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Finding pieces of the puzzle
that is scholastic media

Posted by on Aug 7, 2015 in Blog, Ethical Issues, Legal issues, News, Scholastic Journalism, Teaching | 0 comments


sprclogoLooking for the pieces to the journalistic puzzle a new year of student media will bring?

Here are some pieces that might help:

• Use of the Panic Button can help with legal or ethical issues.

Constitution Day materials available around the first of September. Congress mandated schools must provide lessons and activities on Constitutional issues Sept. 17. Check out our past materials and be on the lookout for ones to come this year.

• Need a quick way to start your class each day or once a week? Listen to our Press Rights Minutes with information on a variety of legal and ethical points.

• Facing changes in what you report and how to do so? Our Foundations Project will provide extensive information, lessons and articles on building effective editorial policies, supporting them with strong ethical guidelines which in turn are strengthened by detailed staff manual procedures.

More, including links to SPRC lessons, will come soon.

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5 Important points you might have missed this week

Posted by on Sep 19, 2014 in Blog, Ethical Issues, Legal issues, News, Scholastic Journalism, Teaching | 0 comments


With all the attention to Constitution Day and its lessons this week (which are usable any time), you might have missed other points of information:

• Friday, Sept. 19, the SPLC released information about reprinting its articles. For more information, go here.

• The same day Evelyn Lauer posted commentary to Huffington Post on the Neshaminey board suspension of its newspaper editor and adviser.

• An article on the Thinkprogress site about the Neshaminy issue.

• A column by Megan Fromm about the importance of news literacy and a scholastic journalism where students make all final decisions of content and learn from that action.

• A Thinglink visual linking to other essential SPRC works

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In case you missed something we’ve done …

Posted by on Sep 14, 2014 in Blog, Hazelwood, Law and Ethics, News, Scholastic Journalism, Teaching, Uncategorized | 0 comments


In case you might have missed some of our key projects and materials, here is a quick and easy way to locate them. Materials range from access to the Panic Button to passing free expression legislation in your state.

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Constitution Day 2013 teaching materials and lessons

Posted by on Sep 1, 2013 in Blog, Hazelwood, Law and Ethics, News, Scholastic Journalism, Teaching | 0 comments


by Lori Keekley
The Scholastic Press Rights Commission works to provide information and resources on legal and ethical issues to journalism students, teachers and administrators. SPRC members also work to promote the First Amendment rights of students across the nation, and is a commission of the Journalism Education Association.

We designed our Constitution Day lesson plans to help students celebrate the Constitution and Bill of Rights, as mandated by Congress. Legislation requires schools to offer lessons on the Constitution and how it affects all Americans. Our lesson plans emphasize the First Amendment and particularly the freedoms of speech and the press.

Constitution Day is Sept. 17, and you might want to work these lessons into that timeframe.

The first lesson requires students to use online sources to guide them through several legal points. Students then work through three authentic scenarios regarding their press rights.

The second lesson allows students to explore the conflict of reporting the truth when that truth may have consequences. Students work with several leading questions and apply them to several scenarios.

The third lesson acts as a starting point for those who are in need of creating a staff manual. Students will explore several terms including responsibility and accountability.

The fourth lesson is a package on sourcing includes five lessons on use of sources, attribution and verification, with each segment raising ethical questions about the information gathering and presentation process. Included are:

The use of anonymous sources
Effective use of sources
Comparing sourcing and verifying of information in digItal and print stories
Quick hits: Checking your sources, evaluating and verifying them
Quick hits: Critical thinking not only on effectiveness of the lead but also on the credibility and value of the information.

We also will publish Talking Points for Advisers to discuss prior review and restraint with their administrators. The release of this document will coincide with Quill and Scroll’s new, to-be-released onlineedition of the Principal’s Guide to Scholastic Journalism.

We are confident these lessons will interest students and help student journalists better practice their art. As always, we welcome your feedback and suggestions.

Lori Keekley
For JEA’s Scholastic Press Rights Commission and the Constitution Day Committee
Constitution Day Committee
John Bowen, MJE, Kent State University (OH)
Megan Fromm, Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University (MD)
Kelly Furnas, CJE, Kansas State University (KS)
Mark Goodman, Kent State University (OH)
Lori Keekley, MJS, St. Louis Park High School (MN)
Jeff Kocur, CJE, Hopkins High School (MN)
Chris Waugaman, MJE, Prince George High School (VA)

We also will publish some Talking Points for Advisers to discuss prior review and restraint with their administrators. The release of this document will coincide with Quill and Scroll’s to-be=released edition of the Principal’s Guide to Scholastic Journalism.

You still have access to past Constitution Day materials:

2012 materials, part 1
2012 materials, part 2
2011 materials


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What to look forward to this fall

Posted by on Aug 20, 2013 in Hazelwood, Law and Ethics, News, Scholastic Journalism, Teaching | 0 comments


With the beginning of another new year, we thought it important to let you know what the Scholastic Press Rights Commission has been working on to better meet your legal and ethical needs.

• Our third set of Constitution Day lessons will be available around the first week of September on this site.

Court cases and Hazelwood timeline

• Also available early in September will be the first of weekly blogs on a range of legal and ethical issues such as using FOIA records, news literacy, journalism education and prior review.

• Members of the commission worked with  Quill and Scroll to update the Principal’s Guide, which will be available online as well as in print. Date to be announced. To support teachers in helping their administrators with the principal’s Guide, check out Talking Points prepared by commission member Lori Keekley.

• The Tinker Tour announced its itinerary. Follow along here .

• Our second set of reporting called Making a Difference, identifying and evaluating articles that created change in their communities, will also be available on this site later this fall.

• Need legal or ethical advice? Facing prior review? Use the commission’s Panic Button, which will put you in contact with members of the commission.

We have a wide range of information and activities planned to share with you this fall, so stay tuned. In the meantime, let us know your needs; what you would like to know, or questions you have, about law and ethics.

In our next blog, we will share where to find key legal and ethical information, and lesson plans, available from the commission.

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