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August 2018: Reporting on secret hiring of administrators

Hiring processes for university administrators are becoming more secretive and harder to cover. Some state laws allow schools to keep the names of candidates confidential until the very end of the process. This raises concerns about transparency and leaves students, faculty and staff in the dark. This month SPLC reporter Monica Kast talks to student journalists from Kennesaw State's The Sentinel about covering closed searches. 

July 2018: Reporting on sexual assault

Sexual assault is one of the hardest topics to report on, but also one of the most consequential. On this month's podcast, we talk with students and legal experts about how to find and use records to cover this issue.

June 2018: Covering Howardgate

Howard University erupted in turmoil after an anonymous Medium article revealed evidence of a massive, nine-year embezzlement scandal in which six Howard University financial aid employees stole one million dollars through skimming money off student grants. We sat down with the Jazmin Goodwin, the editor-in-chief of Howard’s student paper, The Hilltop to talk about how her staff covered the scandal and resulting protests.

May 2018: SPLC reporters talk about reporting on concussions, sexual assault

Student Press Law Center reporters Gabriel Greschler and Taylor Potter spent the last few months working on two stories detailing the issues student reporters face when covering both sexual assault and concussions. In this month’s podcast, the two talk about their experiences and takeaways from their reporting.

March 2018: Experts share tools and ideas for reporting on DACA

Three experts joined the Student Press Law Center and the Education Writers Association for a webinar on understanding how to report on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA. The Chronicle of Higher Education Senior Writer Katherine Mangan, Education Week staff writer Corey Mitchell and immigration lawyer Dina Francesca Haynes explained some story angles and resources student journalists can use to cover the possible DACA repeal.

February 2018 Podcast: Richard "Dick" Prince on the need for newsroom diversity

We speak with Richard "Dick" Prince about his origins as a reporter, going up against the Washington Post in the 1970s, and why newsrooms need to become more diverse. Prince’s column is at He also writes for

October 2017 Podcast: Freedom of the Press Foundation Executive Director Trevor Timm talks digital security for student journalists

We speak with Trevor Timm, a co-founder and the executive director of the Freedom of the Press Foundation, a nonprofit which works to protect journalists and their sources by offering free, open source digital security tools.

September 2017 Podcast: Outgoing Executive Director Frank LoMonte introduces his successor, Hadar Harris

Frank LoMonte: Hi everyone, and welcome to another monthly installment of the Student Press Law Center’s podcast. The Student Press Law Center is a nonprofit advocate for the rights of young people working in journalism around the country and we help students everywhere get access to the information they need to tell compelling stories and share them across all media. I’m Frank LoMonte and for the last time I get to come to you after nine years of these podcasts as the director of the Student Press Law Center because it is my distinct honor and pleasure to be passing on the baton to a really, really amply qualified successor, one that we’re really incredibly excited about: Hadar Harris, who is joining me today to talk about her plans as the new executive director of the Student Press Law Center. I’m gonna introduce her a little bit but then I’ll turn the mic over to her to tell you more about her background and more about her plans.

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.