Feb. 24-28 is Journalism Education Association's annual Scholastic Journalism Week, a chance to highlight the incredible work of student journalists around the country.

High schoolers are sharing some of their best work, including:
  • A 10-part series on intersex people, diving into an explanation of genetics, ethical questions in the medical community and the discrimination intersex individuals face.
  • Contention over school district boundaries and overcrowding in schools.
  • A series of stories about the challenges people face after incarceration, including having to pay subsistence fees, live in halfway houses, and work multiple low-paying jobs.
SPLC is proud to support student journalists as they pursue these difficult, but important stories. We work every day to provide legal help and expertise to students, and to fight for a free student press by providing:
  • SPLC's free legal hotline — speak directly with our media attorneys about copyright questions, help finding records, how to fight censorship and more.
  • New Voices — only 14 states in the U.S. currently have laws protecting a free student press. SPLC provides resources and support to grassroots coalitions in the many additional states working to pass these laws.
  • Legal Guides — our expert attorneys have created helpful guides on everything from FERPA to covering student government meetings to copyright and fair use.
  • Virtual Speakers Bureau — you can bring one of our attorneys into your class to teach a 40-minute lesson via videocall.
  • Student Press Freedom Day — an annual national day of action when we celebrate the contributions of student journalists and highlight the need to support their independence without censorship or threat to their advisers.
  • Public records letter generator — use this tool to formulate easy, effective public records requests.
  • News stories — keep up to date with the state of student media, including stories about censorship, budget cuts, FOI rulings and more.
  • Quizzes — a fun way to incorporate media law into the classroom.
  • Newspaper thefts — SPLC is the only group to consistently track the theft of student newspapers, a problem that remains prevalent even in the digital age.

Q: Can we (student media staff) create an online directory of alumni that includes their photos and graduation dates?

You can certainly create a directory that includes the names and graduation dates of former students. No special permission is required. Whether or not you can publish their photos can be more complicated and depends on the source and copyright status of the photo. For example, if your plan is to re-use their official “senior photo,” you’ll need to make sure you have the permission of the photographer.

In the past, it was common practice for school photographers to allow (or license) their photos to be used once in the school yearbook but to retain their license for any other use of the photo. That is, if Mom and Dad (or anyone else — including you) wanted to get a copy of the photo, they had to pay for it — or at least obtain explicit permission. Fortunately, in the digital age, many professional school photographers are loosening their licensing practices, but not all are, so you’ll still need to do your research.

See previous Ask SPLC answers

High school protection or bust

If a state does not protect high school journalists, they do not have a New Voices law. In February's New Voices newsletter, we talk about why cutting high schoolers out of these bills upholds the status quo and can't be counted as a true step forward toward student press freedom. As always, the newsletter also includes reports from the states, a webinar announcement and a pro tip for advocates.
Read the newsletter
To subscribe to the New Voices newsletter, go to the bottom of this email, click "update your preferences" then scroll down and select "Monthly New Voices updates."

Help us recognize courageous student journalism

Nominate students by May 8, 2020 for SPLC's high school journalism and college journalism awards to recognize exceptional efforts in fighting for student press freedom.
Entry Details

Support SPLC

High school and college news organizations can show their support for SPLC's legal hotline and other core services by becoming a member. Your individual donations help us defend the rights of student journalists and their advisers across the country. 
Donate now
Copyright ©2020, All rights reserved. Student Press Law Center.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list