A letter from Hadar Harris, SPLC Executive Director

Dear Friends,

What a year this has been! We’ve launched new initiatives, responded to new challenges to student journalism and celebrated the Year of the Student Journalist. I want to share with you a few of the highlights of this past year of which we can all be proud: 

Celebrating Student Journalists and Press Freedom: 2019 was the Year of the Student Journalist and to launch it, nearly 70 student news outlets published articles and editorials on Student Press Freedom Day. Thanks to our partnership, the Newseum featured student newspapers in their Front Pages display on Pennsylvania Avenue all year. Events were held throughout the country to raise awareness of the work and challenges of student journalists.
Fighting Censorship at Every Turn: Through direct assistance, help from the pro bono SPLC Attorney Referral Network, and news stories calling attention to these censorship issues, SPLC was able to help in each case – as we do with thousands of cases each year.

New Momentum for New Voices: In 2019 SPLC hired the first-ever New Voices Campaign Organizer and held the first New Voices Training Institute, providing training and strategy assistance to seven key states as they plan for the coming legislative season. A record number of states (eleven!) introduced New Voices legislation in 2019 and two new laws expanding protections were adopted in Arkansas. Today we have active grassroots campaigns in place in more than half of the country and the momentum is growing.
Expanding SPLC’s Reach and Impact: The Virtual Speakers Bureau was launched and SPLC experts were able to meet and train more than 832 student journalists in their newsrooms via videoconference. We expanded our offerings at journalism conventions and were even able to sponsor a keynote discussion between SPLC staff attorney Sommer Ingram Dean and her mentor, NPR Legal Correspondent Nina Totenberg. And did you get your poster? More than 7,500 posters were mailed to newsrooms around the country. Remember: Write the Story – We’ve Got Your Back.
If you want to see more highlights from the past year (including amicus briefs, more censorship stories, outreach initiatives and original reporting), click here.

We are grateful for your donations and continuing support. Please help us help them by making an end of year donation to help us continue this important work.

Wishing you all the best in the year to come.

Happy holidays and happy new year.

Hadar Harris
Executive Director

P.S. Please be sure to mark Student Press Freedom Day, January 29, 2020, on your calendar and join SPLC online or live that day at the National Archives in Washington, D.C. to discuss “New Visions of Press Freedom.”
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