Mark Your Calendars: Student Press Freedom Day is February 24, 2022

Get ready to "Unmute Yourself!" Student Press Freedom Day is a national day of action when student journalists in the United States raise awareness of the challenges they face and highlight their accomplishments. This year's theme is "Unmute Yourself!”

Student Press Freedom Day is your day! Unmute yourself about the ways in which your student press freedom is impacted and plan events in your school and community to help raise awareness. In the coming days you’ll see more and more events being rolled out, but it’s up to you to plan and decide how Student Press Freedom Day will be celebrated in your newsroom, classroom, state legislature or City Hall.  

Join us on November 9 for a quick primer on Student Press Freedom 101 (register here), or help us compile stories of censorship or self-censorship in the survey launching today. Photojournalists: help document what it means to Unmute yourself and what it is to be a student journalist by submitting your work to the Unmute Yourself Photo Competition. Over the coming weeks, you are going to hear more (we have a whole series of skills-building webinars planned –including the very popular Op-Ed Writing Boot Camp), but check out as more content, toolkits and events will be rolled out soon.

And remember, Student Press Freedom Day is taking place during two important times: February 24, 2022 is the 54th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Tinker v. Des Moines Independent School District decision (which importantly said that a student’s First Amendment rights don’t stop at the schoolhouse gates), and it is also the Thursday of JEA Scholastic Journalism Week. We’re looking forward to ensuring that Student Press Freedom Day celebrates these important events!

More about "Unmute Yourself!"

Recognize & Reject Self-Censorship
The U.S. Supreme Court’s 1988 Hazelwood decision left a destructive legacy for student journalism, beyond prior review and overt censorship. Student press freedom means understanding when we are engaging in self-censorship, and pushing back against our tendency to refrain from running an important story, or from manipulating that story, simply because we fear covering topics that might be considered objectionable to administrators, advisors, or even other students.

Use Your Voice For Change
As journalists, we train ourselves to tell the story, not be the story. But when it comes to advocating for student press freedom, it’s time to turn that thinking on its head. It’s not just about the stories that must be told, but the challenges we face in telling them. Reporting is democracy in action, and we must lift up our own voices to protect it. is your place to learn more about the day. Bookmark it and check back frequently as we add more to the site. 
Learn more

Training: Student Press Freedom & the Law 101

Tuesday, Nov. 9, 8 pm Eastern 

Join us as we kick off our Student Press Freedom training series (leading up to Student Press Freedom Day on February 24th, 2022) with an overview of censorship, libel, invasion of privacy, copyright, access to records and meetings and reporter's privilege presented by SPLC's resident legal experts —superheroes who have helped thousands of students across the country.
Register today

We want to hear from you!

Have you ever been censored or experienced self-censorship? Tell us about your experiences. 

We know censorship is happening all the time. Sometimes it's administrative censorship but at other times, we censor ourselves and realize that we did so much later on. We want to compile your stories to help us understand how and where this is happening. The survey won't take much of your time.

Take our survey
If you're currently dealing with censorship, contact SPLC's free legal hotline for assistance.
The Student Press Law Center’s “Unmute Yourself!” photo contest begins today. We’re looking for the best photography and visual storytelling showing student journalists in action. Here's what we're looking for:
  • A photo essay showing a week in the life of student journalists
  • Photos of your newsroom in its production process
  • Preparing for an interview
  • Setting up your studio for a news broadcast
The contest is open for photo essays or individual photos and there are cash prizes for both categories. All submissions must show student journalists. Learn more and submit an entry.
Enter the contest

Support SPLC

Your individual donations help us defend the rights of student journalists and their advisers across the country. High school and college news organizations can show their support for SPLC's legal hotline and other core services by becoming a member.
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