Student journalists have always done incredible work keeping their schools and communities informed, but the connection and clarity they provide have never been more important than in the past year. In 2020, students conducted an essential service by disseminating public health information related to COVID, informing first time voters of crucial election information, exposing racial discrimination in their communities and fighting for transparency from public officials — all while coping with the sudden shift to remote learning and the personal toll of isolation, risk of exposure to COVID, outpouring of racism and more.
The theme for Student Press Freedom Day 2021 is Journalism Against the Odds in acknowledgment of the phenomenal news coverage student journalists produced despite being faced with these incredible challenges.
Student journalism keeps us connected and informed. It is a public good that we must protect. As 17 year-old Lily Wobbe told Teen Vogue, “There’s no reason we should be censored and prevented from covering things like gun control or racism or climate change, because these things impact our lives just as much as they impact adults’ lives.”
Join the movement to protect student journalism!
Take Action for Student Press Freedom
Feb. 25 — Student Journalism Forum
8 p.m. ET via Zoom
Join other student journalists from across the country for a town hall conversation on what student press freedom means to you, what you overcame in the past year, and what you can do to strengthen student press freedom moving forward.
Feb. 25 -27 — Screen the Documentary “Raise Your Voice”
From February 25-27, production company GoodDocs and Maribeth Romslo, the documentary filmmaker behind Raise Your Voice, will be generously making her film available for streaming by the student press community, in honor of Student Press Freedom Day. The film follows the student journalists at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School as they navigate their school mass shooting as both survivors and journalists. Every person who wants to watch the movie must register. We encourage you to host a screening with your newsroom, or join SPLC staff as we watch on Friday, Feb. 26th at 12:30 p.m.
Feb. 4 — Op-Ed Boot Camp
In preparation for Student Press Freedom Day 2021 (Feb. 26), veteran journalist Steven A. Holmes led a workshop for students giving them guidance on how to craft and pitch op-eds. Check out the full recording now:
Feb. 17 – Press Briefing
The Student Press Law Center released a white paper chronicling our findings regarding the censorship and intimidation challenges student journalists faced over the past year. Then, we held a press briefing on Feb. 17th, to go over these findings and answer questions for news media.
Student Journalism: Understanding the Challenges
21 Excellent Stories of Student Journalism Against the Odds
New White Paper on Censorship of Student Journalism in 2020:
Get the Student Press Freedom Day Toolkit
Find images, samples social media posts and more to include in your own Student Press Freedom Day plans.
List in formation.