"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press"

Showcasing journalism’s energies..standing out in a crowd

Posted by JBowen on Mar 3, 2013 in blog, Hazelwood, law and ethics, news, scholastic journalism, teaching, Uncategorized | 0 comments


An amazing number of advisers and students celebrated their creativity and willingness to engage in the viral potential of the Harlem Shake and Gangnam Style crazes recently. True student work should be celebrated and encouraged.spacer

But wouldn’t it be nice – and appropriate – if journalism programs, no matter their platforms, would jumpstart journalistic excellence by devoting the same attitude and enthusiasm for publishing coverage that exhibits depth and substantive reporting skills?

At a time when we seek a Cure for Hazelwood, we need to showcase our best journalistic skills as much as those designed to entertain.

A slightly beleaguered Scholastic Press Rights chairperson


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media literacy and more for NIE Week">New lessons on fairness, crisis coverage,
media literacy and more for NIE Week

Posted by JBowen on Feb 26, 2013 in blog, law and ethics, news, scholastic journalism, teaching, Uncategorized | 0 comments


March 4-8 marks Newspaper In Education Week, the annual celebration of newspapers as a classroom resource across a variety of subjects.

This year, the American Press Institute and the Newseum have teamed up to deliver a new, three-unit curriculum with six lessons aligned to Common Core State Standards. Lessons focus on the following topics:

  • Newspapers in Your Life – What’s News Where? and The First Rough Draft of Histor
  • In the Newsroom – The Fairness Formula and Planning for the Unpredictable
  • Media Literacy – Where News Comes From and Evaluating the News

If you’re not familiar with API and the Newseum, here’s a little background. In 2012, the former Newspaper Association of America Foundation was merged into the American Press Institute. API, now headquartered at NAA in Arlington, Va., is continuing the NAA Foundation’s long tradition of producing new curriculum materials in honor of NIE Week. The Newseum, the “museum of news” located in Washington, D.C., also has a tradition of providing educational resources for teachers.

“With so many sources of news and information at their disposal, young people more than ever need to be educated media consumers,” API Executive Director Tom Rosenstiel said in a news release. “This curriculum is designed to help educators accomplish that. It makes use of original, professional journalism produced by local newspapers and combines it with the Newseum’s educational resources for something that is timely, real and proven in schools.”

Lessons in the NIE Week 2013 curriculum incorporate existing Newseum resources, such as the Today’s Front Pages gallery. They are geared toward middle- and high-school students, but include extension activities for elementary students. Although they are being released for NIE Week, lessons are “evergreen” in terms of subject matter and can be used anytime.

Need more lessons aligned to Common Core? Check out High Five, an integrated, three-unit curriculum that includes reading, writing, journalism, grammar, linguistics and visual literacy. All materials are age-appropriate for middle-school students. The curriculum uses the daily newspaper as a textbook and information source.

Marina Hendricks, a member of the SPRC, is director of communications at NAA and former manager of the NAA Foundation.


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Impressed by the FAPFA winners? Show everyone your forum status, too

Posted by JBowen on Feb 21, 2013 in blog, Hazelwood, law and ethics, news, scholastic journalism, teaching | 0 comments


Impressed by the First Amendment Press Freedom Award schools? We are.

We would bet, though, there are more student media out there that would qualify as forums. So, between now and next fall when the next FAPFA deadline comes around, let others know of your forum status by applying to be recognized  this Scholastic Journalism Week.spacer

Go to the Center for Scholastic Journalism website and learn more about that recognition, and then submit the online form to apply.

Establishing your student media as open forums for student expression – not closed or limited forums – can make a huge difference in developing a Hazelwood Cure. The best forum is like preventative medicine. The worst is like being exposed to active disease cultures. The information and resources below can help you on the road to wellness.

CSJ recently added these schools as open forums, and their locations will be pinned on CSJ’s Google map:

•Lafayette High School, Wildwood, MO.
• Eureka High School, Eureka, MO.
• South Hadley High School, South Hadley, MA.

Links to map resources:

• Forum definitions,

• List of designated open forums,

• CSJ Forum PowerPoint in case you have further questions about your forum status

• CSJ Forum Application.

Need another eight reasons to work toward designated public forum status/?

Daniel Reimold wrote 8 ways a landmark Supreme Court ruling has changed student journalism on the Poynter website Feb. 21. His main source, SPLC executive director Frank LoMonte, called the Hazelwood decision’s input of scholastic journalism “sheer devastation.”

If nothing else might convince those public forum schools out there to become recognized for their achievements this article and its key points, might.

Reimold ended the article with this quote from LoMonte: I’t disheartening to see anyone censored,” said LoMonte, “but it’s doubly disheartening when people are so frightened and intimidated that they won’t even speak up about it. You’re never going to change public policy until the decision makers perceive there is a widespread problem.”

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Four Missouri Schools Earn Press Freedom Award

Posted by JBowen on Feb 19, 2013 in blog, Hazelwood, law and ethics, news, scholastic journalism, teaching, Uncategorized | 0 comments


Perhaps it is fitting these four schools are this year’s recipients of the First Amendment Press Freedom Award.

After all, it is the 25th anniversary of the Hazelwood v Kuhlmeier decision, and Hazelwood East, it can be argued, sits in their backyards. In Missouri.spacer

Even without a state law to support them, four St. Louis-area schools showed they actively support and protect First Amendment rights of their students and teachers as they earned the FAPFA recognition.

The 1988 U.S. Supreme Court’s Hazelwood decision gave administrators the right to censor student media and more, under certain conditions.

Francis Howell High School and Francis Howell North High School, St. Charles, Mo., Kirkwood High School, Kirkwood, Mo., and Lafayette High School, Wildwood, Mo., will be recognized at the opening keynote at the JEA/NSPA High School Journalism Convention in San Francisco April 25.

This award has been co-sponsored for 13 years by the Journalism Education Association, National Scholastic Press Association and the Quill and Scroll Society.

The award, which began with an emphasis on student publications, was originally titled Let Freedom Ring, and later expanded to include the other freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment.

As in previous years, schools competed for the title by first answering questionnaires submitted by an adviser and at least one editor; those who advanced to the next level were asked to provide responses from the principal and all publications advisers and student editors, indicating their support of the five freedoms. In addition, semifinalists submitted samples of their printed editorial policies.

First round applications are due annually by Dec. 1. Downloadable applications for 2014 will be available on the JEA website in the fall.

Way to show everyone the road to the First Amendment, Missouri.

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