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Limits on scholastic journalism forum theory

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Limits on scholastic journalism forum theory

  1. 1. Limits on Scholastic Journalism
  2. 2. The Hazelwood Case <ul><li>January 13 th , 1988 </li></ul><ul><li>Supreme court handed down decision involving the censorship of a school publication </li></ul>
  3. 3. The Two Sides <ul><li>1. The First Amendment of the Constitution applies to all citizens, including high school students, and therefore school administrators have no right to interfere with what’s published in the school newspaper. </li></ul>
  4. 4. The Two Sides <ul><li>2. “The school newspaper is a school-sponsored activity, and the principal is the publisher of the paper, acting on behalf of the citizens of the school district, and therefore has the ultimate, legal control over what’s published in the paper.” </li></ul>
  5. 5. THE FACTS . . . <ul><li>In 1983, The Spectrum prepared a series of stories on student pregnancy and effects of divorce on students </li></ul><ul><li>Principal Robert Reynolds deleted all of these materials, believing they invaded the privacy of the involved students, who were unnamed. </li></ul><ul><li>Materials “inappropriate for some of the younger students at the school.” </li></ul>
  6. 6. THE CASE . . . <ul><li>The students sued </li></ul><ul><li>Case taken to supreme court </li></ul><ul><li>Court said a school may “disassociate itself from speech that would interfere with work . . . Or that would be unsuitable for immature audiences.” </li></ul><ul><li>Most school administrators responded favorably </li></ul>
  7. 7. The Case . . . <ul><li>Many commercial newspapers agreed, saying that the principal has the same power to control content as the publisher of a commercial newspaper </li></ul><ul><li>See “reactions” pgs. 48-50. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Forum Theory <ul><li>Forum = place where ideas exchanged </li></ul><ul><li>Forums are places where society protects ideas </li></ul><ul><li>Under forum theory, once government creates a forum, it can’t control the ideas expressed there. </li></ul><ul><li>In Hazelwood case, Supreme Court ruled that the student paper wasn’t an open forum. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Problems Created by Hazelwood <ul><li>How is it possible to teach first amendment values where students are censored? </li></ul><ul><li>What, now, is the educational value of good journalism classes? </li></ul><ul><li>Shouldn’t journalism classes be learning experiences? </li></ul>
  10. 10. Final Thoughts . . . <ul><li>It’s not the law that governs student journalists. It is their sense of ethics, of right and wrong. </li></ul><ul><li>Remember the basics of journalism! </li></ul><ul><li>Accuracy, accuracy, accuracy </li></ul><ul><li>Fairness, good taste, objectivity </li></ul><ul><li>Good taste, good judgments, good sense </li></ul>

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