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Decision-making for most student broadcasts
protected same as print, online QT24

Posted by on Oct 25, 2017 in Blog, Broadcast, News, Scholastic Journalism, Teaching | 0 comments

As more schools expand their journalism programs to include broadcast and radio, it should be clear how Tinker and Hazelwood positively or negatively affect broadcast programs.

The answer is: it depends.

If they go out over the broadcast airways, Federal Communications Commission regulations apply.

If not, they are not subject to the broadcast-only regulations.

But most student radio and television stations are not truly “broadcast.” They don’t go out over the airwaves but are transmitted via the Internet or a cable or closed circuit system.

In that case, their status is the same as print and online publications.

And, if they are public forums for student expression … check out Quick Tip24, below.

 

Quick Tips: Broadcast programs and media law

Question: How does media law apply to student television and radio programs?

Key points/action

Student television and radio journalists and their advisers frequently ask how the laws apply to them?  Do they have the same free press rights as other student journalists? Are they subject to additional restrictions because of the medium in which they produce content?

The short answers: yes and no.

Stance: Radio and television programming that goes out over the broadcast airwaves via a license from the federal government is subject to additional restrictions on content.

Regulations imposed by the Federal Communications Commission on broadcast stations include limitations on the airing of “indecent” content and requirements that the station air content that serves the public interest.

But most student radio and television stations are not truly “broadcast.” They don’t go out over the airwaves but are transmitted via the Internet or a cable or closed circuit system.

Reasoning/suggestions:

Because these types of stations are not licensed by the FCC, they are not subject to the broadcast-only regulations.

For all these student television and radio programs, the rules that apply to your content are the same that apply to student newspapers, magazines, yearbooks and websites.

The key Supreme Court decisions are Tinker v. Des Moines and Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier. Students at public schools are entitled to protections from censorship based on the First Amendment.

Those protections are stronger if the program is operating as a designated public forum where students have been given the authority to make content decisions.

Related: These points and other decisions about mission statement, forum status and editorial policy should be part of a Foundations Package  that protects journalistically responsible student expression.

 

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Disturbing images: public’s right to know
vs. invasion of privacy QT18

Posted by on Oct 5, 2017 in Blog, Ethical Issues, News, Quick Tips, Scholastic Journalism, Teaching | 0 comments

A 9-year-old girl, burning from napalm, runs naked down a Vietnam road. A vulture watches a Sudanese child, emaciated from famine, crawl across the ground. Two yellow-clad health workers carry a limp 8-year-old boy who might be infected with Ebola to a treatment facility.

What do these images have in common? They are all extremely disturbing, and they all won Pulitzer Prizes. 

While high school journalists are unlikely to encounter these extreme conditions of war, famine and disease, they do need to think about the ethics behind publishing disturbing images. When does the public’s right to know — and the potential benefit of exposing these tragedies — outweigh the emotional harm these images might have on the people in the photographs and those who love them?

If the images are taken in a public space, there’s no question the photographers have the legal right to publish. But, as we often tell our students, just because you can publish doesn’t mean you always should.

The highest ethical responsibility for a journalist is to seek truth and report it, but journalists must also consider the responsibility to minimize harm.

When does the public’s right to know — and the potential benefit of exposing these tragedies — outweigh the emotional harm these images might have on the people in the photographs and those who love them?

The answer isn’t for editors to set up a set list of what kind of images should or should not be published, but rather to develop an ethical process to help them work through the benefits and drawbacks of publishing a disturbing photograph.

When constructing a process for determining whether to publish an image, students should consider many questions, including:

  • Is this image important and relevant to the story? Is the image merely explotive/sensational, or does it have news value?
  • What makes it meaningful?
  • Will the audience understand the information conveyed without reading any accompanying text?
  • What story does it tell?
  • What story would others be able to get from that photo?
  • What impact will publishing this photograph have on the people in the image or on those people’s loved ones?
  • What impact will it have on the news consumer? Does the public’s right to know outweigh any emotional harm to the subject or the subject’s loved ones?
  • What, if any, warnings should accompany online content?
  • How would they defend the decision to run the image to others, including stakeholders and those directly impacted by the image?
  • Is there an alternative, better, way to show the story?

Advisers may want to set up hypothetical situations to allow students to practice this ethical process. Here are some scenarios to spark debate:

  1. During a soccer game, a student falls and breaks her leg. The photographer gets a series of pictures of the accident, including one that shows graphically the severity of the break with bone protruding and another that shows a close up of her face, covered in dirt and tears, as paramedics rush onto the field. In an article about the injury, should the editors publish one of these images? If so, which one?
  2. A student comes to the Prom very drunk and ends up starting a fight. The photographer has a several pictures of the flight, including ones from when the police arrived. In an article about the fight, should the editors publish one of these images? Why or why not?
  3. The worst happens — a student brings a gun to school and opens fire. Though, no one is killed before the shooter is contained, two students are injured. One of the reporters had a camera nearby and got the following pictures: a picture of the campus police officer running toward the shooter, a picture of one of the victims bleeding on the ground, and a picture of the shooter being handcuffed. In an article about the event, should the editors publish one of these images? If so, which one?

 

Guideline: Students should consider not only the news value of an image but also the emotional effect of the image on the audience. They should balance the public’s right to know with the privacy of the people in the image and their loved ones when considering publication of disturbing photos.

Social Media Question: Disturbing photos give powerful insights into tragedy but can be exploitive. How can we balance public’s right to know with potential harm?

Reasoning/suggestions:

Determining whether or not a disturbing photograph should be published requires a deliberate, ethical conversation among student editors. Once editors determine the image is not a legal invasion of privacy — taken in a private space where the subject had a reasonable expectation of privacy — they need to consider the ethics of publishing the image.

