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Tweet25- Paying the cost of Hazelwood

Posted by on Feb 7, 2013 in Blog, Hazelwood, Law and Ethics, News, Scholastic Journalism, Teaching, Uncategorized | 0 comments


Tweet-25 Information coherence and civic engagement cannot develop under Hazelwood. #25HZLWD

by John Bowen
Information coherence is at the core of democracy.


Information coherence allows those in a democracy to compare, digest and use information. With it, communities can make informed and intelligent decisions.

Without it, communities falter.

Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel in The Elements of Journalism also refer to this approach as one that allows audiences to make sense of information.

“Coherence,” the authors write, is “making sense of the facts. Coherence must be the ultimate test of journalistic truth.”

Accuracy, they write, is the foundation on which everything else – context, interpretation, debate, public communication and trust – is built.

Journalistic truth is a process, they say.

“If the foundation is faulty, everything else is flawed,” they say.

Neither the journalistic process nor information coherence works under an educational system guided by foggy and manipulative Hazelwood thinking, where prior review and prior restraint keep information from making sense, silence debate and undermine trust.

Information coherence is been a priority in schools and communities where 25 years of Hazelwood have limited – or should we say strangled – exchange of ideas and development of information coherence.

We could call it the cost of Hazelwood. Unless cured, this cost of Hazelwood has been, and will continue to be, high.

This cost includes:
• Citizens who do not trust authority figures because they never were involved with decision making in a learning environment
• Citizens who do not trust information authority presents because their background has shown them it has always been slanted or incomplete
• Citizens who do not participate in civic engagement because they have taught or have experienced education in which they had no voice
• Citizens who cannot respect the principles and actions of a free and responsible press because they have never seen one in their schools.

Given this heritage, these costs will only deepen in the future as schools reach out to control expression outside the school environment because untrained students misuse social media and the Internet to bully others.

We must, as the Student Press Law Center says, develop a cure for Hazelwood, one that empowers students to practice the essential freedoms and skills of a democracy, and become engaged with decision-making that creates an impact on their lives and on the lives of others.

We honor schools which have not paid Hazelwood’s price. We salute these schools and celebrate their leaders, whether administrators or community members, for actions leading to the path of learning and civic enrichment.

But, in the end, we have not done enough. It is not enough to note that Hazelwood has led to a decline in information coherence as well as in civic engagement. If we have not tried to intercede in this process in and outside schools, then we are, in many ways, responsible for it.

Others in this series have said it well: Hazelwood is, has been and will continue to be everyone’s problem.

Its effects will only continue unless we do all in our power to educate ourselves, our students and our communities about why we must have a Hazelwood Cure.

And then work to create one.

If we continue to ignore Hazelwood’s cost, if we do not seek a cure, then we bear the burden of responsibility for the lack of action that enables such cultural malaise to continue.

To do nothing to is chose.

What will be at the core of your plan of action?  What will you do to empower a Hazelwood Cure?

• Press Freedom in Practice
• Cure Hazelwood
• Resources for school newspaper advisers
• Media Adviser’s Forum
• Scholastic Journalism Resources
• Statements
• Teaching and learning about journalism
• Scholastic journalism resources
• High school journalism

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Student journalists can ward off prior review, Hazelwood with TAO pledge

Posted by on Feb 5, 2013 in Blog, Hazelwood, Law and Ethics, News, Scholastic Journalism, Teaching, Uncategorized | 0 comments


Student journalists can ward off prior review, Hazelwood by taking TAO pledge #25Hzlwd ‎

by Kathy Schrier
Hazelwood stories: Student journalists who take the TAO of Journalism Pledge, promise to be “Transparent, Accountable and Open” in their practice of journalism. Upon taking the pledge, they may post the TAO of Journalism Seal with their masthead. It’s a public promise to do the best journalism possible, and a way to tell readers/viewers and school administrators that their trust is valued.hazelwoodcolor

The TAO of Journalism Pledge was introduced four years ago by the Washington News Council as way for professional journalists to rebuild credibility in a rapidly changing media environment. The idea caught on, worldwide. Now journalists across the U.S. and as far away as Mozambique have taken the TAO of Journalism Pledge, and post the TAO of Journalism Seal with their work.

The Journalism Education Association endorsed the idea three years ago, and included a TAO of Journalism Sign Up Day on the Wednesday of Scholastic Journalism Week. This year, student journalists are again encouraged to Take the TAO of Journalism Pledge on TAO sign-up day, Wednesday, Feb. 20.

Here’s how you do it:

  1. Go to and click on “Take the Pledge.”
  2. Click on “Students: Click here to make it official.”
  3. Fill out and submit the short online form.
  4. Take a photo of your staff taking the TAO of Journalism Pledge.
    Send a copy of the photo to to be posted on the TAO website.

