How to putyour schoolon the mapCenter for Scholastic JournalismKent State UniversityKent, Ohio
We track public forum status TheCenter for Scholastic Journalism began a project in 2008 to track publications that have achieved the status as open forums for student expression.
Purpose of the map Themap is an excellent way to demonstrate “strength in numbers” to show that schools across the country do indeed allow students to make content decisions in their student media. The map also raises awareness of the importance of student-led publications.
Forums schools are indicatedby colored pins on the map
Colors signify an open forum Green pins represent open forums that exist because building or district policies exist that designate students as the final authority over a publication or media outlet’s content. Bluepins represent open forums that exist by the practice of school administrators allowing students to make content decisions, even if school policies don’t address the issue or contradict student authority to regulate content.
Colors signify a forum Magenta pins are those schools for which we’re working to confirm their status as open forums. Ultimately, the pins will either be changed to green or blue or will be taken down because they are not open forums.
Each pin contains information This includes the name of the school, the adviser, the length of time the publication has been a open forum, as well as links to any school or editorial policies that designate the publication as an open forum.
Do you think you’re a forum? Open forums can exist either by an official school policy OR by the practice of school officials allowing students to make content decisions in their student media. Knowing which designation fits your school is crucial.
Examine these definitions Mark Goodman, former executive director of the Student Press Law Center and current Knight Chair for Scholastic Journalism at Kent State, and John Bowen, chair of the Journalism Education Association’s Scholastic Press Rights Commission, created and updated these definitions based on applicable court decisions and standards espoused by journalism education and legal advocacy groups.
Open forums by POLICY An official school policy exists that designates student editors, within clearly defined limitations (libel, obscenity, etc.), as the ultimate authority for determining content. A publication’s own editorial policy does not count as an official school policy unless some higher school official has formally endorsed it. School officials actually practice this policy by exercising a “hands-off” role and empowering student editors to lead. Advisers teach and offer students advice, but they neither control nor make decisions regarding content. No one but the adviser reviews content prior to publication.
Forums by PRACTICE A school policy may or may not exist regarding student media, but administrators have a “hands- off” approach and have empowered students to control content decisions. For some period of time, there has been no act of censorship by school officials and there is no required prior approval of content by a school administrator. Advisers teach and offer students advice, but they neither control nor make decisions regarding content. No one other than the adviser reviews content prior to publication. A publication’s editorial policy can serve to demonstrate that a publication operates as a public forum.
It comes down to whocontrols the content For an open forum to exist, STUDENTS must be responsible for content control. Adviserscan teach and coach students to help them make sound decisions, but they don’t make decisions. Others outside of the staff (school administrators, department heads, other teachers) do not prior review, “approve” or change content before it’s published.
The process to get your schoolonto the public forum map Fill out (to the best of your ability) all of the information on the form “Are your school’s media public forums?” Attach copies of applicable school and/or staff editorial policies.
Fill out the form & submit it Theform is a writable PDF document. You can either fill it out electronically and submit it to firstname.lastname@example.org or you can print it, fill it out and mail it back: Center for Scholastic Journalism Kent State University School of JMC 201 Franklin Hall Kent, OH 44242
Include copies of policies No matter how you choose to submit the form, be sure to include copies of applicable school and staff editorial policies that demonstrate status of open public forums either by policy or practice. These can be submitted as hard copies, electronic copies or links (whichever is most convenient).
Take note… Differentstudent media in your school could be governed by different policies and practices. Be sure to include applicable policies for each student publication/media outlet in your school if the policies and/or practices differ for each.
New pins will appear regularly The map will be updated regularly as more information arrives and is verified. Someone from the Center might contact you with some follow-up questions before a pin is placed on the map. Faculty/staff at the Center will make the final determination whether a school qualifies as a open public forum based on the information it provides.
Spread the word! Thisproject relies on good promotion to make it successful. The goal is to get as many pins as possible on the map to show that schools across the country do indeed protect students’ rights to free expression and press. Trevor Ivan Graduate assistant Center for Scholastic Journalism Kent State University http://www.slideshare.net/candaceperkinsbowen/