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On news engagement day,
let’s engage others
with news about censorship

Posted by on Oct 6, 2014 in Blog, Ethical Issues, Hazelwood, Legal issues, News, Scholastic Journalism, Teaching | 0 comments

sprclogoOct. 7 is #newsengagementday,  a national event created by AEJMC.

The idea is to encourage everyone to engage with news issues and ideas with students, family and, well, everyone.

National News Engagement Day was created to:

  • Raise awareness about the importance of being informed.
  • Encourage everyone to engage with news from reading and watching to tweeting and discussing.
  • Help people of all ages discover the benefits of news.
  • Educate the public about the principles and process of journalism.
  • Ensure news engagement does not die out.

JEA has endorsed the idea and urges all to participate.

I know journalism programs do this daily anyway, but let’s take this one step further.

Let’s spend the day spreading the word about the banality of censorship, particularly that kind of destructive practice we have seen at Neshaminy High School, Highlands Regional High School, Fond du Lac High School and numerous others.

Numerous other resources exist for each school, all findable by searching.

Censorship practices at those schools, past and present is newsworthy in itself, but it also blocks students and related communities from experiencing news.

Making censorship and its effects the focus on news, and using the #newsengagementday hashtag to let others know, would be a worthy use of the day.

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MIPA joins the resolution;
will you be next?

Posted by on May 12, 2013 in Blog, Hazelwood, Law and Ethics, News, Scholastic Journalism, Teaching, Uncategorized | 0 comments

by John Bowen
The Michigan Interscholastic Press Association became the latest state scholastic media group to endorse the Journalism Education Association and Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication resolution on the negative educational impact of the Hazelwood decision.

The MIPA resolution read, in part, “The Michigan Interscholastic Press Association (MIPA) joins with the Journalism Education Association (JEA) and the Association of Education in Journalism and Mass Communication in stating that no legitimate pedagogical purpose is served by the censorship of student journalism on the grounds that it reflects unflatteringly on school policies and programs, that it candidly discusses sensitive social and political issues, or that it voices opinions challenging to majority views on matters of public concern.”hazelwoodcolor

MIPA joins the Kettle Moraine Press Association, the Ohio Scholastic Media Association and Kent State University’s Center for Scholastic Journalism in endorsing the statement to date.

JEA and the Student Press Law Center urge state and regional journalism organizations to join them in making a national statement that nothing educational or legitimate comes from censorship stemming from the 1988 U. S. Supreme Court’s Hazelwood decision.

JEA’s board of directors voted unanimously to endorse a resolution by the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication that said, in part, “the Hazelwood level of control over student journalistic speech is clearly incompatible with the effective teaching of journalistic skills, values and practices, and that institutions of secondary and postsecondary education should forswear reliance on Hazelwood as a source of authority for the governance of student and educator expression.”

“This resolution is important for two reasons,” JEA president Mark Newton said. “Anytime we can partner with our college colleagues in AEJMC it shows incredible solidarity. And, most importantly, as the leading scholastic journalism education group, we must stand tall and scream at injustice. Make no mistake, the Hazelwood Supreme Court decision and its subsequent interpretations are an injustice to education, students, advisers and the First Amendment.”

The pendulum simply has swung too far toward heavy-handed school control following 25 years of failed experimentation with the Hazelwood level of censorship authority, SPLC Executive Director Frank LoMonte said.

“Hazelwood has proven itself to be legally unsound, educationally counterproductive, and as a practical matter entirely unnecessary,” LoMonte said,  “since schools from California to Massachusetts have functioned just fine for decades without it.”

How you can join the resolutions:
• Study the AEJMC and JEA resolutions attached to this packet
• Ask questions as needed by emailing jabowen@kent.edu
• Prepare a statement showing your organization’s endorsement of JEA’s resolution and publish it
• Notify JEA and the SPRC of your endorsement, and provide us with a copy of the resolution

JEA’s and the Scholastic Press Rights Comission’s goal is simple: We want to have all 50 states make a statement that can be cited by courts as consensus of journalism educators as to what is a legitimate educational reason for censorship – not the random fears Hazelwood generates.

Although JEA has set no deadline for state endorsements, SPRC chair John Bowen urged states to act as quickly as possible.

“The sooner we can point to agreement with these statements,” Bowen said, “the more likelihood we have of making a usable statement for courts and others. Having this in hand before school begins in August would be a real plus.”

