New Voices brings First Amendment issue to New Jersey

Student press rights topic at NJ statehouse

Holly Johnson and Tom McHale’s compelling essay first appeared in New Jersey as a guest column in the Times of Trenton.

Frank LoMonte, executive director of the Student Press Law Center, aptly called it “inspiring” and said it “resoundingly sets forth the challenges that students and advisers are facing up against  by image-obsessed institutions and howstate legislation can make all the difference.

Johnson and McHale remind us that legislation protecting free high school and college presses involves protecting First Amendment rights—and the rights of students to grow and learn as independent thinkers and decision-makers.

The authors write, in part: “When administrators act as editors, speech is chilled; students learn to self-censor rather than exercise their constitutional rights responsibly.

The result? Students lose an opportunity to develop into the ethical, inquisitive citizens their administrators had hoped to nurture.”

The Student Press Law Center offers guides that can help advisers navigate what can be, as the center notes, “a tightrope.”

Among the many resources on the SPLC website are these guides:

  • SPLC tip sheet for student media advisers — A guide to fighting (and surviving) censorship.
  • Student media advisers and the law — A legal help guide for surviving what is often the toughest job in school.
  • Also advocating for free speech rights for students is New Voices USA, a group of students, educators and professionals from around the country working to protect student speech rights through legislation. Here is a link to New Voices USA and the New Voices Campaign: New Voices USA | Facebook

Want to develop better news consumers and citizens? Protect student journalism

New Voices aim: expand protection in New Jersey 

By Holly Johnson and Tom McHale

Journalism’s first obligation is to the truth, but these days we see legitimate news organizations being called liars on the one hand, and shadowy organizations spreading fake news stories on the other. We need a generation of citizens with a heightened aptitude for telling the difference between fact and fiction. Our democracy depends on it, and those of us who teach journalism to the next generation are doing all we can to ensure our students have that capacity. Our lessons emphasize research, fact checking, ethics and professionalism.

Student journalists who are trusted to make editorial decisions about what their readers need and want to know, and how best to handle controversial topics, develop a capacity to communicate effectively and to think critically. They foster a culture of civic discourse amongst their peers.

Unfortunately, many administrators, worried about the image of their school, have opted to exert editorial control over student newspapers. While their intentions may be good–to cast the school in the most favorable light, to ensure students don’t read about topics that may seem too sensitive for some–the results are often calamitous for all involved. The pedagogical process is undermined, and the administrators open themselves up to criticism from all quarters.

Continue reading Want to develop better news consumers and citizens? Protect student journalism

From Writing for the College Newspaper to Multi-Media Journalism

Originally titled “Writing for the College Newspaper,” a Harford Community College class has transformed to “Multimedia Journalism.” (Photo:Stephen Smith)

The Evolution of a Classroom Approach to MC 208

By Claudia Brown
Harford Community College


In nearly 15 years of teaching at the college level, I have developed a successful formula for most of my classes that may be adjusted based on the student population, current events and a variety of other factors. However, MC 208, a class I began teaching in 2010 at Harford Community College, near Bel Air, Maryland, has proven the exception.

I have taught this course 10 different ways and plan for a new approach next semester.

Changing trends in the field have mandated these modifications, which have proven successful with students and led to national recognition for our college’s publication.

I started teaching MC 208: Writing for the College Newspaper in the spring semester of 2010. I had just taken over the position of newspaper adviser to “The Harford Owl,” a monthly newspaper at Harford Community College. Students wrote articles, took photos and sketched out newspaper design on paper. About half of the newspaper’s content was generated by faculty and staff contributions and the other half produced by students with the adviser/course professor writing headlines, taking photos and designing the publication in InDesign.

Continue reading From Writing for the College Newspaper to Multi-Media Journalism

Diversity includes recruiting and retaining a diverse staff

Covering stories of interest, relevance to diverse readers, viewers builds an audience

Including multiple voices on college and professional media staffs and the stories they cover should be part of a commitment to diversity.

As college media look to increase diversity in their staffs and cover diverse stories with accuracy and balance,

look to Readings and Resources page on the CMA Diversity Summit website and www.diversitystyleguide.com, edited by Rachele Kanigel, immediate past president of the College Media Association.

The style guide website notes it is a project of the Center for Integration and Improvement of Journalism, based at the Journalism Department at San Francisco State University, and says, in part: “The center’s mission is to make journalism more inclusive from the classroom to the newsroom. An earlier version of The Diversity Style Guide was produced in the 1990s by CIIJ’s News Watch Program with help from many journalism organizations.”

The website includes the updated Diversity Style Guide, as well as several others:

From CMR Editor

Maintaining a science writing program

Forest of barren trees. (Public Domain, Creative Commons)

Environmental journalism training ebbs and flows with political fortunes

By Carol Terrracina Hartman
CMR Co-Managing Editor

A professional myth pervades the field of environmental journalism, but likely has some basis in fact: when a Democrat holds the White House, the jobs for environmental journalists evaporate: here come the pink slips. But when a Republican has the White House, it’s major job creation: every media outlet staffs up on environmental and science writers.

