Pages Navigation Menu

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.

Read More

Apply to join 45words –
join students who can make a difference

Posted by on Apr 20, 2013 in Hazelwood, Law and Ethics, News, Scholastic Journalism, Teaching, Uncategorized | 0 comments

45words1

Members of the initial group of 45words student partners distribute pins and information about the importance of free expression at a recent JEA/NSPA convention.

What 45 words are we talking about?

Glad you asked.

Journalism Education Association’s Scholastic Press Rights Commission created Student Partners as a way to help students connect with their peers to support, protect and spread awareness about the First Amendment.

Students represent schools from around the nation.

See comments from Megan Morris, one the first 45words students, here.

In addition to planning and hosting press rights events at local, state and national conventions, the team will contact schools reporting censorship and offer assistance. The 45 words team can be followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/45words. The Facebook group is 45words.

If you go to 45words.org, you’ll find the 45words blog, written by the Student Partners, and resources relating to censorship fights and bios of each Student Partner, should you wish to contact us individually. Comment, Facebook message, tweet or, if you want to go old-school, e-mail us if you have a question about censorship. We’re here to help!

Here’s the link to the live application form (Deadline May 20, 2013):

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1bgwwlvXZ6JC4bwnf5knQxpcaxIn1bXDr3Xk43YjHXa0/viewform or If you go here, you can find a link to the application page on the 45words site.

Hope to hear from you soon.

Read More

All we have to lose is our credibility

Posted by on Feb 20, 2012 in Blog, Law and Ethics, News, Scholastic Journalism, Teaching | 0 comments

SJW 2012

 

by H. L. Hall

As we celebrate Scholastic Journalism Week this month, it is imperative we keep the 45 words that help students cover sensitive, controversial issues in a responsible manner. It’s amazing to me every time I teach a workshop, a seminar, or even a session at a JEA convention, I try to give (normally $20) to the first student who can recite those 45 words. In the last 20 years (not counting the $1 I give advisers at the ASNE Reynolds Institute at Kent State each summer), I have only had to dig in my wallet for a total of $40. I am yet to give away $35 to advisers each year at Kent State, but I have witnessed some clever ways to recite the words.

Is it really difficult to memorize those 45 words? They’re really quite simple. They are: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” I hope those 45 words are posted in large bold letters on every classroom wall.

The First Amendment Center has conducted several surveys over the years concerning the Amendment . Those surveys have revealed that not even half of Americans can name all five parts of the Amendment. That indicates to me that few people really care about the importance of those 45 words.

Even though the Amendment guarantees freedom of speech and freedom of the press, it does not give journalists the right to be irresponsible with those actions.

There are several examples of professional journalists who have lost their credibility because they have made up quotes, made up facts, failed to gather all the facts, manipulated photographs, plagiarized or violated copyright laws.

Student journalists might gain a better understanding of why they need to act responsibly when utilizing their First Amendment rights, if they researched the stories of some professional journalists who were irresponsible.

A good exercise would be to have students write a brief research paper or make a brief oral report about a professional who lost some credibility. Then they could analyze that person’s action and come up with suggestions as to how the journalist and his editors might have prevented the questionable behavior.

Some journalists to consider would be: Jayson Blair, Patricia Smith, Jack Kelly, Armstrong Williams, Howell Raines, Michael Kinney, Rick Bragg, Dan Rather, Bob Ryan, Mary Mapes, Bill O’Reilly, Griego Erwin, Rush Limbaugh, Mitch Albom, Bob Green, Jim Van Vliet, Janet Cooke, Patrick Schneider, Geraldo Rivera, Allan Detrich, Stephen Glass, Don Imus, Brian Walski, Bryan Patrick and Sari Horwitz.

Some of the journalists listed above lost their jobs. Others received suspensions. Others are still working journalists. Whatever the result, they caused their medium to lose some credibility. Once credibility is lost, it’s difficult to get it back. It might be a good idea to create a poster for the classroom which says “All We Have To Lose Is Our Credibility.” If those words are before students every day, they might think about being responsible with everything they do.

   Tomorrow: Second in a series of posts and activities to go along with Scholastic Journalism Week from the JEA Scholastic Press Rights Commission. Tomorrow’s will talk about the TAO of Journalism, what it means and how to sing up your staff to follow it. 

 

Read More