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End-of-the-year audit: whose voice made the cut?

Posted by on May 23, 2018 in Blog, Scholastic Journalism, Teaching | 0 comments

By Kristin Taylor

One of the highest callings of journalism is to “give voice to the voiceless.”

As scholastic journalism classes begin to wrap up, it’s a good time for staffs to look back at the year to evaluate their coverage and see how fully they’ve met that goal. Before starting the process, I suggest having students make predictions.

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Clickbait QT68

Posted by on May 16, 2018 in Blog, Digital Media, Quick Tips, Scholastic Journalism, Teaching | 0 comments


Journalists should present relevant information in context so the audience has adequate information on which to base decisions. Context is just as important as factual accuracy and can help readers fully understand an issue and its relevance to their daily lives.

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Importance of scale in visual reporting QT67

Posted by on May 14, 2018 in Blog, Quick Tips, Scholastic Journalism, Teaching | 0 comments


Journalists must be vigilant in ensuring charts and infographics do not inaccurately depict the information nor should it mislead the reader. Be weary of data interpretations from others — especially those who benefit from the results.

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Pursuit of accurate information clearly
part of scholastic journalism’s mission

Posted by on May 10, 2018 in Blog, Scholastic Journalism | 0 comments

To some administrators, it’s ‘curses, FOIA’ed again’

By Stan Zoller, MJE

When a student journalist pursues a story and, as H.L. Hall would say, “digs” for information, most journalism educators would be pleased.

And so too, you think, would administrators.

Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. In fact, it’s becoming more common for school czars to be rankled by a student’s dogged pursuit of information.

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Understanding FERPA QT66

Posted by on May 8, 2018 in Blog, Legal issues, Quick Tips, Scholastic Journalism, Teaching | 0 comments


The school publication will follow the Family Educational Rights and PrIvacy Act (FERPA) as defined by the Student Press Law Center.

Social media post/question:

What information is protected under FERPA?

Key Points/Action

FERPA does limit the specific information schools can release about students, but it doesn’t restrict schools from releasing information in aggregate or without student names attached. When schools use the generic term of “Data Privacy” as a justification for not releasing important records, student journalists must know their rights and know what to ask for.


School publication staffs must become familiar with the FERPA laws and their own state’s data privacy laws in order to ensure they can receive as much information as possible in their reporting on the school community.


Many high school journalists have a tough time getting important information and records released to them because the administrators improperly hide behind the FERPA laws or even more generically, they claim data privacy. This leads to stonewalling of students and hiding of data such as discipline information, student performance, crime and safety on campus, and many other topics which would help inform the community. Student publications must know their rights in order to get the best and the most pertinent information in telling the stories of their school



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