Apply now for SPLC's 2021 Student Press Freedom Awards
Over the past year, high school and college student journalists persisted through stifling public record refusals, budget cuts, and threats to tell stories critically important to their classmates and communities. These stories questioned the status quo and exposed hard truths.
If this sounds like you (or a student you know), apply now for SPLC's 2021 Student Press Freedom Awards.
We'll recognize one high school and one college winner. Each award comes with a cash prize for the winning student news organization. The submission deadline (covering stories published during the 2020-21 academic year) is June 1.
Law school students and undergraduates interested in applying for law school: the 2021 SPLC Summer Media Law & Policy Institute is a five-week online training institute which will explore the legal framework and emerging issues of law, ethics and policy surrounding media law and press freedom. Application deadline is May 1.
Q: Can my public school administration require us to cover a story in the yearbook?
A: Generally no. In addition to protecting one’s right to speak, the important flip-side to the First Amendment is that it also protects a person’s right not to speak, to remain silent. Schools cannot force students to publish an article, editorial or advertisement under their names with which they disagree. Only in the case of a glaring omission — if the staff refuses to mention graduation or decides to omit the entire freshman class — might the school have a reasonable justification to step in. But in such rare instances, the student staff would have a right to demand that their names not be attached to such coverage.
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.