When constructing a process for determining whether to publish an image, students should consider many questions, including:

  • Is this image important and relevant to the story? Is the image merely explotive/sensational, or does it have news value?
  • What makes it meaningful?
  • Will the audience understand the information conveyed without reading any accompanying text?
  • What story does it tell?
  • What story would others be able to get from that photo?
  • What impact will publishing this photograph have on the people in the image or on those people’s loved ones?
  • What impact will it have on the news consumer? Does the public’s right to know outweigh any emotional harm to the subject or the subject’s loved ones?
  • What, if any, warnings should accompany online content?
  • How would they defend the decision to run the image to others, including stakeholders and those directly impacted by the image?
  • Is there an alternative, better, way to show the story?

Resources:

Presentation Slideshow: Photo Ethics: Disturbing Images, JEA Scholastic Press Rights Committee 

Ethics, Dignity and Responsibility in Visual Journalism, Jason Tanner, Human Rights for Journalism

Visual ethics guidelines, Principal’s Guide to Scholastic Journalism

Visual Journalism, NPR Code of Ethics

Pulitzer Prize Photographs Gallery, Newseum

Lesson: To Print or Not to Print, Journalism Education Association

Lesson: When Journalists Err Ethically, Journalism Education Association

Lesson: With Freedom of the Press Comes Great Responsibility, Journalism Education Association

SPJ Code of Ethics, Society of Professional Journalists

NPPA Code of Ethics, National Press Photographers Association

Photojournalism ethics needs a reexamination, The Poynter Institute

Visual ethical guidelines join online, yearbook ethics, JEA Scholastic Press Rights Committee

Audio: Using Images from Social Media, JEA Scholastic Press Rights Committee Press Rights Minute

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Practice the First Amendment –
and join FAPFA winners who do

Posted by on Feb 23, 2016 in Blog, News, Scholastic Journalism, Teaching | 0 comments

 

sprclogoEarlier today, JEA, Quill and Scroll and the National Scholastic Press Association announced this year’s 11 First Amendment Press Freedom Award schools.

The award recognizes public high schools that actively support, teach and protect First Amendment rights and responsibilities of students and teachers, with an emphasis on student-run media where students make all final decisions of content.

Roughly, here’s a sample of what the judging committee looks for in determining FAPFA recipients:

• No prior review or restraint by school faculty for all student media.
• Student staffers make all final decisions of content for all student media.
• Establish policies at all student media and school system levels or both as public forums for student expression.
• Remove Internet filters for student journalism use
• Students, advisers and administrators agree on First Amendment practices, philosophy and application across platforms.

As in previous years, schools competed for the title by first answering questionnaires submitted by an adviser and at least one editor; those who advanced to the next level were asked to provide responses from the principal and all media advisers and student editors, indicating their support of the First Amendment. In addition, semifinalists submitted samples of their school and media online or printed policies.

These schools will be honored April 14 at the opening ceremony of the JEA/NSPA Spring National High School Journalism Convention in Los Angeles.

First round applications are due annually by Dec. 15. Downloadable applications for 2017 will be available on the JEA website in the fall.

Learn who the 11 FAPFA schools are here.

Save this link and apply next fall.

This is the 16th year for the award.

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Tweet5: Decision-making content control
rests with students, rooted in professional standards

Posted by on Jan 14, 2013 in Blog, Law and Ethics, News, Scholastic Journalism, Teaching | 0 comments

Have a journalistic purpose in mind for every story you write/propose. Don’t write stories to be sensational. #25HZLWD http://jeasprc.org/decision-students/hazelwoodcolor

Those who want to control student media often point to incomplete, biased or sensational treatment of stories. It really does not matter if the topic is controversial in nature. What does matter is that students, no matter the platform or approach, report and present these topics following journalistic standards – and that they make the final decisions for all content.

• Journalists must learn to recognize legitimate news values.

• Journalists must verify, verify, verify.

• Journalists must ask the tough and nagging questions of authorities and others a democratic society needs to continuously evolve and prosper. They must also then question the answers for complete and relevant meaning.

• Journalists have the inherent responsibility to find the best sources and to present relevant information in context and perspective so citizens have adequate viewpoints to consider.

• Journalists must find not only the best resources but substantiate sources’ information they use as well as present it clear and meaningful.

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Need arguments to empower your journalism program? Check these out

Posted by on Aug 25, 2011 in Blog, Law and Ethics, News, Scholastic Journalism, Teaching | 0 comments

The school year is just starting and already those who want to control student thinking and decision-making are hard at work.

In an Ohio school that boasts the state’s highest testing scores, prior restraint started last year and a nearly 20-year adviser was removed against her will over the summer. The reason given, one heard so often over the last six months, was the administration wanted to go in a different direction.

In Indiana, an adviser was stripped of journalism classes and the publication subjected to prior review. The reason: too many typos and grammatical errors. The principal might not even be conducting the private review; instead, that might be the job of a committee of students, faculty and others.

Thanks to the New York Times, teachers and advisers like the ones above, ones who face administrative control or work for those who don’t see the value of journalism to promote authentic learning, now have something to promote their values.

In using The Learning Network coverage for their Student Journalism Week, The Times provides advisers with an opportunity to reinforce the myriad of scholastic journalism positives by making creative use of the following topics:

A Guide to Rights and Responsibilities
The Value of  School Newspapers
• Three Benefits of  Newspaper Programs
• Using News Models for Authentic Writing
Resources for School Newspaper Advisers

These articles present principles that should enable all of us to embrace and spread the values of scholastic journalism either in our own schools or with others who need to know what we so strongly believe:

Scholastic journalists, when empowered and trusted, produce coherent reporting and thinking in authentic, accurate and substantive communication.

And that is what education is all about.

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