What you will get:

  1. Downloadable versions of the TAO of Journalism Seal that can be posted online or with your printed masthead
  2. Once the Seal is in use, your program will be listed in the “Directory” on the TAO of  Journalism website
  3. Temporary tattoos of the TAO of Journalism Seal for every member of your staff
  4. A poster with the text of the TAO of Journalism Pledge to display in your staff room
  5. Improved credibility and trust in your student media by school administrators and your audience in general



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Educate others about journalism’s role, skills for our future

Posted by on Feb 4, 2013 in Blog, Hazelwood, Law and Ethics, News, Scholastic Journalism, Teaching, Uncategorized | 0 comments


Tweet-22 Educate others about journalism’s role, skills for our future.  #25HZLWD

Journalism and democracy were born together.hazelwoodcolor

Democracy cannot long exist without an active and professional journalism program. But today’s journalistic role has changed.

We can no longer just deliver information. We must make sense of the world and also help citizens make sense of the flood of information that surrounds them. Transparency is one way.

Citizens have rights, but also responsibilities, when it comes to news.

In an expanding era of media literacy, journalism students have a real opportunity – and an obligation – not only to do the reporting but also some of the teaching.

• Journalism’s moral responsibility: Three questions
• ‘Just the facts’ isn’t good enough for journalists any more, says Tow Center’s journalism manifesto
• Principles of Journalism
• Citizen journalism publishing standards
• Attack dog, watch dog or guide dog…The role of the media in building community
• Online journalism ethics: Guidelines from the conference

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Hazelwood is everyone’s problem

Posted by on Jan 31, 2013 in Blog, Hazelwood, Law and Ethics, News, Scholastic Journalism, Teaching | 0 comments


by Carrie Faust
Hazelwood stories: Since the Supreme Court voted to limit the rights of scholastic journalists with the Hazelwood v Kuhlmeier decision in 1988, Colorado – and six other states – have enacted legislation to ensure the rights of students in those states would not be affected.

Ideally, because some state laws can trump federal law, those pieces of legislation should have ensured students would continue to operate with full authority as to the content of their publications and without fear of censorship from their school leaders. Unfortunately, that is not always reality, even in these seven states.hazelwoodcolor

Across this country, principal licensure programs barely touch on the issue of the First Amendment in schools. When they do, Hazelwood, a lesson of ignorance, fear and control, is the lesson taught, even in states with Anti-Hazelwood legislation.

Hazelwood has become a broad, sweeping brush stroke, used to paint over all topics “controversial” or “inappropriate” that may be covered in a school publication. The words “legitimate pedagogical concern” have been used to censor papers for everything from spelling errors to “unsportsmanly” critiques of the football program, to student opinions on the administration.

Hazelwood is everyone’s problem. In the last few years, states with Anti-Hazelwood legislation have been as likely to make the news for issues of censorship as those without. In Colorado, an adviser tried to censor her students for featuring a same-sex couple in the yearbook. A California school district tried to limit the right of scholastic publications to determine the content of their advertising. In Oregon, a school administration confiscated a paper because students ran a Twitter screenshot containing profanity.

Isn’t this illegal? Yes. Principals who have been trained incorrectly, under the Hazelwood standard, to operate out of fear, will make a decision to censor every time. More often than not, after weeks and months of bad publicity for the district, the students regain their right to publish. But, the knee-jerk decision to censor is systemically ingrained.

Hazelwood continues to be the cancerous standard school board policy generators like the Colorado Association of School Boards and NEOLA use, even when the districts they are generating for are in Anti-Hazelwood states. School districts everywhere continue to have on the books school board policies that go against these laws.

Hazelwood is taught to the administrators and policy-makers across our country with no regard for the lies and vitriol that come with it because there has been no large-scale, local, retraction to the Hazelwood language, even though experts agree the decision should not limit student rights the way it has been used.

Hazelwood is everyone’s problem. Even if advisers are lucky enough to live in an anti-Hazelwood state, you, and the students you teach, are affected by its far-reaching implications. Principals are trained using the Hazelwood standard to censor without cause, and students everywhere are self-censoring for fear of repercussion.

The only way to make this right is to demand a review of the Hazelwood ruling by the Supreme Court. They must reverse this decision that flies directly in the face of our Bill of Rights. Until that time, advisers and students must be vigilant in their education of administration and their pursuit of anti-Hazelwood legislation.

Hazelwood is everyone’s problem.

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High school students, teachers
report student media censorship

Posted by on Jan 13, 2013 in Hazelwood, Law and Ethics, News, Scholastic Journalism, Teaching | 0 comments


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Twenty-five years after the Supreme Court limited First Amendment protections for high school student journalists, a survey of students and media advisers attending a national journalism convention suggests that censorship in their schools is a common occurrence.hazelwoodcolor

Of the 4,540 students and teachers who attended the National High School Journalism Convention in San Antonio, Tex., Nov. 15-18, 2012, 500 students and 78 advisers responded to survey questions asking about their experiences with censorship of student media.

Significant numbers of both students (42 percent) and advisers (41 percent) said school officials had told them not to publish or air something. Fifty-four percent of students reported a school official reviews the content of their student news medium before it is published or aired.  And 58 percent of advisers said someone other than students had the final authority to determine the content of the student media they advise.

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