Homework Zone

Have you been assigned a research paper, presentation or other class project on a media law or other civil rights issue? In The Homework Zone we've collected some of the most helpful online resources for students (and others) related to journalism, education, media law and civil rights, arranged by research topic.

We have tried to be selective and sites are only included here if they have made available significant amounts of substantive resource material without charge. If you are trying to find an organization that does not appear on this page, visit our Links Page.

Good luck with your project!

Student Media Law

If you haven't already done so, visit the SPLC Legal Research section of our Web site where you will find information on a wide variety of student media law issues, including censorship, access to meetings and records, copyright law and libel. Examples of real-life censorship and other student press battles can be found in the SPLC Report magazine and our NewsFlashes

  • Journalism Education Association Press Rights Commission
    In addition to basic information about student press rights, also includes sample publication guidelines, lesson plans for teaching media law and ethics and "CensorXd," a forum for posting material censored from high school publications across the country.

Media Law - General

Student Journalism - General

  • highschooljournalism.org
    Operated by the American Society of Newspaper Editors, this site contains much information about high school journalism in America.

Journalism - General

  • Newseum
    An interactive museum of news located just off The National Mall in Washington, D.C., the Newseum takes visitors behind the scenes to see and experience how and why news is made. Its Web site includes an Education section with helpful teaching tools and other resources.

  • The Poynter Institute
    Poynter is a school for journalists, future journalists and teachers of journalism. Their site includes information explaining what journalists do and how they can do it better.

  • Society of Professional Journalists
    The nation's largest journalism organization, the SPJ Web site includes information about the profession generally, as well as specific information on media ethics, freedom of information law and other journalism topics.

Media Ethics

  • Journalism Ethics Cases Online
    Operated by Indiana University's School of Journalism, this Web site was created for students, teachers, researchers, professional journalists and consumers of news to help them explore ethical issues in journalism. Contains hundreds of cases that raise a variety of ethical problems faced by journalists.

  • The Poynter Institute
    Take a look at the Institute's Media Ethics Tip Sheets for dozens of practical tips/guidelines on media ethics topics.

First Amendment

  • American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
    The ACLU is involved in a variety of civil liberty issues including free speech and the First Amendment.

  • 1forAll
    A national nonpartisan program designed to build understanding and support for First Amendment freedoms.

  • Education for Freedom
    Lesson plans produced by the Freedom Forum's First Amendment Center provide a good starting point for a discussion of the history and purpose of the First Amendment.

Internet Law

  • Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)
    Founded at the "dawn" of the Internet Age in 1990, EFF continues to confront cutting-edge issues defending free speech, privacy, innovation, and consumer rights.

    Other places you might also want to look: The ACLU's Technology and Liberty Project and Peacefire.org, an organization created in August 1996 to represent the interests of people under 18 in the debate over freedom of speech on the Internet with a focus on the debate over blocking software.

Civil Liberties - General

  • American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
    Whether your assigned topic is the death penalty, mandatory drug testing, locker searches, flag burning, lesbian/gay rights, free speech in Cyberspace or any other civil rights issue, the ACLU Web site is a good place to start your research.

  • Freedom Forum Research Packages
    If you need to write a paper on a religious freedom, free speech or a free press issue, the Freedom Forum's research packages can provide you a starting point.