Spring 2011

The secret police?

A gray area exists as to whether open records law should be applied to private university law enforcement. A private university may have its own police department with the same arrest powers as any public police department, but in many states it’s at the discretion of the department to release crime records when requests are made. A private university police department may respond to an open records request with the response that as a private institution, it is not governed by state open-records law. Read more

7 tips for covering college sports

Experts give advice on dealing with access to the athletic department Read more

Exclusive? Media, athletic groups await ruling on high school broadcast rights

While press regulations exist at all levels of sports, from professional to college to high school, court battles over media ownership rights and press freedoms continue to arise, particularly at the high school level. Read more

Public campus, private spaces

The increased use of private contractors on college campuses is regularly provoking disagreement over the ability of privatized bookstores, coffee shops and copy centers to declare otherwise-public property off-limits for newsgathering. The issue has become a point of frustration for student journalists who are welcomed as customers in their student role but may be excluded once their cameras come out. Read more

Introspective: Student journalists respond when the news hits close to home

The unique environment of a college campus means young journalists often have to take into account special ethical concerns. And while decisions on exactly how to cover your own newsroom may vary, the consensus seems to be, above all, not to ignore stories because they hit close to home. Read more


Mass theft of newspapers is a consistently reoccurring problem college journalists around the country face. The motive behind each instance is different, but every year thousands of student newspapers are removed from the stands, keeping them out of public hands. Read more

Teachers weigh the risks, benefits of communicating with students online

As school administrators work to reconcile their conduct polices with expanding technology, teachers have started to think twice before posting that rant to their blog or picture to their Facebook profile. Read more

Advisers under pressure

Besides being historical records for their schools, student newspapers and yearbooks serve as educational tools about the First Amendment rights of freedom of speech and press. However, according to some journalism educators, many people within the educational system itself don’t always seem to understand or uphold these rights. Read more

Not just for newspapers

Valedictorians earn the ability to give graduation speeches through their continuous hard work. They get the opportunity to close the high school chapter for their classmates and themselves. And while graduation speeches rarely cause riots or uproars, that hasn’t stopped some administrators from censoring, or even rewriting, the speeches. Read more

Hazelwood goes to college

Though the Supreme Court has never done so, a growing number of lower courts are applying the restrictive high school censorship standard to higher education Read more

SPLC working to promote, engage and inform

In recent months, the SPLC has helped turn the tide with timely intervention on several occasions when policymakers failed to consider the impact of their decisions on the way students gather and report news. Read more

Using lobbyist disclosure records

Right up there with insurance companies, drug manufacturers and utilities, colleges and universities are big players on Capitol Hill and in state capitols across the country. Colleges spend many millions hiring lobbyists to secure grants, to obtain relief from regulations, and to otherwise influence public policy. Federal law, as well as the law in many states, requires those who hire lobbyists to disclose who they hired, what they paid, and what legislation they tried to impact. Read more