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What’s in your editorial policies,
board- and publication-level,
does make a difference

Posted by on May 10, 2015 in Blog, Hazelwood, Law and Ethics, News, Scholastic Journalism, Teaching | 0 comments


sprclogoSometimes adversity can be a blessing in disguise. At least that is the point SaraRose Martin, co-editor of Fauquier High School’s The Falconer published May 8.

In a column, Martin said administrative censorship helped her learn she had rights and how political the world is.

“I learned how much I believe in free speech and the significance of fighting for it,” she wrote.

The article that drew administrative censorship was coverage of “dabbing,” a term for smoking a concentrated form of marijuana. An opinion piece about censorship of the story can be found here. The dabbing article can be found here. An SPLC article on the censorship can be found here.

Martin also published two additional articles May 8, on the school’s prior review policies and her view of its limitations and the other examining prior review as an extension of curriculum.

Martin’s passion over the importance of unreviewed and unrestrained scholastic journalism is evident throughout the articles.

Also evident is the importance of strong editorial policies as well as student media being forums for student expression.

Reflect on the articles and the passion behind them. Then do everything you can to ensure strong editorial policies prevent the interruption of student learning evident here.

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Two important articles worth discussion, inclusion in j classes

Posted by on Apr 5, 2015 in Blog, Ethical Issues, News, Scholastic Journalism, Teaching | 0 comments


sprclogoTwo articles published April 5 could add lively discussion in journalism classes as well as reinforce time-tested procedures of information checking.

One is a Columbia Journalism Review report on the Rolling Stone article on an alleged rape last July on the University of Virginia campus that Rolling Stone later retracted. The report has multiple segments with numerous links – all focused on how Rolling Stone failed its basic reporting obligations. All worthwhile to scholastic journalists for many reasons.

The second is a Washington Post article, also published April 5, about a Virginia high school journalist’s story censored by school administrators because The Post reports the principal said the article was too mature for publication and was concerned students would “be exposed to a new and dangerous drug without adult guidance.” The article itself is linked to the story, too.

The strength of both articles is their stress on substantive reporting of importance to readers and journalists alike. Student journalists can learn from both articles. In one case they can learn how any controversial article should be approached. In the other, they can learn about ways to stand up against censorship.

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