Attached materials:
• AEJMC Resolution can be found at http://www.aejmc.org/home/2013/04/resolution-one-2013/

• JEA Resolution attached and available here.

 

 

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Join the resolution

Posted by on Apr 21, 2013 in Blog, Hazelwood, Law and Ethics, News, Scholastic Journalism, Teaching, Uncategorized | 1 comment

by John Bowen
The Journalism Education Association and the Student Press Law Center urge state and regional journalism organizations to make a national statement that nothing educational or legitimate comes from censorship stemming from the 1988 U. S. Supreme Court’s Hazelwood decision.

hazelwoodcolorJEA’s board of directors voted unanimously to endorse a resolution by the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication that said, in part, “the Hazelwood level of control over student journalistic speech is clearly incompatible with the effective teaching of journalistic skills, values and practices, and that institutions of secondary and postsecondary education should forswear reliance on Hazelwood as a source of authority for the governance of student and educator expression.”

JEA’s resolution differed slightly from the AEJMC model as it focused more directly on scholastic journalism.

“This resolution is important for two reasons,” JEA president Mark Newton said. “Anytime we can partner with our college colleagues in AEJMC it shows incredible solidarity. And, most importantly, as the leading scholastic journalism education group, we must stand tall and scream at injustice. Make no mistake, the Hazelwood Supreme Court decision and its subsequent interpretations are an injustice to education, students, advisers and the First Amendment.”

The pendulum simply has swung too far toward heavy-handed school control following 25 years of failed experimentation with the Hazelwood level of censorship authority, SPLC Executive Director Frank LoMonte said.

“Hazelwood has proven itself to be legally unsound, educationally counterproductive, and as a practical matter entirely unnecessary,” LoMonte said,  “since schools from California to Massachusetts have functioned just fine for decades without it.”

JEA’s resolution states, in part, “No legitimate pedagogical purpose is served by the censorship of student journalism on the grounds that it reflects unflatteringly on school policies and programs, that it candidly discusses sensitive social and political issues, or that it voices opinions challenging to majority views on matters of public concern. The censorship of such speech, or the punishment of media advisers based on that speech, is detrimental to effective learning and teaching, and it cannot be justified by reference to “pedagogical concerns.”

“The educators who know journalism best are united in their conviction school censorship authority should never be used to discourage students from engaging on the social and political issues that concern them, including issues involving the quality of their own educational experience,” LoMonte said.  “That is a message that the courts cannot ignore when the next Hazelwood censorship case invariably arises. What constitutes a “legitimate pedagogical concern” that justifies school censorship should be decided be educators, not school attorneys, and the JEA resolution sends the unmistakable message that censoring for purposes of P.R. image control is educationally indefensible.”

What you can do
Here’s what JEA and its Scholastic Press Rights Commission would like you to do:
• Study the AEJMC and JEA resolutions attached to this packet
• Ask questions as needed by emailing jabowen@kent.edu
• Prepare a statement showing your organization’s endorsement of JEA’s resolution and publish it
• Notify JEA and the SPRC of your endorsement, and provide us with a copy of the resolution

The first endorsement is already in: the Kettle Moraine Press Association. The Ohio Scholastic Media Association and the Center for Scholastic Journalism endorsed during the day, April 22.

“Our goal is to support journalism advisers and students with the full voice of the Kettle Moraine Press Association,” their resolution states in part. “In doing so, the KEMPA Board of Directors unanimously endorses the JEA Resolution: Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier anniversary/First Amendment and censorship authority and its position that the censorship of speech which candidly discusses social and political issues in school publications and the punishment of media advisers based on that exercise of free speech is detrimental to effective learning and teaching.”

JEA’s and the Scholastic Press Rights Comission’s goal is simple: We want to have all 50 states make a statement that can be cited by courts as consensus of journalism educators as to what is a legitimate educational reason for censorship – not the random fears Hazelwood generates.

Although JEA has set no deadline for state endorsements, SPRC chair John Bowen urged states to act as quickly as possible.

“The sooner we can point to agreement with these statements,” Bowen said, “the more likelihood we have of making a usable statement for courts and others. Having this in hand before school begins in August would be a real plus.”

Attached materials:
• AEJMC Resolution can be found at http://www.aejmc.org/home/2013/04/resolution-one-2013/

• JEA Resolution attached and available here.

