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Civics teachers agree: Students need training in gathering and distributing news

(01/16/14 5:45pm)

Journalism education: It's not just for journalists, anymore. That could've been the headline on a newly released study from our friends at Tufts University, whose research continues cementing the connection between healthy news-consumption habits and participatory citizenship. In a report just posted by Tufts' Civic Youth project, researcher Kei Kawashima-Ginsberg finds almost unanimous agreement among high school civics educators that, to be well-prepared for adult life, students need the ability to gather and produce credible information -- the skill set we're accustomed to calling "journalism." Encouragingly, the vast majority of survey respondents said they commonly assign reading news articles as part of civics curriculum.

Kansas Regents are backpedaling on controlling employees' off-campus online lives. Why should they even want to try?

(01/02/14 11:37am)

I've got a column on today's Inside Higher Ed that looks from a constitutional-law perspective at how badly the Kansas Board of Regents overreached in trying to make just about anything an employee says on the Internet grounds for disciplinary action, including firing. As I explain in the essay, the Supreme Court made what should have been understood as a minor exception to the First Amendment in a 2006 case called Garcetti v.

Public records in CNN investigation show many college athletes read well below college literacy levels

(01/07/14 7:00pm)

Sara Ganim, the reporter who helped break the Jerry Sandusky story at Penn State, has a new story today looking at the literacy of college athletes at public schools around the country. It's an easy story for student journalists to localize through records requests of their own. Ganim targeted public schools that are subject to open records laws and asked for athletes' SAT and ACT entrance exams.

Grant will help Otterbein student journalists challenge limited access to campus police records

(01/10/14 12:40pm)

A year ago, Jordan Bradley detailed in the SPLC Report how student journalists at Otterbein University have had difficulty gaining access to campus police reports. The troubles started in 2011, when the Ohio school's security team was converted into a commissioned police force, said Hillary Warren, who advises The Tan & Cardinal. Then, campus police began responding to incidents that city police once handled. At first, campus police didn't release any records, even those required under the Jeanne Clery Act, Warren told us.