Spring 2010

Privacy Protection Act a go-to tool for student editors

When they make you the editor of your college newspaper, one of the things they invariably forget to tell you is what to do when two truckloads of uniformed police officers show up asking to search your newsroom. Read more

SPLC remembers student journalism advocate

Thomas E. Rolnicki, a longtime friend of the Student Press Law Center and a mentor to many of today’s scholastic journalism leaders, passed away on December 20, 2009, at the age of 60. Read more

Their last resort

After 12 solid months of prior review and administrative censorship chipping away at The Statesman, Stevenson High School’s once-award winning student newspaper has become a shell of its former self. Read more

Pushing Policies

NEOLA’s one-size-fits-all restrictions can weaken high school media. Read more

Family Values

When the Lake Central, Ind., school board met to discuss a high school principal’s removal of newspapers from the stands in response to an editorial mildly critical of the former football coach, the board heard a forceful argument in favor of student free-press rights from an unexpected source: Another school administrator. Read more

Reporting of record

It is important for student journalists to familiarize themselves with the essential investigative tool of open-records law. FOI laws provide student journalists with the opportunity to acquire interesting and useful information about public agencies’ practices and policies. Read more

No laughing matter

When a juicy story surfaces, editorial cartoonists nationwide jump to see who can create the most tongue-in-cheek illustration. Recently, three college papers came under fire for printing cartoons critics considered offensive or insensitive. Though the law offers protection for the content of cartoons, it does not protect them from the consequences of controversy. Read more

Naming Names

Local crimes and arrests listed on the police blotter are a matter of public record, public interest and sometimes public entertainment. But blotter entries may be printed without an evaluation by the same discerning eye afforded to other news content. And while the decision to print police blotter information may be fleeting, it can have enduring consequences for the subject. Read more

A voice with no name

With the fear of school disciplinary action in the back of their minds, anonymous speech can be valuable tool for college students critical of their universities. Read more

Different words, one goal

Journalism students around the world work hard to inform their communities and gain practical experience in their chosen field. Editors in Ireland, Canada, South Africa, Singapore and Iraq talk to the Report’s Katie Maloney and share their unique perspectives on what it means to be a student journalist. Read more

Trip abroad offers journalism students chance to test, improve international reporting skills

American journalism students enjoy learning about the media in a country that has relatively strong protections for a free press. But those students interested in experiencing different media systems by exploring international journalism must explore different ways to get that type of first-hand experience. Read more

Learning how to share

College newsrooms, mirroring their professional counterparts, are adopting content sharing agreements at a growing rate. While exchanging articles, columns and photos offers students the opportunity to get their work and bylines in front of a new audience, the ultimate impact of content sharing for student journalism has yet to be seen. Read more

Now that it's online... is it still mine?

Before you publish and share your content online, it is important to understand how your work can and cannot be used on the Internet, and the steps you can take to ensure that you are credited — and maybe even paid — for the work you produce. Read more

Understanding reporter's privilege

Cases involving student journalists present some of the most challenging privilege issues that judges and legislators are facing today. The answers are not always obvious. Deciding what material is privileged means balancing two competing priorities: (1) to protect the ability of journalists to effectively and safely gather news, and (2) to make sure the right people (and only the right people) are caught and punished for crimes. Read more

Using textbook transparency laws

Money is a constant source of concern for college students and the cash handed over to the campus bookstore every month for stacks of textbooks doesn’t help. Fourteen states have laws requiring disclosure of information regarding textbook purchasing — including the prices campus bookstores pay for course materials. Read more