- Can we use TV show titles as themes or headlines?
- Can we limit advertiser’s content?
- Can we use unpublished photos of a student who graduated?
What About Self-Censorship?
Have you ever decided not to pursue a story because you were worried about pushback from your school or community?
Are there stories you wish you could cover but feel you can’t?
You may have self-censored without even realizing it.
Many of the students who share their stories of self-censorship with SPLC indicate that they didn’t know they were engaged in self-censorship at the time. Candace Perkins Bowen, a professor at Kent State and longterm friend of SPLC, created this quiz so you can test your knowledge. Take the quiz, share with your newsroom, and learn how to better identify and resist self-censorship.
More on Yearbook Censorship
- Sara Ward shares her censorship story and tips for other students fighting for student press freedom
- Breaking down yearbook censorship in 2022
- Understanding Yearbook Censorship in the Time of COVID
- Censorship of Arkansas Yearbook gets national media coverage: NPR, AP and Jerry Springer
- SPLC calls on Superintendent at Bigelow High School to reprint censored yearbook pages with an apology
- “We’re documenting history”: How students are reporting, producing and distributing yearbooks during the coronavirus pandemic
- Award-winning media adviser resigns after censorship, conflict with school principal
- You can quote me on that: Yearbook quotes elicit censorship and refund offers
- Teacher suspended after allegedly censoring Trump references in yearbook
- Student suspended over yearbook photo with provocative painting
- What Not to Wear: A Yearbook Edition