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Show your First Amendment passion — and win a cool $2k

(01/13/10 6:01pm)

The Radio Television Digital News Foundation (RTDNF) will award $2,500 in prize money to the students who create the most inspiring and exciting 30-second public service announcement (PSA) showing the importance of the First Amendment's five freedoms — speech, press, religion, assembly and the right to petition — and demonstrating how those freedoms protect us all. The contest is open to both high school and middle school students, with the first place high school winner taking home $2,000 and the first place middle school winner $500.


Haitian earthquake photos available to student media

(01/28/10 11:26am)

We have had several students contact us regarding their use of news media photos to include with their newspaper or yearbook coverage of the Haitian earthquake. As usual, the general rule for using copyrighted material applies: If you didn't take the photo and/or you don't own the copyright to it, you must first obtain permission, which sometimes requires paying for a license.


Defense lawyers' revised strategy may moot subpoena for Medill student journalists' records

(02/11/10 8:52pm)

The showdown over state prosecutors' demands for the news-gathering materials of Northwestern University student journalists may be resolved without confronting the core issue of the students' entitlement to protection under the Illinois reporter shield law. Lawyers for Anthony McKinney, whose conviction in the 1978 shooting death of a Chicago security guard was the subject of the student journalists' investigation, have decided not to rely on three witnesses whose testimony is central to prosecutors' subpoena to the Medill Innocence Project. The Project is part of Northwestern's journalism school, and students enrolled in Prof.





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.



Back to School Checklist: Evaluating your staff’s ‘media-law radar’

(08/31/10 7:13pm)

For better or worse, knowledge of the law continues to be an ever-growing part of the skill set required of all journalists, including students. One fairly quick -- and mostly painless/sometimes entertaining -- way to check how much your students/staff know about media law as they head back to the newsroom is to direct them to the SPLC's Test Your Knowledge of Student Media Law quiz series.


Touching the third rail of school reform -- if teachers are accountable, why not principals?

(09/09/10 12:59pm)

When public school teachers are terrible at their jobs -- when their students consistently fail to learn anything, when they are demeaning or abusive to those under their supervision -- they can be denied pay raises, refused tenure, discharged and (in extreme cases) brought before teacher certification boards and stripped of their licenses.





UNL paper's architecture sex story prompts backlash

(02/10/11 1:05pm)

A Daily Nebraskan article that discusses the sex lives of University of Nebraska-Lincoln architecture students has caused a flurry of controversy for the newspaper. The story, which appeared in the arts and entertainment section, quotes multiple sources by their first names only, with an illustration alongside showing two students having sex on a drafting table.


Student media director’s departure leaves FAU department with ‘zero employees’

(02/14/11 8:00pm)

Student journalists at Florida Atlantic University no longer have a paid adviser to turn to after the student media director’s recent departure left the department with no employees. Former Student Media Director Marti Harvey sent the university a letter of resignation Jan.




#SJW11: Extra! Extra! Read All About It: My girlfriend can draw

(02/23/11 10:56am)

I went to high school in Alaska (fun fact: I graduated the same year as Sarah Palin, whose high school was about a half-hour away). And no, it wasn’t a one-room building lit by seal oil in the bare, frozen tundra; it was a modern, well-funded, well-equipped school of about 1,600. But as I often tell the many young journalists I speak to each year, about the only thing I can remember about what was called the student “newspaper” at my high school — in reality, just a bunch of stapled 8 ½ x 11” pages — was that it once published my girlfriend’s drawings (along with a really cute photo of her). Other hot topics included a photo collage of students’ cars, a story about the French Club fashion show, a quiz about college mascots, essays/poems about being the best you could be, an interview with the school receptionist about, well, being a school receptionist — and maybe some 3- or 4-week-old sports scores. In other words, it could hardly have been more irrelevant to my life and that of my classmates.