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Celebrating Student Press Freedom Day, 50 years of student rights

Posted by on Jan 27, 2019 in Blog, News, Scholastic Journalism, Teaching | 0 comments

Mary Beth Tinker claps her hands while singing a song to high school students in the grand ball room Oct. 1, 2013 at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio. The engagement was part of the Mary Beth Tinker Bus Tour. (Photo by David Dermer)

by Lori Keekley, MJE
SPRC members have been working to amass several resources for you as we kick off our celebration of the Tinker anniversary with Student Press Freedom Day. The goal is to keep celebrating Student Press Freedom Day daily leading up to the 50th anniversary of the Tinker decision.

What’s new
Need a bell ringer? We have 18 days worth of scenarios that span from Student Press Freedom Day to the 50th anniversary of the Tinker decision. These scenarios address real-world situations students face. These scenarios include possible answers to guide discussion and resources for further research.

Podcast
This episode celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Tinker decision. Kent State University Knight Chair Mark Goodman explains the importance of the Tinker decision and high school students share what Tinker means to them. Subscribers can listen here and everyone here.

Student Day of Action lesson
Since it’s the Student Day of Action, we decided to give you a lesson plan to educate students about the Tinker decision and (hopefully) inspire them to action. The lesson includes a video of Mary Beth Tinker discussing the Tinker decision and addresses how students can (and should) take action.

As a culminating part of this lesson, students can write a postcard that will be delivered to Mary Beth Tinker on the 50th Anniversary. (You will need to print these on cardstock and then mail them. Details are in the lesson.)

But that’s not all …

We realized as we were creating content to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Tinker case we have so much relevant material. Here are a few, by category, of lessons, blogs, legal concepts and information concerning creating a staff manual with sections on mission, editorial policy, ethical guidelines and staff manual procedures.

It’s also a great time to revisit SPRC’s Quick Tips, which are more than 90 quick pieces addressing everything from empowering student content decisions to the importance of having editorial policies.

As always, please contact me if you have any suggestions or questions concerning this material or have other ideas for contributions.

Thank you and enjoy the celebration.

Lori Keekley

Collaborators include:
Scenarios: John Bowen, Tom Gayda and Lori Keekley
Lesson: Lori Keekley
Podcast: Kristin Taylor

 

 

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Bringing light to relevant issues, past and present, defines journalistic leadership

Posted by on Jan 2, 2019 in Blog, Law and Ethics, Lessons, News, Scholastic Journalism, Teaching | 0 comments

by John Bowen, MJE
“I’d rather be a hammer than a nail
“Blowing in the Wind
“Find the Cost of Freedom
Ohio
“Where Have All the Flowers Gone

How do these lyrics and titles relate to scholastic journalism?

  • They all came at a time when people questioned the media, its role and its leadership.
  • They all came at a time when citizens and journalists complained of government mis-, dis and censored information.
  • They all came at a time when activism and protest – from multiple viewpoints – clouded not only the truth on timely issues but also many people’s minds.

Sound familiar?

Fifty years ago, The U. S. Supreme Court upheld students wearing of black armbands as protected speech during the Vietnam war. That war also spawned events and issues that continued to bring activists, protestors and media together.

The war brought new levels of violence against expression some called unAmerican. “America, love it or leave it” was a forerunner of today’s “Enemy of the State.”

Such verbiage frustrated citizens who sought the truth about issues: The Pentagon Papers. MyLai 4. Lt. William Calley. May 4, 1970. The impact of drugs.

2018 and 2019 highlight a tumultuous new era with key similarities to the past.

Distrust of government and news media. Who tells the truth? Whom can citizens believe? Who lies?

And the current issues: Availability of guns, health, drugs, the environment, misinformation and lying. Growing amounts of stress in student lives.

Sound familiar?

We began to learn from Mary Beth and John Tinker and others who opened the schoolhouse gates to free expression, social awareness and creation of change. Free speech and press are important.

If we truly believe the social responsibility role of the news media is an essential partner with freedom – at all levels – we will empower student journalists to seek the truth, to dig for the whole story and to always question authority. They then question what authority tells society as the Tinkers and others modeled 50 years ago.

Reporting will add new meaning to journalistic leadership, advocacy and solutions.

Consider, as a New Year’s resolution, expanding your journalistic studies to include current issues as well as their historical perspectives. Content choices include:

And, as we move into 2019, the hammers, not the nails, will bring clearer insight and exert stronger leadership in today’s societal issues.

