Press Rights Minute is a new Scholastic Press Rights Commission service that offers quick and authoritative 60-second audio support for advisers, students and administrators on key journalistic issues.
Commission member Sarah Nichols created the concept and commission members, students and others completed segments in the series.
We created the service, in part, to practice what we teach our students regarding multiple digital tools — it shows both advisers and students how easy it is to use SoundCloud as another way to tell stories or report information to their audience in a mobile-friendly way.
The Press Rights Commission hopes you will find this service helpful as well as easy to use. We intend to build on the number of segments we have as the year goes on. If you have topics you feel we should address, please let us know.
Activating the Press Rights Minutes
Here are two sample clips. The link to the others is https://soundcloud.com/scholastic-press-rights
Clip2: Getting it Right
Clip5: 10 Tips for Dealing with Censorship
We hope you find the clips helpful. If you have requests for comments on certain issues, please let us know by contacting John Bowen, commission chair.
by Megan Fromm
A recent discussion on the JEAHELP listserv focused on whether students can, and should, write about international news. With the crisis in Syria escalating, and the potential for an American strike more real than ever, high school journalists want to flex their international reporting muscles by covering the conflict in their scholastic media.
Students enjoy reporting on international affairs because in many ways, it makes them feel connected to events from which they would otherwise be totally disassociated. As their world perspectives widen, involvement in foreign politics helps them to develop their dispositions as global citizens.
Click here to learn more
The post on news literacy is the second in a series of blogs that will run each Wednesday. Topics discussed, in order, will include FOIA, news literacy, journalism education, positive relationships with administrators, prior review, Making a Difference and private school journalism. We hope you will enjoy them. If you have other topics you feel we should address, please let us know.
In this way, engaging in media coverage of international affairs is a fantastic way to build students’ news and media literacy. The more they read and watch of the world beyond their school walls, the more they are likely to maintain this curiosity for information as they mature.
However, there are ways to cover international affairs in your scholastic publications that demonstrate both news literacy and relevancy for your school community. After all, the best and most ethical coverage is both contextual and relevant
With tremendous thanks to JEA’s fantastic membership, here are some tips from JEAHELP listserv members on how to encourage your students to cover international news in the most ethical, appropriate way:
1. Localize, localize, localize. Ask students: how can we connect something happening so far away to our own community? Who here, in this school, has a clear, immediate stake in what’s happening?
2. Report, report, report. Covering international politics requires interviews and research just like any other story. Remind students that writing about the media is not news. What local experts could they interview? Who in their community has perspective and experience to offer?
3. Consider secondary coverage. How can your students use infographics or other visual coverage to put international news in a local context? When information isn’t especially timely or local, alternative copy can help to humanize and localize.
4. Don’t regurgitate Google. If students could find the information elsewhere, your publication becomes irrelevant. Tell the stories students can’t find anywhere else.
Finally, advisers should remember that ethically and legally, content decisions in student publications that are designated public forums should ultimately be left in the hands of student editors. Encourage them to demonstrate the best reporting and news writing practices, and grade them accordingly if they fail to adhere to the standards for your publication. But telling students what to report, or not to report, facilitates neither good journalism nor news literacy.
During the last week or so, JEA’s Scholastic Press Rights Commission released or assisted with the release of some important teaching and advising materials.
In case you missed them then, here are the links again:
• Lesson plans for Constitution Day, Sept. 17 (and links to plans from previous years).
• Links to essential information available on the commission site
• Information about Quill and Scroll’s The Principal’s Guide to Scholastic Journalism revision now active and online. The print version will be available Nov. 1.
• Talking Points for teachers to use The Principal’s guide to fight against prior review and for the educational value of scholastic journalism.
• A blog on the importance of FOIA use.
JEA and its Scholastic Press Rights Commission hope these materials will be informative and useful.
by Lori Keekley
Advisers and administrators should be partners in education, not adversaries.
Advisers must teach principals about the importance of journalism and its relevance to today’s curriculum as well as enlighten them about the pitfalls of prior review and restraint.
We’ve created these Talking Points, based in part on Quill & Scroll’s new version of The Principal’s Guide to Scholastic Journalism (available in print by November, 2013) to help advisers begin to build their cases for a strong, student-driven journalism program.
Most points are further referenced in the Principal’s Guide, which are the page numbers that appear following the main point. Others have links in which advisers can find more information on the topic, including links to the online version of The Principal’s Guide and materials from JEA’s Scholastic Press Rights Commission.
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.”
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
• 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.”
• AEJMC Resolution can be found at http://www.aejmc.org/home/2013/04/resolution-one-2013/
• JEA Resolution attached and available here.