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19 journalism groups urge
administrator organizations to disavow
Neshaminy board punishment of paper, adviser and editor

Posted by on Oct 13, 2014 in Blog, Ethical Issues, Hazelwood, Legal issues, News, Scholastic Journalism, Teaching | 0 comments

sprclogoOct. 13, 1987 marked the U.S. Supreme Court’s hearing the Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier arguments that ultimately granted administrators the right to control content of high school media in limited situations.

Oct. 13, 2014 marks a time when 19 journalism organizations joined together to urge national groups of administrators and school boards to openly disavow actions of the Neshaminy (Pa.) Board of Education that even went beyond the constraints of Hazelwood in controlling content and punishing student journalists.

“In what we hope will be a watershed event in curing America of the worst excesses of the Hazelwood era,” SPLC executive director Frank LoMonte wrote to the Advisory Committee of the SPLC,  “19 of the nation’s leading journalism organizations — including SPJ, JEA, CMA and the American Society of News Editors — co-signed an SPLC-authored letter distributed today to the nation’s leading school-administrator organizations, urging them to distance themselves from and to publicly disavow the retaliatory behavior of school administrators in Neshaminy, Pa., who are punishing student journalists for refusing to use the offensive name of the schools’ mascot.”

The joint statement can be read here.

Part of the statement pointed directly to the Hazelwood decision’s involvement: “This is a level of authority even beyond the outermost limit the Supreme Court recognized in Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier, to say nothing of the fact that Pennsylvania law repudiates the Hazelwood standard.”

JEA’a Press Rights Committee and the SPLC had paired on a statement earlier this month condemning Neshaminy board actions punishing the student paper, the adviser and editor.

JEA also commented on the joint statement.

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Let the education start here

Posted by on Feb 12, 2010 in Blog, News | 0 comments

The Feb. 11 posting on CODEWORDS,  the Society of Professional Journalists Ethics Committee blog, calls for “massive public education” about what constitutes “real news” and why such content is necessary for “an effective democracy.”

Author Paul LaRocque points out the “period of change” media are now experiencing will not be over soon. But now is the time all major groups like SPJ, ASNE, APME and RTDNA should launch a campaign to educate the public about NEWS, real news. He says they must “show the public the difference between noise and information.”

Why not add all those other alphabet-soup scholastic media organizations to the list? JEA, NSPA, CSPA plus Quill and Scroll and the Center for Scholastic Journalism? Where better to start educating for understanding and appreciating news than in our schools? How better to do that than with student newspapers, newsmagazines, yearbooks, broadcast outlets and news Web sites that allow students to use their voices and experience democracy before they graduate?

SPJ, we want to sign up for the cause.

Candace Perkins Bowen, MJE

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