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Student journalists should heal and transform the world

Posted by on Nov 11, 2018 in Blog, Law and Ethics, News, Scholastic Journalism | 0 comments

JEA president Sarah Nichols, MJE, gives Rachel Simpson, principal of the Convent of the Sacred Heart in San Francisco, her JEA Administrator of the Year award Nov. 3 at the JEA/NSPA convention in Chicago. Here are her comments. Photo by Mike Simons.

JEA Administrator
of the Year, Rachel Simpson

Thanks to the JEA for this award. It is an honor to be here and an extraordinary privilege — and a wonderful surprise, frankly — to be recognized in this way.

Gratitude to everyone in this room for your work motivating student’ voice and student publication. Specifically, in relation to my own school — Convent of the Sacred Heart High School which is a division of Schools of the Sacred Heart  San Francisco — I would like to highlight the excellence of our student journalists and Tracy Sena’s role as their trusted adviser.

I don’t believe the concept of scholastic press freedom would be possible without the trinity of dedicated and ethically minded students, supported by a deeply committed and responsible advisor within a school culture that upholds the empowerment of student voice and agency as a core value.

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We have the responsibility to ensure
administrators see journalism’s values

Posted by on Oct 29, 2018 in Blog, Ethical Issues, News, Quick Tips, Scholastic Journalism, Teaching | 0 comments

In the spirit of Constitution Day, help administrators. know what journalism means to the continuation of America’s democracy:

School administrators can feel tremendous pressure to protect their schools’ reputations, so it’s understandable that they may be wary of supporting a scholastic press where students have final say over all content.

Educating administrators about the value of journalism at the high school level is a crucial step towards empowering student journalists and building a future with more engaged democratic citizens.

If we, as educators and school leaders, want to teach our students the importance of citizenship, we must empower them to be citizens within the school walls. 

If we, as educators and school leaders, want to teach our students the importance of citizenship, we must empower them to be citizens within the school walls.

Administrators can do that by hiring a qualified journalism adviser to teach students the foundations of ethical, responsible journalism, and journalism advisers should encourage ongoing dialogue between student staffs and their school administrators.

Administrators can do that by hiring a qualified journalism adviser to teach students the foundations of ethical, responsible journalism, and journalism advisers should encourage ongoing dialogue between student staffs and their school administrators.

Providing school leaders with a copy of Quill & Scroll’s Principal’s Guide to Scholastic Journalism is a good start, but busy administrators may not find the time to read it.

Journalism advisers and publications staffs should reach out to administrators to engage in face-to-face dialogue about their publication process so school leaders can see the logistics behind selecting, pitching, reporting, editing and publishing content, including how editors handle controversial stories. Students can explain how abstract common core goals come to life in their work as journalists and make a strong case for supporting their publications.

Scholastic journalism provides students with 21st century skills, curiosity about their world and a concrete experience of citizenship. Journalism classes encompass more 21st century skills set out in the Framework for 21st Century Learning than any other high school class, including global awareness, civic literacy, media literacy, collaboration, initiative and self direction, leadership and many more.

Scholastic journalism also connects to a vast number of Common Core goals. Research suggests that students in journalism classes also get better grades in high school, earn higher scores on the ACT and get better grades as college freshmen.

In addition to these positive academic outcomes, scholastic journalism programs led by qualified journalism educators foster responsible civic engagement, as students learn about their First Amendment Rights and become engaged with their school, local, national and global communities.

Student journalists with final say on their own content embrace their roles as democratic citizens who take ownership and are accountable for their decisions. Administrators who support scholastic journalism programs are supporting a future with more engaged democratic citizens 

 

Topic: Administration and scholastic journalism

Guideline:Publication staffs should reach out to school administrators to educate them about the benefits of scholastic journalism and to build trusting relationships. 

Social media post/question:Why should administrators support scholastic journalism?

Stance: Administrators should support scholastic journalism as a tool for building collaborative, creative and civically engaged citizens.

Administrators who understand the process of responsible journalism and the 21st century skills inherent in becoming a student journalist are more likely to support publication programs and student press freedoms.

Reasoning/suggestions: Scholastic journalism is a crucial part of school culture, as it provides students with 21st century skills, curiosity about their world and a concrete experience of citizenship.

Journalism classes encompass more 21st century skills set out in the Framework for 21st Century Learningthan any other high school class, including global awareness, civic literacy, media literacy, collaboration, initiative and self-direction, leadership and many more.

 

Scholastic journalism also fulfills to a vast number of Common Core goals. Additionally, researchsuggests students in journalism classes also get better grades in high school, earn higher scores on the ACT and get better grades as college freshmen.

