JEA and SPLC offer services to protect student expression

The first principle of news literacy is that free expression is the foundation of democracy. Services provided by the Journalism Education Association and the Student Press Law Center are helping to protect the role that students across the country play in that process.

JEA’s Scholastic Press Rights Commission provides a Panic Button for advisers and students experiencing censorship and demands for prior review in scholastic media.

By completing an online form, advisers and students are connected with a member of the Scholastic Press Rights Commission, who provides quick assistance and notifies others in their state.

The website also provides resources for developing editorial policies and codes of ethics, advice on dealing with prior review and guidelines for avoiding censorship.

For free legal advice regarding students’ First Amendment rights, the SPLC provides an online legal request form, as well as information and training. Inquiries can also be made by phone.

Other SPLC resources include a checklist for responding to censorship, legal guides, an online law library, FAQs and the latest legal news regarding student media and expression.

A critical component of news literacy is knowing the rights guaranteed by the First Amendment and the support systems in place to protect those rights.