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July 2017 Podcast: Raise Your Voice with Chris Evans

Vermont passed one of the strongest student press freedom bills in the nation this year, and University of Vermont journalism adviser Chris Evans led the 2017 campaign. This month, SPLC Executive Director Frank LoMonte sits down with Evans to provide a behind-the-scenes look at the successful push for a New Voices law in Vermont, the impact of student involvement and advice for advocates across the country looking to Cure Hazelwood in their own states.

June 2017 Podcast: That Sinking Feeling with Dash Shaw

"The world's a barren and horrible place, isn't it? These kids are the only hope left." 

That's the opening line in the theatrical trailer for the animated movie "My Entire High School Sinking Into the Sea." The mixed media film hailed as “John Hughes for the Adult Swim generation” follows a team of muckraking high school journalists at Tides High who discover that a faculty cover-up has put the entire school in danger.

This month, Executive Director Frank LoMonte speaks with the film's director, Dash Shaw. 

May 2017 Podcast: Use Your Active Voice with Genelle Belmas

The launch of SPLC's Active Voice Fellowship was informed by research emerging from the University of Kansas. Genelle Belmas and Piotr Bobkowski surveyed 461 high school journalists and found that both direct censorship by administrators and self-censorship were endemic among student journalists.

The shock came with the disparity between genders – 41% of girls reported having been told not to cover a given topic compared to 28% of boys. Additionally, 53% of girls said they refrained from writing a story in anticipation of pushback, compared to 27% of boys.

Now, the pair have a new research article published in the journal Girlhood Studies, "Mixed Media Messages: Girls' Voices and Civic Engagement in Student Journalism." This month, SPLC Executive Director Frank LoMonte has Genelle Belmas on the podcast to dig into the findings of their survey – and the consequences for young women, media, and democratic society.

March 2017 Podcast: Protecting College Media as a "Tailored Public Forum" with Nicole Comparato

In 1988, Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier drastically curtailed the free press rights of K-12 students, but the decision didn't address collegiate press and has since been applied inconsistently to journalists in the post-secondary setting. This month, Executive Director Frank LoMonte interviews Nicole Comparato, the Editor-in-Chief of the University of Miami Law Review. Comparato proposed a better-defined public forum category for college press in her article for the UM Law Review, "Combatting Institutional Censorship of College Journalists: The Need for a 'Tailored Public Forum' Category to Best Protect Subsidized Student Newspapers."

February 2017 Podcast: Taking the Temperature of Student Journalism

As a student at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, Simon Galperin decided to look backward – to his journalism education at Rutgers University in New Jersey, where he co-founded Muckgers, an independent investigative and storytelling outlet covering the university. Seeking to gauge the strength and nature of the college journalism ecosystem, he conducted a survey of student news organizations at public and private universities throughout the Garden State.

January 2017 Podcast: Kentucky Kernel editor-in-chief Marjorie Kirk breaks down the Title IX records lawsuit

In an unprecedented move, the University of Kentucky filed a lawsuit last year against its independent student newspaper, the Kentucky Kernel. The reason – the paper had requested investigatory documents related to sexual assault charges levied against an associate professor. The university refused to release the records, and the Kernel appealed to the state attorney general in April. When Attorney General Andy Beshear ruled the university must release the records, the school had two options: release the records in accordance with the order, or sue.

December 2016 Podcast: Threats to Student Media — A Special Report

This year, the Student Press Law joined forces with the American Association of University Professors, the College Media Association, and the the National Coalition Against Censorship to put together a report on the climate for scholastic journalism around the country. The report, Threats to the Independence of Student Media, highlights the nature and magnitude of free expression threats faced by high school and college media. This month Hank Reichman, chair of the AAUP’s Committee on Academic Freedom and Tenure, joins Frank LoMonte to discuss the impact and implications of the new report.