 

In addition to these positive academic outcomes, scholastic journalism programs led by qualified journalism educators foster responsible civic engagement, as students learn about their First Amendment rights and journalistic responsibility, and become engaged with their school, local, national and global communities. Student journalists with final say on their own content embrace their roles as democratic citizens who take ownership and are accountable for their decisions.

 

Administrators who support scholastic journalism programs are supporting a future with more engaged democratic citizens.

 

Resources:

Introductionand Civic engagement and journalism, Principal’s Guide to Scholastic Journalism

The 2017 State of the First Amendment, Newseum

High School Journalism Matters, American Press Institute

Framework for 21st Century Learning, Partnership for 21st Century Learning

Civic Implications of Secondary School Journalism, Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly

Principals, presidents and getting along, JEA Scholastic Press Rights Commission

Teaching grit for citizenship — why we must empower, not shield students, JEA Scholastic Press Rights Commission

 

 

 

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SPRC adds ‘one-stop shopping’
for law and ethics manual

Posted by on Oct 25, 2018 in Blog, Hazelwood, Law and Ethics, News, Scholastic Journalism, Teaching | 0 comments

Four concepts drive the creation of journalistic approaches: mission statement, editorial policy, ethical guidelines and staff manual procedure. Together, with forum material, the four comprise a package of complementary principles we call the Foundation of Journalism, often known as a staff manual.

These principles represent the key pillars of standards-based journalism and are the products of perhaps the most important journalistic decisions the student staff can make. Together, the concepts enhance the strengthen the process and product, the decision-making and critical thinking that can characterize student media.

Click the Law-Ethics Manual nav bar link for our one-stop’ shopping.

More are on the way.

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New Voices podcasts
and valuable information

Posted by on Oct 14, 2018 in Blog, Digital Media, Ethical Issues, Legal issues, News, Scholastic Journalism, Teaching | 0 comments

Looking for information and ideas to challenge students and expand their journalistic experiences, try these first offerings. From challenging concepts to story ideas and approaches, we’ll bring you occasional packages like today’s.

• We’ve launched a new podcast resource from the Scholastic Press Rights Committee — Conversations at the Schoolhouse Gate: The New Voices Podcast!

Our first three episodes are posted. Direct links below; you can find the podcast anywhere you download podcasts, including Apple iTunes and Google Play.

Episode 1 – Neha Madhira – EiC, Eagle Nation Online (Prosper, Tex.)  Neha’s staff faced three rounds of censorship and prior review last year at PHS, and now she’s active in New Voices Texas.
https://pinecast.com/listen/9e9971c1-64ee-4f60-993b-229d9ecc3a3e.mp3

Episode 2 – Steve Listopad – Henderson State Univ. – Steve’s students in North Dakota kicked off the New Voices movement with a successful bipartisan bill in one of the reddest states in the country.

https://pinecast.com/listen/176c0e0f-29ed-4b6c-8d34-24debedd765d.mp3

Episode 3 – Kathy Schrier – Exec. Director, WJEA
The team in Washington were in this fight back in the early 90s, and stuck with it through March 21, 2018, when Governor Jay Inslee signed the New Voices bill into law!
https://pinecast.com/listen/f40e9aaf-bb3d-4b35-b5cc-bccffd0d6ac4.mp3

Episode 4 – SPLC 101

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/conversations-at-the-schoolhouse-gate/id1437339628

Be in touch – we welcome your feedback. Email Mike Simons at  iteachyearbook@gmail.com

Articles

Trump’s USA Today op-ed demonstrates why it’s time to unbundle news and opinion  content:  Brought to us by Eli Pariser,  originator of the term “filter bubbles,” this piece raises this  point: “Perhaps it’s time to reconsider the whole premise of bundling together hard news and opinion content under the same brand names and domains. If we believe there’s something special about the processes and norms that create journalism (and I do), publishers should draw a brighter line around it — a line that both people and algorithms can understand.

“Moving opinion content onto separately branded sites wouldn’t mean getting rid of it entirely. But the whole practice of op-edding deserves a shakeup anyway, in an era where anyone can self-publish and content is experienced in an atomized form.”

Do journalists spend too much time on Twitter:  “A new study attempts to get at whether journalists ascribe too much importance to Twitter. Shannon McGregor of The University of Utah and Logan Molyneux of Temple University performed an experiment involving about two hundred journalists—some who use Twitter heavily and some who use it only moderately,” writes Mathew Ingram.

The results are interesting, to say the least.

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