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SPRC has wealth of information to share


by John Bowen, MJE
It seems advisers and students nationwide face more questions recently about law and ethics. Questions have dealt with unnamed sources, takedown requests and yearbook ethics among others.

We assist our followers with more than  resources and examples.

While our team at the Scholastic Press Rights Committee respond quickly and authoritatively we, as our first step, urge you to contact the SPLC first for all legal questions. Outside that, SPRC members will do as much as we can on questions.

Our information sharing starts with the Panic Button:

panic button

Click the Panic Button to seek assistance

Click on it and it takes you to an online request for specific help, which goes to committee members who volunteer to offer to help anyone who uses the Panic Button. Our responder will reply with in 24 hours with questions for more details, assistance resources and most important support. Once contact begins, it will continue as long as we can help.

Our first recommendation for any time-sensitive legal questions: contact the SPLC first.

That’s not all the SPRC offers.

We have articles and source for everything from copyright to satire. We have lessons on a  myriad of topics. We have model editorial polices and ethical guidelines that are tied to mission guidelines. We have tried to cover all platforms and issues that can affect them.

For example, some of our lesser known resources include:

• Stories students can best tell: reporting protests, walkouts and marches

Between March 14 and March 24, 2018,, the SPRC shared legal and ethical guidelines as well as coverage suggestions for reporting walkouts, protests and marches. Because the topics are still ongoing and current, we’re loading all of our advice under one banner, for your convenience.

Tools of Truth

In the era of the fight against fake news, we believe journalists must be aware of the social climate surrounding the work they do. The attacks and delegitimization of the news media on a national scale

Click the art to go to the file

shouldn’t make us question the work we do. We must be able to educate ourselves and our audiences about the role and mission of a 21st century journalist.

Who owns student-produced content?

Scenario: Student journalists have just completed their first converged media assignments and are just about ready for publication across the various platforms. Several indicate they think their work is good enough to share with other groups. Can they legally or ethically do that with repercussion?

• Visual guidelines join online, yearbook ethics

These guidelines join our online ethics and yearbook ethics guidelines to give advisers and students support as they carry out their missions to inform and lead. Visual journalists work closely with editors, designers, producers and reporters to make sure visuals are integrated with narrative, telling stories, not just filling space. Videos, designs, photos, informational graphics and illustrations all enhance the media experience of readers or viewers. Information includes links to existing Codes of Ethics, studies and other education materials. Topics run the gamut from copyright and fair use to giving credit for work




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