Podcast examines effort to strengthen student press rights

Join us on Saturday, Feb. 20 at noon Eastern when the next episode of Studio SPJ will examine a new national movement aimed at strengthening press freedoms for student journalists.

Our guests will be Frank LoMonte, executive director of Student Press Law Center and John Tagliareni and Tom McHale, two veteran high school journalism advisors in New Jersey.

All three have been advocating for legislation known as the New Voices Act, which would restore, by way of state-level protection, the rights that the U.S. Supreme Court stripped away from students in Hazelwood vs. Kuhlmeier.

The 1988 decision held that the First Amendment rights of student journalists were not violated when school officials prevented the publication of certain articles in a student newspaper, that were produced as part of a journalism class.

There is concern that the Hazelwood standard could be applied to university newspapers, despite clear findings by the courts that pre-publication review of student newspapers at public universities is not permitted.

The New Voices bill, which passed in North Dakota and currently pending in New Jersey, applies at both the K-12 and college levels, and importantly also includes retaliation protection for student advisers.

The Society of Professional Journalists enacted a resolution at its most recent national convention in  September calling on its members to get involved in supporting New Voices legislation in their own states.

We’ll talk to Lomonte about the national effort currently taking place in 20 states. McHale and Tagliarini will discuss their efforts to advocate for the bill in New Jersey.

SPJ Acting Region 1 Director Jane Primerano will serve as host of the 30-minute program, which is co-sponsored by the New Jersey chapter of SPJ.

To listen to the program live or hear it later as a podcast, go to: http://bit.ly/1NYL4rg

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