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Celebrate Sunshine Week by filing a public records request. We can help!

   We're in the middle of Sunshine Week, an annual nationwide celebration of access to public information and what it means for you and your community.
   The Student Press Law Center hotline receives many inquires from student journalists who need guidance obtaining state and local public records or advice on what to do if they're denied or charged an exorbitant fee.
   The SPLC's Public Records Letter Generator helps make the process as simple as possible. You just fill out some quick questions about who you are and what you're looking for, and it spits out a precisely worded request that cites specific state/local statutes. Pretty nifty, right?
   Check it out:
   We've been sharing posts about #StudentPressFreedom each week to keep you up to date with Year of the Student Journalist. This time we're cheating and sharing one of our own posts. Just last week, Nicole Anderson from Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago told us she used the public record letter generator to write a front page story about a student suing the university over ADA violations. See her testimonial.

Join the conversation throughout Year of the Student Journalist by tagging @splc on Twitter or @studentpresslawcenter on Instagram and using #StudentPressFreedom. Download the logo to use on your masthead, opinion page, social media, etc. 

Q: Is my newspaper legally responsible for online comments that someone outside of our organization may post?

A: If the comments are made by outsiders and not your own staff, the Communications Decency Act provides legal shield to you and your website. These protections apply even if you are aware of objectionable content or voluntarily screen comments for libel or profanity. However, if your staff members begin to rewrite any of the comments, you could become subject to libel as a “co-creator.”  

What should next week's Ask SPLC be?

Submit a question

SPLC's high school and college press freedom awards 

The submission deadline for both awards (covering stories published during the 2018-19 academic year) is June 14, 2019.
Apply now.

Newspaper thefts 

SPLC tracks newspaper thefts. In the last month, we've had four incidents, all attempting to suppress "negative" or "controversial" stories.
See more.

Support the SPLC

Your support helps us to defend the rights of student journalists and their advisers across the country.  
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