Protecting the Rights of Student Journalists

A lawmaker in Missouri wants student journalists to have more rights. Student journalists often write or take pictures for their school newspaper or yearbook...

The proposed bill would prevent school administrators from censoring or blocking this content. The rules for student journalists differ by state. For instance, in California both high school and college students have measures that protect their work from being blocked by school officials.

This gives them some of the same rights professional journalists enjoy.

Here in Ohio, there are no such added protections. Missouri, along with several other states are working to make sure student journalists and their content are protected.
Taylor Petras has more.


  --REPORTER PKG-AS FOLLOWS--
(Tim Tai, MU Student Journalist) " You know we have to stand up for our own rights to be able to do our job and do it well because it's a responsibility to the public."
BACK IN NOVEMBER, M-U SENIOR JOURNALISM STUDENT TIM TAI JUMPS OVER THE ARMS OF PROTESTERS TO TRY TO GET A PICTURE OF THE HISTORIC CAMPUS PROTESTS.
THEY WERE BLOCKING HIM FROM GETTING THAT SHOT.
THAT SAME DAY COMMUNICATIONS PROFESSOR MELISSA CLICK TELLS ANOTHER STUDENT JOURNALIST TO LEAVE.
"Don't look at them as students, look at them as journalists because that's what they are."
TODAY, 10 PEOPLE TESTIFIED IN SUPPORT FOR A BILL THAT WOULD ENSURE STUDENT JOURNALISTS COULD DO THEIR JOBS WITHOUT FEARING CENSORSHIP FROM SCHOOL OFFICIALS.
STATE REPRESENTATIVE ELIJAH HAAHR IS SPONSORING THE WALTER CRONKITE NEW VOICES ACT.
HE SAYS SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS SHOULDN'T BE ALLOWED TO CENSOR STUDENT PUBLICATIONS, UNLESS THE MATERIAL IS SLANDEROUS.
(State Rep. Elijah Haahr, (R) Springfield) "'It's been so accepted as the law of the land that no one has been willing to challenge it. So I think this kind of sets a new day in Missouri and a new tone for student journalists in my opinion."
HAAHR SAYS HE HAD BEEN CONSIDERING THE LEGISLATION FOR SEVERAL MONTHS, BUT THE CONTROVERSY REGARDING THE MEDIA DURING THE PROTESTS AT THE UNIVERSITY IN THE FALL MADE BRINGING IT TO LIFE MORE REALISTIC.
TAI SAYS THE BILL IS NECESSARY FOR ASPIRING JOURNALISTS LIKE HIMSELF.
(Tim Tai, MU Student Journalist) "It's absolutely vital that students have access to these publications that they're able to exercise their journalistic rights to a reasonable extent."

Instructional Links

Website Article: Student Press Law Center, Top Ten High School FAQs

http://www.splc.org/page/high-school-faqs

Online Reference Source: Points of View Reference Center, Censoring Student Newspapers

http://web.a.ebscohost.com/pov/results?sid=e040ebd2-6928-446a-b3bd-60749c6d9ee6%40sessionmgr4002&vid=4&hid=4207&bquery=(XX+%22Censoring+Student+Newspapers%22++OR+XX+%22CENSORSHIP+--+United+States+%22+OR+XX+%22STUDENT+publications+%22+OR+XX+%22HIGH+school+student+publications+%22+OR+XX+%22ELEMENTARY+school+student+publications+%22)&bdata=JmNsaTA9RlQmY2x2MD1ZJnR5cGU9MCZzaXRlPXBvdi1saXZl

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