November 2016 Podcast: Called Out – The Daily Tar Heel Sues UNC over sexual assault records

For the independent student newspaper at the University of North Carolina, the Daily Tar Heel, standing up to a powerful institution is old news. Class after class, the Tar Heel's student reporters have stood as tireless watchdogs, standing in opposition to their administration on numerous occasions. In their latest sortie, three local news organizations have joined forces with the Tar Heel to file a lawsuit against UNC after it refused a records request for any records related to persons found responsible for rape, sexual assault, or sexual misconduct. This month, Executive Director Frank LoMonte interviews the Daily Tar Heel's editor-in-chief, Jane Wester, and general manager, Betsy O'Donovan.

October 2016 Podcast: Meet the OG in the fight for student press freedom

Frank LoMonte:

September 2016 Podcast: Digging for truth in the Treasure State

Montana is known for big skies, skiing, and breathtaking scenery (our Montana-raised Publications Fellow is absolutely not biased whatsoever). Unfortunately, it's now also known for highly questionable policies in dealing with sexual assaults at one of its largest universities, the University of Montana.

The situation at UM came to prominence with the publication of Jon Krakauer's investigative book, "Missoula." Recently, the Montana Supreme Court ruled against Krakauer in his open records lawsuit against the university, and this month, SPLC Executive Director Frank LoMonte discusses the case with Krakauer's Montana attorney, Mike Meloy. 

August 2016 Podcast: Dark money on campus — an award-winning investigation of university investments

Last year, Texas A&M's student newspaper, The Battalion, produced a groundbreaking investigative report that traced their university's foundation investments to conflicts in Sudan and exploitive mining operations in the Democratic Republic of Congo among other human rights tragedies. This month, Frank talks with Texas A&M student and Betty Gage Holland Award-winning Battalion reporter, Spencer Davis, along with incoming editor in chief, Samantha King, about the three-month investigation.

July 2016 Podcast: Why so secret? Shedding light on closed-door presidential searches at public universities


Judith Wilde and James Finkelstein join SPLC for this month's Podcast to discuss the troubling trend of public universities hiring private head-hunting firms to conduct presidential searches in secret. Wilde and Finkelstein, both working from the Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University, recently released the result of their own research breaking down the details of private search firm contracts for high-level executive positions at college and universities across the country.

Frank LoMonte: Hi everyone, and thanks for joining us for another monthly installment of the Student Press Law Center’s Podcast, a rundown on developments in the law affecting the rights of journalists to gather and publish the news.

June 2016 Podcast: When FOIA meets FERPA, a law story

SPLC Director Frank LoMonte speaks with Justin Hemlepp, the attorney representing Knight News, an independent student news outlet at the University of Central Florida, in their FOIA lawsuit against the university.

​New Voices Senate floor debate in Illinois.

New Voices Senate floor debate in Illinois.

May 2016 Podcast: Auditing college's Equity in Athletics disclosure reports

Rachel de Leon, associate producer with Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting and PRX, explains how the CIR's RevealNews.org uncovered exaggerations in colleges' claims about equal athletic opportunities for women, and how reporters can use federal disclosure forms to break stories on their own campuses. 

April 2016 Podcast: Using 990 forms to uncover campus secrets

Marcelo Rochabrun, reporting fellow with ProPublica and former editor-in-chief of the Daily Princetonian, discusses his investigation into the 990 forms of Princeton's eating clubs.  

March 2016 Podcast: Engaging students in democracy and voting

Judge Thomas Jacobs, an expert on juvenile law, discusses his new book, "Every Vote Matters," and why it is so important to inform young people on the legal system and get them engaged in our democracy.

February 2016 Podcast: Livestreaming the intersection between the right to privacy and the right to know

Chip Stewart, a professor and associate dean at the Schieffer School of Journalism at Texas Christian, discusses his research on live streaming apps like Periscope and MeerKat and how they affect the right to privacy and the right to record. 

January 2016 Podcast: The Future of College Media

Chris Carroll, director of student media at Vanderbilt, and Will Drabold, college journalist at Ohio University, speak about the future of college media and the challenges the field is facing.