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Why society needs New Voices legislation

Posted by on May 29, 2017 in Blog, News, Scholastic Journalism, Teaching | 0 comments

Arizona Gov. Ducey shows why
we need journalists who
question those in power

by Lori Keekley, MJE
The idea any New Voices bill would result in students being unsupervised or teachers not mentoring students is preposterous.

That’s the excuse Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey gave for vetoing the Arizona New Voices legislation. The New Voices bill clarifies the roles of advisers, students and administrators; it empowers student voices; it doesn’t protect speech that is libelous, obscene, etc.

The governor did say in the Arizona Capitol Times article these are the next group of journalists “who will hold our government and leaders accountable.”

If students first learn only the news a school administrator deems appropriate is accepted, then we will have fewer journalists who question authority. We should teach students how to question authority — including requesting Freedom of Information Act requests.

We’ve seen how legislation similar to the current New Voices campaign has fostered this authority check Ducey would like to see. In Kansas, students were the only ones who questioned the incoming principal’s credentials.

Additionally, the SPRC has helped students whose administrators try to censor stories on types of birth control, cost of a stadium, coverage of rape culture.

This censorship may impact girls more than boys. According  to the SPLC’s The Active Voice  campaign, girls make ups a majority in high school media. When girls try to cover topics administrators attempt to censor, they may not re-engage.

The fact that Ducey said if this had been college students, he would have signed the bill into law. Too bad for many of our students, they may be too defeated by college to question authority.

It’s time for students’ voices to be empowered and not stifled.

 

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And the number keeps growing

Posted by on Oct 7, 2009 in Blog, Hazelwood, Law and Ethics, News, Scholastic Journalism, Teaching | 0 comments

As much as we don’t want to see it or accept it, the number of student media being restrained grows rapidly.

For instance:

• In Boonville, Mo, the superintendent stopped distribution of The Pirate Press reportedly because the paper had not been reviewed as it was supposed to be. Coverage in the local paper did not report reasons for the stoppage in its first article. Look for an update soon.

• In Arizona, former student journalists are pursuing legal action in an attempt to continue fighting censorship of their high school’s newspaper.

• In Oregon, an student editorial on a community project so angered a former school board member he threatened the adviser and administrators now require all articles, including editorials, to be bylined.

If you are aware of more instance like these, please let us know using this blog’s comments or contact the SPLC or JEA’s Scholastic Press Rights Commission.

The more we know about censorship and its ally prior review, the more we help each other to fight them.

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