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Constitution Day is right time
to apply for FAPFA recognition

Posted by on Sep 17, 2018 in Blog, News, Scholastic Journalism, Teaching | 0 comments

by Lori Keekley, MJE
As advisers, we work to support student journalists on a daily basis.

Taking a moment today to apply for the First Amendment Press Freedom Award is a great way to symbolically show this support.

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FAPFA deadline Dec. 15

Posted by on Dec 10, 2017 in Blog, Law and Ethics, Scholastic Journalism, Teaching | 0 comments

Five days.

120 hours.

45words.

That’s the time left to submit your Round 1 application for the First Amendment Press Freedom Award and reaffirm your school’s support for the First Amendment.

We have received several applications with only one entry (2 are required). Please check and submit your second entry.

Even if we recognized your school  in the past, you still need to submit a new entry yearly because, frankly, situations change. Several past recipients have not reapplied.

This First Amendment Press Freedom Award recognizes high schools that actively support, teach and protect First Amendment rights and responsibilities of students and teachers. The recognition focuses on student-run media where students make all final decisions of content without prior review.

As in previous years, schools seek FAPFA recognition by first answering questionnaires submitted by an adviser and at least one editor. Those who advance to the next level will be asked to provide separate responses from the principal and all media advisers and student editors, indicating their support of the First Amendment. In addition, semifinalists submit samples of their school and media online or printed policies that show student media applying their freedoms.

Schools recognized as meeting FAPFA criteria will be honored at the opening ceremony of the JEA/NSPA Spring National High School Journalism Convention in San Francisco.

First round applications are due annually before Dec. 15. Downloadable applications for 2018 are available at this link.

 

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Five ways we can help you

Posted by on May 1, 2017 in Blog, News, Scholastic Journalism, Teaching | 0 comments

by Lori Keekley
May 1, Loyalty Day. Too-many-days-left-to-count-down-the-end-of-the-school-year day …

No matter what it is, here are five ways JEA’s SPRC can help you (and your students) now.
1. We’re here for you. Whether it’s to study for an upcoming CJE or MJE exam or to help research in a case of censorship, we work to help you and your students.
2. We’re here for your students. If they (or you) find you are in a situation of need, please hit the Panic Button. Someone will answer your request within 24 hours. (It’s usually as soon as we see the email.)
3. Planning for next year? The Foundations Package is a great place to start. This resource helps by providing some starting points for creating a staff manual that includes a media- or board-level policy, ethical guidelines and procedures.
4. It’s never too early to start thinking about Constitution Day. We will release new materials Aug. 20 to help you celebrate this federally mandated event.
5. We will continue to support the First Amendment and its application in schools through our support of New Voices campaigns, First Amendment Press Freedom Award and the passage for board statements.

Please let us know if you need something or think of another way we can help you. We are happy to help

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Signing on as FAPFA candidate makes powerful symbolic statement

Posted by on Nov 23, 2016 in Scholastic Journalism, Teaching | 2 comments

Confession: For the past 10 days, I’ve spent a good chunk of time glued to media coverage of President-elect Trump, reading about his meetings with prospective leaders and reports of cabinet appointments, cries against Hamilton and SNL on Twitter and updates about the on-again, off-again New York Times meeting.

My nervousness mounts as we transition to a new president known for his attacks on news organizations, for bullying those who ask tough questions, for threats to “open up” libel laws, for ugly rants against those who hold steady to report on the record the actions of our leaders.

And while I’ve made sure to read, donate, sign petitions and facilitate respectful dialogue, I’ve also spent the past 10 days thinking about my journalism students. What can I do? What can we do? What can they do?

As is often the case, the greatest potential for impact is within the classroom. It’s clear to me that my own students’ efforts practicing, protecting and promoting their First Amendment rights matter more than ever.

Next week, Dec. 1, 2016, is the deadline for JEA’s First Amendment Press Freedom Award. I’m glad my students will apply, and here are three reasons I urge other scholastic media programs to do the same:

[1] The FAPFA process provides an important opportunity for students to revisit the core principles of their journalism program as they tell the stories of their school community through truthful and accurate reporting using a wide range of diverse, credible sources. The editors know their publication policies inside and out, but do the other staff members? Would every student on staff be able to answer the FAPFA questions accurately? Perhaps this an opportunity for editors to conduct a mini-lesson to educate or review with rookies some “What happens if …” scenarios.

[2] The possibility of recognition as a First Amendment school is another way to increase awareness in the school and throughout the community. Even if school administrators are supportive of students’ free expression rights both in theory and in practice, it’s likely there are community members who are less aware of what it means for students to make all content decisions free of administrative censorship. It’s another chance to spread the word about what the First Amendment means and why it matters.

Remember, 39 percent of Americans could not name even one of the five freedoms.

Can FAPFA recognition serve to make all stakeholders better understand the educational significance of providing students with an outlet for free expression and the long-term benefits of empowering students with the responsibility of the decision-making process?

Celebrating a school’s First Amendment Press Freedom Award recognition can play a role in the case for scholastic media curriculum development and the long game in protecting both First Amendment education and scholastic journalism specifically.

[3] Signing on as a FAPFA candidate makes a powerful symbolic statement at a crucial time.

My own students have protection from California Ed Code 48907, but they’ll still be using the opportunity JEA’s First Amendment Press Freedom Award provides. In other words, they’ll apply for the award because they can. It’s a chance to speak up and speak out for why that freedom of expression matters so much, and a chance to draw attention to states where students don’t have that right.

Discussing the questions on the first-round FAPFA form reminds students that not every student media program is lucky enough to operate in a student-led environment with journalists empowered by the critical thinking experience of their decision-making process. It puts things in perspective. It emboldens them to use the tools at their disposal, creatively and positively, to fight the good fight. It draws attention to the injustice in schools and states with administrative censorship and helps increase efforts toward press rights legislation.

Editors can proudly share their efforts in attempt to leverage that social currency and widen the scope of attention for First Amendment freedoms just when the New Voices movement — and new White House administration — need it most.

 

by Sarah Nichols, MJE

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Showcase principles of Constitution Day,
apply for this year’s FAPFA Awards

Posted by on Sep 17, 2016 in Blog, Law and Ethics, News, Scholastic Journalism, Teaching | 0 comments

Foundations_main
Constitution Day focused student journalists on power of free expression for scholastic media.

Your students can continue to recognize the  importance of First Amendment practices and policies – and be recognized for it – by applying for this year’s FAPFA award.

This First Amendment Press Freedom Award recognizes high schools that actively support, teach and protect First Amendment rights and responsibilities of students and teachers. The recognition focuses on student-run media where students make all final decisions of content without prior review.

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 compete for the title by first answering questionnaires submitted by an adviser and at least one editor. Those who advance to the next level will be 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 that show student media applying their freedoms.

Schools recognized as meeting FAPFA criteria will be honored at the opening ceremony of the JEA/NSPA Spring National High School Journalism Convention in Seattle.

First round applications are due annually by Dec. 1. Downloadable applications for 2017 will be available on the JEA website in the fall.

Save this link and apply now. Even if your school received the recognition, you must re-apply yearly.

Meet the challenges raised by Constitution Day. Apply to be a FAPFA-recognized school.

This is the 17th year for the award.

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