The unspoken perception is that the environment is a partisan issue and therefore safe to ignore at certain times, thus requiring less reporting. What that says for journalists, is that it becomes harder to report and publish on environmental issues because editors and media outlets perceive that the environment is “safe”: a crisis can’t occur.

Ethical issues aside, where does that leave undergraduate science writing programs? If opportunity to report potentially ebbs and flows every four years, how do professors plan curriculum and attract students to the programs?

A panel hosted at the Society of Environmental Journalists conference in Sacramento September 2016, addressed the best practices for teaching science and environmental reporting. A common theme emerged among the speakers: interdisciplinary approach.

Continue reading Maintaining a science writing program

Campus media focuses on political changes

College views on transition of power

Editor’s Note: This is the second set of links College Media Review is publishing related to Donald Trump’s inauguration, the women’s march, and visits college journalists had with professional journalists while in Washington, D.C. Also included are links from college.usatoday.com to inauguration coverage, including voices from college Republicans  explaining why they voted for Donald Trump.

Jan 22, 2017 – Voices: I’m a college journalist who covered Trump’s inauguration. Here’s what I saw. … Related: College students share why they went to Trump’s inauguration … (Photo: Sophia Tulp for USA TODAY College). Protestors …

Jan 20, 2017 – 20, 2017, before the presidential inauguration of Donald Trump. … Sophia Tulp is an Ithaca College student and a USA TODAY College digital producer. … Voices: I’m a college journalist who covered Trump’s inauguration.

Jan 20, 2017 – “We have to hold Trump accountable and actually stay engaged.” … We talked to CollegeRepublicans at Trump’s inauguration — here’s what they said. By Aileen …. This article comes from TheUSA TODAY College Contributor network. ….. Voices: I’m a college journalist who covered Trump’s inauguration.

Quick Links — College media takes on national focus

College media cover inauguration of new president, march and protests

College Media Review put out a call for student coverage of the presidential inauguration of Donald Trump as well as the Women’s March on Washington.

And college media advisers and student journalists responded.

We are pleased to present the following links from The Owl and Baylor Lariet student newspaper as well as the WNYU radio station.

From The Owl student newspaper at Doane University:

From The Baylor Lariat

From WNYU, New York University’s student-run radio station:


If other college media covered the historic events and would like to share coverage with CMR, please e-mail links to Debra Chandler Landis, CMR editor, at dland2@uis.edu

 

Making the most of milestones for college media

The Pioneer turns 60; alumni reflect on changes

By Carolyn Schurr Levin and Maxime Devillaz
Long Island University

Sixty years doesn’t make The Pioneer the oldest college newspaper. Not even close.

The Dartmouth was founded in 1799, and The Miami Student in 1826. In 1871, The Bowdoin Orient debuted, and two years later, in 1873, The Harvard Crimson began publishing.

But the challenges, obstacles, and successes faced by The Pioneer, the student newspaper of the LIU Post campus of Long Island University, over 60 years are emblematic of enduring college newspapers, no matter their age. Continue reading Making the most of milestones for college media

Research – Don’t Press the Panic Button Yet

An Analysis of Federal Student Press Law Cases at the University Level

By David R. Wheeler
The University of Tampa

Although some student press advocates are concerned about recent decisions curtailing the speech and press rights of college students, First Amendment protections for postsecondary school students are on much firmer footing than are protections for K-12 students.

The 1960 and 1970s: Students and Editorial Control

The birth of college press freedom began even before Tinker, when an Alabama federal district court in 1967 ruled in favor of a student editor in Dickey v. Alabama State Board of Education.  In Dickey, a disagreement over content in the student newspaper resulted in student editor Gary Dickey’s suspension from Troy State University.[1]  Dickey wrote an editorial commenting on the governor and state legislature’s insistence that no articles be published that were critical of them.  The president of the university, Dr. Frank Rose, disagreed with this policy, and Dickey wanted to write an article supporting the president.  As the court noted:

It is without controversy in this case that the basis for the denial of Dickey’s right to publish his editorial supporting Dr. Rose was a rule that had been invoked at Troy State College to the effect that there could be no editorials written in the school paper which were critical of the Governor of the State of Alabama or the Alabama Legislature. The rule did not prohibit editorials or articles of a laudatory nature concerning the Governor or the Legislature.[2]

Dickey was told by his adviser that he could not publish the column.  Instead, Dickey decided to run a blank space in place of the article with the word “censored.”  For this action, Dickey was suspended, and he subsequently took his case to federal court, claiming a violation of his First Amendment rights.  In ordering that Dickey be allowed to return to the school, the district court judge said: Continue reading Research – Don’t Press the Panic Button Yet

CMR Extra — Quick Links

Heartening news about quality journalism as a business model—and how print and broadcast media can team for investigative ‘solutions reporting’

CMR_arrow26_CMR_SiteIconGrayQuality journalism is a “viable business model,” according to Washington Post publisher Fred Ryan. In a memo sent to Post employees earlier this month, Ryan cited increasing digital ad revenue and subscriptions as among the examples, and said the Post planned to hire more staff in 2017.

Continue reading CMR Extra — Quick Links