 

 

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Prior review, censorship have no educational value: resolutions

Posted by on Apr 15, 2013 in Blog, Hazelwood, Law and Ethics, News, Scholastic Journalism, Teaching, Uncategorized | 0 comments

The Journalism Education Association today reaffirmed its opposition to prior review, prior restraint and their use under the guidelines established in the Hazelwood decision.hazelwoodcolor

JEA’s board of directors unanimously took this stand as it voted to endorse a resolution by the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication that said, in part, “the Hazelwood level of control over student journalistic speech is clearly incompatible with the effective teaching of journalistic skills, values and practices, and that institutions of secondary and postsecondary education should forswear reliance on Hazelwood as a source of authority for the governance of student and educator expression.”

JEA’s resolution differed slightly from the AEJMC model as it focused more directly on scholastic journalism.

“This resolution is important for two reasons,” JEA president Mark Newton said. “Anytime we can partner with our college colleagues in AEJMC it shows incredible solidarity. And, most importantly, as the leading scholastic journalism education group, we must stand tall and scream at injustice. Make no mistake the Hazelwood Supreme Court decision and its subsequent interpretations are an injustice to education, students, advisers and the First Amendment.”

The JEA resolution states, in part: “The Journalism Education Association (JEA) joins with the Association of Education in Journalism and Mass Communication in stating that no legitimate pedagogical purpose is served by the censorship of student journalism on the grounds that it reflects unflatteringly on school policies and programs, that it candidly discusses sensitive social and political issues, or that it voices opinions challenging to majority views on matters of public concern. The censorship of such speech, or the punishment of media advisers based on that speech, is detrimental to effective learning and teaching, and it cannot be justified by reference to “pedagogical concerns.”

Frank LoMonte, executive director of the Student Press Law Center, said, “Because Hazelwood requires schools to present a justification for censorship that is “’legitimate’ and is based on “pedagogical” concerns, the consensus of the nation’s journalism professors as to what constitutes a legitimate educational reason for censorship should carry persuasive value with judges.”

In a second resolution, also passed unanimously, JEA endorsed an Illinois Journalism Education Association resolution had three major points:
• that the Illinois Journalism Education Association urges school district and school administrators to preserve, enhance and support independent student media; and
• the Illinois Journalism Education Association supports and defends media advisers and strongly urges the end of random reassignment or removal of advisers without due cause, and
• the Illinois Journalism Education Association applauds and staunchly defends the efforts of journalism educators for providing students the skills and education to produce free, responsible and independent student media.

“In any way possible,” Newton said, “JEA has an obligation to support advisers whose jobs and livelihoods are targeted for advocating and supporting student freedom of expression. In a perfect world, we wouldn’t have to have such a resolution like the one IJEA has written. However, it’s quite apparent that we have a lot of work to do to not only raise awareness, but take one further step to making sure advisers know that we support them, their students and their programs.”

JEA’s Hazelwood resolution can be downloaded here. The Illinois resolution here. The AEJMC resolution here.

JEA’s press rights commission will announce the next step  in the resolution process within a couple of days.

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People and issues in a world of journalism

Posted by on Jan 9, 2010 in Blog, Law and Ethics, News, Scholastic Journalism, Teaching | 0 comments

After spending four days at the Poynter Institute In St. Petersburg, Florida, I have a number of  journalism issues on my mind:

• AEJMC Scholastic Journalism Division’s vice head David Bulla publishes a blog called The First Amendment. It presents a wide variety of issues and topics and is worthy of a visit and your time. The whole idea, Bulla says, is “to share news and ideas in a simple, easy-to-read, non-academic format among those of us who care about the First Amendment and student press rights.”

• Check out teaching issues and practices raised by University of Florida Knight Chair for Journalism Technologies and the Democratic Process  Mindy McAdams at this site. Information on McAdams’ Web site covers the use of multimedia in reporting to and how to adjust journalism curricula to effectively include it.

• For information on a conference sponsored by several groups,  go to the SPLC’s Campus Coverage Web site. The conference also produced interviews on iTunes with top reporters. Although material is aimed at collegiate reporters, it is certainly adaptable at the high school level.

Check out these links to expand your journalistic vision.

Also, watch this space in the coming months for new initiatives and information about scholastic press rights and responsibility from JEA’s Scholastic Press Rights Commission.

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