Winter 2010-11

Howard Univ. helps SPLC tap volunteer power

Over the past semester, the Student Press Law Center has benefited from the public-relations advice of a remarkably savvy team of Howard University students. As a “client” of the Howard CapComm laboratory program, the SPLC went through a thorough re-examination of how we communicate our message to our core audience and to the larger world. Read more

On their payroll

Everyone likes getting paid. But what happens when the people you’re supposed to cover are signing your checks? Read more

Breaking away: Going independent brings financial freedom, but may also cause growing pains

Some see financial independence as the holy grail of student media, freeing editors from control or pressure from college administrators. But as appealing as the prospect sounds, getting there is not always easy. Read more

The changing face of radio

Several colleges recently began evaluating the longevity and practicality of student radio, prompting some to consider selling off their ability to broadcast over the air. Read more

Journalism beyond the classroom

Since the release of the 1974 Commission of Inquiry into High School Journalism report Captive Voices— which brought to light the issues of censorship and under-representation of minorities in high school papers— organizations have cropped up across the country with aims of correcting these shortcomings while teaching students about the importance of journalism. Read more

The state of cyberbullying

Widely publicized suicides have once again shed light on the harm that bullying, especially with help from the Internet, can cause. But as schools and legislatures across the country update laws, or pass new ones, that attempt to regulate “cyberbullying,” freedom of speech advocates worry students’ rights could be in jeopardy. Read more

Online comments create more opportunity for discussion, but may also generate new legal concerns

Reader comment boards invite a cornucopia of opinions, from the well-informed to the ignorant. Student media publish in a campus echo chamber, where rumors can spread virally. Read more

Principals, advisers and students face misconceptions about who 'owns' student work

The debate over who owns a photo — the school or the student who took it — is one that comes up time and time again. Read more

Lens flare: Photographing law enforcement can create confusion for both police and student journalists

A James Madison University student journalist’s run-in with the law is only one of the many photographers around the nation — amateur and professional — are confronting. Read more

Journalists struggle with one of the most powerful, least transparent groups on campus: student government

The media’s role of covering government — from exposing scandal to highlighting when they get it right — is so well-accepted, the media is often called “the fourth estate.” However, lack of clear legal guidance can hinder that same check at the college and high school levels. While student governments have been found to fall under open-records laws in some states, many of these bodies evade mandatory scrutiny, despite having some of the same decision-making, money-moving powers as their adult-world counterparts. Read more

Work for hire? A guide to the legal issues involved when student journalists become ‘employees’

Each day throughout the country, thousands of college students show up for work at the newsroom or the broadcast station. Read more

Using student loan repayment rates

In the 2009-10 school year, students took on $106 billion worth of loans to cover the cost of college, a record-high amount. And the average student who borrows and earns a bachelor’s degree at a public school now graduates owing nearly $20,000. Despite a Read more