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Conversations at the Schoolhouse Gate

Posted by on Jan 17, 2020 in Blog | 0 comments


Episode 9: Photojournalism during school

The latest episode of the SPRC podcast Conversations at the Schoolhouse Gate focuses on setting the scene and then interviewing students and their adviser at Palo Alto High School.

Students dealt with authorities trying to block them from taking photos when a police officer was injured on campus.

You can listen directly from the website here or — better yet — subscribe on Apple podcasts or Spotify. This would be a great one to share with your staffs, also.

Student journalists at Palo Alto High School illustrate the tension between press freedom, public safety and ethics during a crisis at their school

In this episode, Menlo School adviser Tripp Robbins asks student journalists what they would do during a rumor-filled crisis at school and then interviews students at Palo Alto High School in California who actually dealt with one.

Students and their adviser, Paul Kandell, talk about the challenges of shooting photos of breaking news and lessons they learned.

If you are a student or a student media adviser with a story about scholastic press freedom, we want to hear from you.

You can reach us at with the subject line “Podcast” or tweet us at @jeapressrights. So you don’t miss out on future episodes, please subscribe to this podcast through any of the many podcast applications available for your computer or phone.

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Teaching students to fact-check themselves and others

Posted by on Jan 12, 2020 in Blog | 0 comments


by Susan McNulty, CJE
The Stampede and The Hoofbeat adviser
J.W. Mitchell High School, Trinity, Florida

Thursday, Jan. 9, Facebook announced in a blog post found here their platform will soon allow users to opt out of certain political and social issue advertisements. 

This decision came in response to demands for Facebook to fact check ads before approving their inclusion on the social media feed. 

Two students illustrate the fact-checking process needed for all reporting.

After endorsing government regulation such as The Honest Ads Act, Rob Leathern, Director of Product Management, stated in the blog post, “In the absence of regulation, Facebook and other companies are left to design their own policies. We have based ours on the principle that people should be able to hear from those who wish to lead them, warts and all, and that what they say should be scrutinized and debated in public.”

Fact checking, scrutinizing content and debating ideas in public should be celebrated by student journalists and educators. As journalists, our first and most important task is to seek truth and report it. 

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Deadline extended for Student Press Freedom Day grant application

Posted by on Jan 7, 2020 in Blog | 0 comments


Deadline for the SPLC led Student Press Freedom Day grant applications of up to $300 is extended to Monday, Jan. 13, Hillary Davis, New Voices Advocacy and Campaign Organizer, said today.

“I still encourage you to have your applications in this week for priority consideration,” Davis wrote in an information release. “I’m seeing some great ideas.”

Davis pointed to the activity as a way expand your work and tell your state “This Is What Student Press Freedom Looks Like.”

For questions, contact Davis or check out

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Ethics codes are important, should not enable punishments of students or advisers

Posted by on Dec 29, 2019 in Blog | 0 comments


Lindsay Coppens
The Harbinger adviser
Algonquin Regional High School, Northborough, Mass. 

Adopting a code of ethics can be an excellent way to promote ethical discussion and decision making in a scholastic publication.

There are many ethics codes such as the Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics and National Scholastic Press Association Model Code of Ethics for High School Journalists that can be great jumping off points for a publication’s own code of ethics. 

Developing a code of ethics can, in itself, be a great way to foster ethical discussions and to reinvigorate a staff’s purpose. By studying, discussing and debating the relevance and applicability of aspects of various codes of ethics, high school journalists will inevitably reflect on their own practice and potential future concerns. 

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Could $300 help show your community what student press freedom looks like?

Posted by on Dec 16, 2019 in Blog | 0 comments


by John Bowen, MJE

With Student Press Freedom Day coming Jan. 29, 2020, the Student Press Law Center created an incentive to help student media celebrate, inform or advocate the importance of free student media.

The incentive comes in the form of grant applications due to the SPLC by Jan. 9. Student media can use the grants, for up to $300 each, to act as a springboard toward New Voices passage, toward why America needs more scholastic journalists or local campaigns to educate communities.

Titled “This is What Student Press Freedom Looks Like,” events or activities would take place on or near Jan. 29.

For an SPLC list of possible ideas, events and activities, contact information and rules, click here. Check out coming blogs here for additional ideas.

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