How to Host a Student Press Freedom Day Event

Want to get involved with Student Press Freedom Day but aren’t sure how? The Student Press Law Center has you covered with some great resources and tips to plan your own event! 



Step 1: Brainstorm Ideas

There are many different ways to take action this Student Press Freedom Day. In the past, participants have:

  • Created educational videos about student press rights in your state
  • Hosted panels and invited legislators to learn about the New Voices movement
  • Written and placed opinion pieces calling for student press freedom in local and even national outlets
  • Posted censorship testimonials as Instagram Reels and Tiktoks
  • Brought together Pulitzer-winning journalists and high school reporters on Instagram Live to talk about reporting sensitive #metoo stories and the need for press freedom
  • Turned a high school library into a “Newseum” with exhibits explaining key court cases and milestones in the fight for student press freedom
  • Organized a rally at the statehouse, calling on legislators to pass student press freedom protections

But don’t be limited by this list, get creative! 

Step 2: Determine Your Goal and Develop a Call to Action

As you plan your event or program, consider: what impact do you hope to create? Maybe you want to educate students about their rights, influence lawmakers to pass a bill, or call out censorship in your community.

Is there an action you want to encourage people to take? If so, consider how to work your Call to Action into all your messaging as well as your planned program. 

Step 3: Identify and Reach Your Target Audience

Who are you trying to reach? Student journalists, advisers, parents, legislators, New Voices advocates, people who don’t know anything about student press freedom?

Then, consider how best to reach that group through social media, Google ads, bulletin boards, listservs, and your own unique networks. SPFD Partners, don’t be afraid to reach out to your fellow partners and SPLC to help cross-promote!

Don’t forget: start early and stay on it! We’re all competing for attention these days.

Step 4: Get the Word Out

Post about your event, activity or program online! Be sure to use #studentpressfreedom on Twitter or tag SPLC (@splc on Twitter and @studentpresslawcenter on Instagram) and we’ll give you a signal boost.

For local events, consider high traffic or easy-to-get-to areas at times that will work for most students (or whoever your target audience is).

For online events, ask folks to register and send them reminder emails.

Step 5: Plan to Follow Up

Remember, Student Press Freedom Day is just the beginning! Now that you have a network of people interested in student press freedom, think about how you can continue to engage them going forward. Maybe it’s by connecting attendees with your state’s New Voices chapter, increasing staffing or subscriptions for your student publication, or teaching people how to seek help if they face censorship (you can always refer folks to SPLC’s free legal hotline). 

How else can SPLC support you?

Looking for additional help? Want to stock up on Student Press Freedom Day swag for your event? Contact