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As college publications fight to stay independent of their administrations, newsrooms are banding together to #SaveStudentNewsrooms

(04/23/18 2:55pm)

Save Student Newsrooms calls on student-run publications to run editorials that highlight the need for student media on April 25 — the unofficial Support Student Journalism Day. They also ask alumni of student newsrooms to share their experiences with student media and to consider donating to their student paper. 

At UCSD, the remedy for bad speech is ... no speech?

(03/01/10 3:41pm)

The SPLC's Adam Goldstein, in his debut blog on the Huffington Post's new collegiate media site, offers a provocative take on why the University of California-San Diego may be violating the First Amendment in its response to the racially offensive remarks of a few judgment-impaired campus agitators. Staff members of The Koala -- a no-holds-barred humor publication that perennially pushes the boundaries of good taste -- exacerbated campus tensions over some fraternity jokesters' racially themed cookout, by making sport of the controversy (including, reportedly, using the n-word) during a campus television broadcast. In response, the president of UCSD's student government, in an action ratified last week by  the Student Senate, impounded funding for all student media -- impacting some 30 media outlets, most entirely unconnected with The Koala -- to compel their editors to agree to a civil-speech code as a condition for continued funding. On Friday, University of California President Mark G.

"Timberland High School" becomes a national punchline. But there's nothing funny about hurting kids.

(03/29/10 1:30pm)

When high school administrators confiscate student newspapers or force students to change what they've written, the explanation is almost invariably some variety of, "You're making the school look bad." But at Missouri's Timberland High School, the most talented muckraker could not dredge up a bucket of sleaze muddying the school's reputation more than its own administrators have. First, the school massively overreacted and stripped the staff of the Wolf's Howl newspaper of their long-standing editorial independence over, of all things, the editors' decision to accept a local church's ad encouraging girls not to have abortions. Then, the school confiscated and refused to distribute an issue of the newspaper that violated Principal Winston Rogers' "zero tolerance for tattoos" policy -- because of a postage-stamp-sized image of a student's breast-cancer ribbon tattoo, memorializing a cherished friend.

An award no school should celebrate - Jefferson Center Muzzles "honor" a year of unnecessary censorship

(04/13/10 4:33pm)

To celebrate its namesake’s birthday, the Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression at the University of Virginia today released the names of the recipients of the 2010 Jefferson Muzzles, a dubious "honor” awarded to those who have inhibited free speech and expression during the past year. Two of the Center's “honorees” limited student speech in public schools.

These tattoos rub off. The stain of censorship won't.

(04/15/10 2:42pm)

On Friday, hundreds of the brightest young people from across America will lend their cheeks and their forearms to send a message to the censors back in Wentzville, Missouri, that they aren't fooling anyone. Friday is "Timberland Tattoo Solidarity Day" at the National High School Journalism Convention in Portland, Oregon -- an event we hope is the last of its kind.

Saving education coverage - here's one solution that costs nothing, except trust

(06/22/10 8:48pm)

One-point-four percent. That is how much of their time and space leading news organizations are devoting to education coverage, according to scholars at The Brookings Institution who've studied how the decline in staffing at mainstream media outlets is impacting both the quantity and the quality of school news. The Brookings study, "Invisible: 1.4 Percent Coverage for Education is Not Enough," was released in December 2009 by a team headed by Darrell M.

Could funeral protesters' case give colleges greater authority over "offensive" speech?

(07/15/10 10:17pm)

On the surface, it does not appear that college students would have much at stake in a court case arising out of the attention-grabbing antics of Kansas clergyman Fred Phelps, whose repugnant anti-gay protests outside the funerals of American soldiers got him sued by the family of a slain Marine. But a coalition of free-speech advocates is telling the U.S.

Groups challenge Massachusetts 'harmful to minors' Internet speech law

(07/17/10 7:01am)

A coalition of free speech groups, publishers and booksellers filed suit July 13 against the State of Massachusetts to block enforcement of a law that would fine and/or imprison for up to ten years anyone who operates a Web site or transmits through e-mail, instant message, text message and other forms of online communication nudity or sexually related material deemed harmful to minors. Massachusetts’ attempt to craft such a law is the latest in a long line of efforts by  states and the federal government to punish those who post “harmful” material online.