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Fools, wills and quotes: credibility disasters

Posted by on Mar 17, 2019 in Blog, News, Scholastic Journalism, Teaching | 0 comments

by John Bowen, MJE
It’s that time of year.

Senior quotes. senior wills and April fools sometimes can be considered the three Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

They  have minimal journalistic value and can quickly damage a staff’s –– and a school’s –– reputation and credibility.

What’s a good media staff to do?

The decision is even more difficult if it involves adamant seniors who demand such humor for their yearbook. Or, if for some reason there’s always been one. Tradition is a powerful wall to breach. With April Fools, some media missions call for entertainment. So, why not?

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‘Hardly any confidence’

Posted by on Mar 10, 2019 in Blog, News, Scholastic Journalism, Teaching | 0 comments

Scholastic journalists must seize the opportunity to improve confidence in media

by CyndiCrothers-Hyatt
A recent national poll conducted by the Columbia Journalism Review asked Americans about their confidence in the press. It’s no surprise that in our country’s current climate there is a level of distrust of the media among Americans.

But the results were shocking. Not only is there mistrust but the level is staggering and mind-blowing.

The poll asked about confidence in seven institutions:  military, law enforcement, universities, the Supreme Court, the Executive Branch, the press and Congress. The group that scored the highest in the “hardly any confidence at all” category?

The press.

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Students in the forefront

Posted by on Feb 24, 2019 in Blog, Law and Ethics, News, Scholastic Journalism, Teaching | 0 comments

Students who can name one of the five freedoms in the First Amendment earn an appropriate t-shirt from Mary Beth and John Tinker. Represented on stage were Florida, Texas and Iowa. (photo by Candace Bowen)

by Candace Bowen  Third in a series
When anyone tells Mary Beth Tinker that students are the future, she firmly but politely corrects them: “No, they’re the present.”

If the students participating in the #Tinkerversary events this week are typical – and it would seem they are –, the present is in good hands.

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Now things are different in Des Moines

Posted by on Feb 21, 2019 in Blog, Law and Ethics, News, Scholastic Journalism | 0 comments

John Tinker signs a black armband for two Callanan Middle School students. They told he and Mary Beth about causes that mattered to them. (photo by Candace Bowen)

by Candace Bowen Second in a series

Des Moines schools, how you have changed since early winter 1965.

That’s when a high school principal got wind of a pending Vietnam War protest – reportedly when his school’s newspaper adviser showed him a story about it for the next issue. He and his fellow principals decided suspensions would be the punishment for anyone who did this.

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SPRC has wealth of information to share

Posted by on Feb 10, 2019 in Blog, News, Scholastic Journalism, Teaching | 0 comments

by John Bowen, MJE
It seems advisers and students nationwide face more questions recently about law and ethics. Questions have dealt with unnamed sources, takedown requests and yearbook ethics among others.

We assist our followers with more than  resources and examples.

While our team at the Scholastic Press Rights Committee respond quickly and authoritatively we, as our first step, urge you to contact the SPLC first for all legal questions. Outside that, SPRC members will do as much as we can on questions.

Our information sharing starts with the Panic Button:

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Let’s celebrate a #tinkerversary

Posted by on Feb 4, 2019 in Blog, News, Scholastic Journalism, Teaching | 0 comments

by Candace Bowen, MJE
First of a series
“I had no idea our small action would lead to something so consequential,” Mary Beth Tinker told Smithsonian.com recently.

Now, 50 years after the Supreme Court ruled in Tinker v. Des Moines students and teachers don’t “shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate,” it’s clear Mary Beth, her brother John and Chris Eckhardt have made a difference in the voices of students for generations.

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