Bill would defend rights of student journalists

3 years 7 months 1 week ago Tuesday, March 01 2016 Mar 1, 2016 Tuesday, March 01, 2016 5:00:00 PM CST March 01, 2016 in News
By: Madeline Odle, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA - Local high school journalism students are learning about ethics amid a state-wide conversation about protecting their rights.

Hickman High School's student-run paper, Purple & Gold, and it's staff of around 30 student journalists, are responsible for finding new stories each week. 

The paper's staff advisor, Kathleen Johnson, said she trusts her students' news judgment, and allows them to make the editorial decisions on each others' stories.

"They really hold each other accountable for when is this newsworthy, is this a story we should tell, what are the potential concerns that would come up form a story like this and does that add to the necessity of the story being written," Johnson said. "These students are interested in telling stories that they feel are important to kids their age and the community."

A Missouri lawmaker proposed a bill this session to strengthen first amendment protections for student journalists. The Cronkite New Voices Act, is one of many new voices bills that have been proposed in over 20 states.

The Missouri bill would prevent public schools from practicing prior restraint on student publications in secondary and higher education institutions.

To some extent, the bill would reverse the effects of the 1988 Supreme Court Hazelwood decision that denied student journalists first amendment protection of free speech. 

The Hazelwood decision had to do, in part, with the Court's concern that without some allowance for prior restraint, some school administrations would get rid of journalism all together.

The justices' concern was echoed by some lawmakers when the the Cronkite New Voices Act was heard in committee early in February. 

University of Missouri Communications Law professor Sandy Davidson said she understands the concern, but does not see it as a reason to circumvent quality journalism. 

"If you have students that are in a journalism class, the argument on the other side would be they should be able to focus on topics that are relevant and important. If you have a school that does not want them to do so, that wants the paper just to be kind of a cheer leading tool for the school, that's not really journalism."

Johnson said the only way her students were going to learn what was important to cover was by being able to make those tough calls on their own. 

"It's way more important for kids to be determining what they feel is journalistically ethical to print and what isn't. For an adult to take that right away from them can almost sometimes have a worse impression than if they are able to come to the table and say 'I don't think we should write this story for these reasons.'"

Johnson said she is able to give her students freedom because of the support Purple and Gold receives from the school's administration.

"Our administration is a huge support to the paper. So, in terms of what our administration has been able to do here, they help print out the paper, they help us with resources in order to make that paper happen and building the program as a whole."

 

More News

Grid
List
ROCHEPORT - The Missouri Department of Natural Resources said the number of people using the Katy Trail is down by... More >>
2 hours ago Sunday, October 13 2019 Oct 13, 2019 Sunday, October 13, 2019 3:08:00 PM CDT October 13, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA — Six Columbia churches had their first Sunday service with improved emergency health precautions on Oct. 13. The... More >>
4 hours ago Sunday, October 13 2019 Oct 13, 2019 Sunday, October 13, 2019 2:00:00 PM CDT October 13, 2019 in News
HARSTBURG – Celebrating another fall season with pumpkin carving, hayrides and a straw maze, the 28th annual Hartsburg Pumpkin Festival... More >>
10 hours ago Sunday, October 13 2019 Oct 13, 2019 Sunday, October 13, 2019 8:00:00 AM CDT October 13, 2019 in News
TOKYO (AP) — A heavy downpour and strong winds pounded Tokyo and surrounding areas on Saturday as a powerful typhoon... More >>
22 hours ago Saturday, October 12 2019 Oct 12, 2019 Saturday, October 12, 2019 8:03:00 PM CDT October 12, 2019 in News
LILBOURN, Mo. (AP) — A small earthquake has been reported in southeastern Missouri. The U.S. Geological Survey says... More >>
22 hours ago Saturday, October 12 2019 Oct 12, 2019 Saturday, October 12, 2019 7:41:00 PM CDT October 12, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA — One person died after a crash in Cooper County Saturday morning. Haven Pennington, 19, drove her Pontiac... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, October 12 2019 Oct 12, 2019 Saturday, October 12, 2019 4:55:00 PM CDT October 12, 2019 in News
There is 5:40 left in the game. North Kansas City's Ronaldo Calderon kicks a field goal to give the... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, October 12 2019 Oct 12, 2019 Saturday, October 12, 2019 12:36:00 PM CDT October 12, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY — The dome of the Missouri Capitol building will be lit pink in honor of breast cancer... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, October 12 2019 Oct 12, 2019 Saturday, October 12, 2019 12:08:00 PM CDT October 12, 2019 in News
HARTSBURG - The Hartsburg Pumpkin Festival announced parking will be moved to the river roads near the festival grounds. ... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, October 12 2019 Oct 12, 2019 Saturday, October 12, 2019 5:50:44 AM CDT October 12, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - A Columbia man is behind bars after a search warrant turned up illegal drugs and and a firearm.... More >>
1 day ago Friday, October 11 2019 Oct 11, 2019 Friday, October 11, 2019 10:07:00 PM CDT October 11, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Below are scores from football games around mid-Missouri. Final scores are in bold. ... More >>
1 day ago Friday, October 11 2019 Oct 11, 2019 Friday, October 11, 2019 6:39:00 PM CDT October 11, 2019 in Friday Night Fever
COLUMBIA - Friday Night Fever’s Week 7 Game of the Week features an interesting game between a traveling Rockhurst (3-3)... More >>
1 day ago Friday, October 11 2019 Oct 11, 2019 Friday, October 11, 2019 6:10:00 PM CDT October 11, 2019 in Friday Night Fever
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Police Department is asking for the public’s help locating 28-year-old Mengqi Ji Elledge. Elledge was... More >>
2 days ago Friday, October 11 2019 Oct 11, 2019 Friday, October 11, 2019 4:38:00 PM CDT October 11, 2019 in News
NEW FLORENCE - The Missouri State Highway Patrol awarded Randy Nordman and his widow Julie Nordman with the department's highest... More >>
2 days ago Friday, October 11 2019 Oct 11, 2019 Friday, October 11, 2019 3:52:00 PM CDT October 11, 2019 in News
CALIFORNIA - The Moniteau County Sheriff’s Office and the California Police Department made contact with people in two vehicles that... More >>
2 days ago Friday, October 11 2019 Oct 11, 2019 Friday, October 11, 2019 1:59:00 PM CDT October 11, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - University of Missouri Chancellor, Alexander Cartwright, gave the 2019 State of the University Address on Friday, speaking about... More >>
2 days ago Friday, October 11 2019 Oct 11, 2019 Friday, October 11, 2019 1:34:00 PM CDT October 11, 2019 in Continuous News
JEFFERSON CITY - Ten men who have only known recent life in prison are now a step closer to success... More >>
2 days ago Friday, October 11 2019 Oct 11, 2019 Friday, October 11, 2019 12:46:00 PM CDT October 11, 2019 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - Police arrested two men in connection with a shots fired case on Dove Drive early Thursday. The... More >>
2 days ago Friday, October 11 2019 Oct 11, 2019 Friday, October 11, 2019 11:59:00 AM CDT October 11, 2019 in Top Stories
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 65°
6pm 60°
7pm 56°
8pm 54°
9pm 52°