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Another 45 essential words

Posted by on Jan 14, 2018 in Blog, Hazelwood, Scholastic Journalism | 0 comments

 

by John Bowen, MJE
In building a journalism program around the 45 words below, no journalist should be limited by Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier, which impacts society in a variety of ways, some not immediately visible.

Student journalists need: 

  • Truthseeking
  • Truthtelling
  • Accuracy
  • Honesty
  • Completeness
  • Context
  • Credibility
  • Reliability
  • Ethical fitness
  • Independence
  • Transparency
  • Diversity of ideas

Student journalists need to:

  • Question Authority
  • Witness
  • Verify
  • Be role models
  • Offer public forums
  • Have no prior review
  • Make final decisions
  • Encourage empowerment
  • Offer leadership
  • Inspire trust

Journalists and their audiences received an unfortunate lesson in Hazelwood:  governments of all types should control the spread of information. Audiences have learned not to trust the news media because they often see scholastic media limited in what it can do. The limitations are numerous.

Hazelwood’s lesson has lasted 30 years.

Starting Jan. 13, 1988, we experienced nightmares of misinformation, misguided thought control and fake news, sugar-coated as guidance, leadership and education, all through prior review and restraint.

It’s time to bring us all from the Hazelwood nightmare. It’s time to Cure Hazelwood. Censored news is fake news.

“Both the history and language of the First Amendment support the view that the press must be left free to publish news, whatever the source, without censorship, injunctions, or prior restraints. In the First Amendment, the Founding Fathers gave the free press the protection it must have to fulfill its essential role in our democracy. The press was to serve the governed, not the governors.” –Justice Hugo Black

To do that, we can think about, and then apply, what Justice Hugo Black wrote in the New York Times Co. v. United States (the Pentagon Papers) decision in 1971.

Black’s statement is an important part in the film The Post:  “Both the history and language of the First Amendment support the view that the press must be left free to publish news, whatever the source, without censorship, injunctions, or prior restraints. In the First Amendment, the Founding Fathers gave the free press the protection it must have to fulfill its essential role in our democracy. The press was to serve the governed, not the governors.”

Student media must be able to fulfill that role, too.

To learn about ways to fulfill that role, check out our materials on this site and especially information about the New Voices program and other Student Press Law Center Day of Action initiative.

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