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New Voices may bring new challenges

Posted by on Jan 31, 2021 in Blog | 0 comments

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by Stan Zoller, MJE 

As the pandemic lingers and school districts ping-pong back and forth between at-home learning, in-school learning and hybrid learning, one thing hasn’t changed. 

Laws governing student expression.

Fourteen states already have laws that protect the First Amendment rights of student journalists and, reports the Student Press Law Center, laws have been introduced or reintroduced in seven states. Full details about New Voices legislation can be found at this SPLC link.

But it’s not, as the late Al McGuire would say, “all seashells and balloons.”

The pandemic had led some school districts to come up with new policies regulating student behavior ranging from wearing pajamas during at-home learning to, you guessed it, student expression.

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Questioning Authority

Posted by on Jan 24, 2021 in Blog | 0 comments

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Fallout from the 2020 election expands into a second impeachment trial. Mobs attack the Capital raising charges of unAmerican activity and sedition. Questions of whether not wearing masks and large groups partying extend our national pain of a nearly year-old pandemic.

It is certain scholastic media will address plenty of issues. Just recently Facebook and other digital media addressed questions about obsolescence of objectivity: Could it be obsolete? What does that mean for the emergence of advocacy reporting? Could media roles change? Should they?

Questions concern revision of ethical standards: to reflect guidelines that apply to the newest tools journalists use.

Questions would tackle takedown of published information and the potential impact of deleting historical memory.

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Posted by on Jan 17, 2021 in Blog | 0 comments

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by John Bowen, MJE

While JEA condemns attack on the Capitol Jan. 6, it also urged journalism teachers and advisers to continue facilitating fact-based journalism, especially of locally-related issues.

To help students and advisers with that coverage, The SPRC highlights information and ideas that can assist in exploring current events or national issues.

JEA commended journalism educators, president Sarah Nichols, MJE, said, for finding ways to engage students in class and through coverage.

“Courageous journalism informs us all and serves as a historical record. The reporting during and after such events underscores the importance of the work journalists do based on shared values of truth and justice,” Nichols said …”Knowing these actions were largely related to deep-rooted beliefs of hate and intolerance makes the attack all the more critical for us to address.”

Students, Nichols said, students have the right to cover the news; doing so is also their responsibility.

“JEA stands behind journalists exercising their First Amendment right to report and inform the public,” Nichols said. “Journalists must be able to do their jobs without fear of retribution or harm.”

Activities | lessons | and more

Legal issues covering protests

Covering controversy

If covering protests, note these points

Questioning authority

Riding out the storm should entail future planning

Protest and the First Amendment

Tools of truth/Sloppy reporting lessons

Stories students can best tell: Reporting protests, walkouts and marches

Covering insurrection: Covering Insurrection: News Frames, Word Choice, & Whose Story to Tell. (online, free workshop)

State capitols brace for right-wing violence; D.C. locks down ahead of inauguration

Pushed to the edge by the Capitol riot, people are reporting their family and friends to the FBI

Texas insurrectionist asks Trump for pardon

One last point. Student media prevented from covering, or prior reviewed by anyone outside the student media staff, on Jan. 6 related issues, please let the Student Press Law Center and us (the SPRC) know. Use the SPLC link and the Panic Button.

panic button
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Questioning Authority:

Posted by on Jan 10, 2021 in Blog | 0 comments

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Journalists must no longer share just the what. We must provide the WHY

by Candace Bowen, MJE

It’s not just what we tell people. It’s more than ever the WHYords are powerful. And teachable moments are a gift. No one knows that better than journalism teachers. So, when crowds descended on the Capitol Wednesday (note the words I used here), I wasn’t the only one thinking about how to discuss this with my reporting students. But exactly how can I best do that?by Candace Bowen, MJE

Words are powerful. And teachable moments are a gift. No one knows that better than journalism teachers. So, when crowds descended on the Capitol Wednesday (note the words I used here), I wasn’t the only one thinking about how to discuss this with my reporting students. But exactly how can I best do that?

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Who owns student content?

Posted by on Jan 5, 2021 in Blog | 0 comments

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Students were back wherever their classes meet after the first of January when questions began on JEA’s listserv about who owned publication content, specifically images, in student media.

Responses came, saying the school did; the publication did and student journalists did. Reasons and answers varied widely.

JEA’s Scholastic Press Rights Committee several years ago, as well as the Student Press Law Center, published insight and options to guide decisions ownership decisions.

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