Posts made in March, 2010

Internet filtering flaws not new, but still worth exploring, then condemning

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A tweet by the Student Press Law Center March 28 highlighted an excellent piece about how Internet filtering harms schools.

The blog by Mitch Wagner of Computerworld suggests Internet filtering is excessive and heavy-handed. Links to other articles linked within Wagner’s suggest Internet filters keep students from accessing legitimate information often required by state-mandated tests.

Even better, other links provide instances where filters kept students away from legitimate information.

Journalism teachers could add their own examples of education being disrupted by Internet filters. Maybe citing these examples on this blog would be a good way to renew efforts to remove filters, at least for journalism programs.

Read, then forward, Wagner’s blog to the powers-that-be in your school system. They need to follow the links to other pieces by Wagner and others showing the real evil of the Internet: filters.

Good reading and an excellent way to start a new month.

Who knows, this reading might kindle a new desire to free students from technology gone wrong that frustrates students and their teachers.

By demonstrating solid reporting and editorial comment on the flaws of Internet filtering, student media could exhibit leadership that could make a difference in educational communities.

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SPJ condemns Wentzville prior review, censorship

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The Society of Professional Journalists this week termed disruptive the Wentzville Board of Education’s use of prior review, censorship and the resulting resignation of a trained adviser.

The letter urged administrators to end prior review of student media.

The comments were part of a letter from SPJ dated March 25 and addressed to board members and administrators. Information about the letter was posted by the SPLC on its blog.

The letter referred to prior review and censorship resulting from articles and photos about tattoos and other newspaper and yearbook content.

“Continuing these restrictions will only cause further damage to a once well-respected student publication,” wrote SPJ President Kevin Smith, “and it will send the message to students that governmental control of the news media is valued over a free press.”

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Puyallup school paper case now in court

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Testimony began this week over a series of stories on oral sex in the Emerald Ridge High School paper, The JagWire, in 2008.

According to an article today in The News Tribune, plaintiffs could seek $16-32 million from the school district.

The district is citing the paper’s public forum status at the time as well as consent to having their names used as defenses. The school has since installed prior review over student media.

Watch this blog and the The News Tribune site for updates and to follow comments.

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Wentzville BOE photos

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These photos were all taken by a student of mine, Kelci Davis, who attended the board meeting.

http://www.facebook.com/?ref=logo#!/album.php?aid=194418&id=594927153&ref=nf

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Media coverage of Wentzville board meeting

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Here are some links to coverage by KSDK, KMOV and the Post-Dispatch. Pretty solid coverage, from the free speech point of view, particularly KSDK

http://www.kmov.com/video/featured-videos/Students-support-teacher-in-censorship-of-article-88521402.html

http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/news/stories.nsf/education/story/92A93A77207257DD862576EB0012F829?OpenDocument

I’ll upload photos to my facebook account and link later today.

http://www.kmov.com/video/featured-videos/Students-support-teacher-in-censorship-of-article-88521402.html

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