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Write in for Student Press Freedom

February 24

The best thing you can do to improve student press freedom in your state is to talk to people in charge. On Student Press Freedom Day we held a letter writing party, connecting student journalists in the New Voices movement directly with each other and SPLC staff. They worked together to contact legislators and other decision makers about the student press freedom they want to see in their states. 

Editorial Cartooning: A Workshop for Students

Wednesday, Feb. 23

Unmute yourself with cartoons! Comic Book Legal Defense Fund hosted award-winning editorial cartoonists Ruben Bolling, Clay Jones, and Shannon Wheeler for “Editorial Cartooning: A Workshop for Students.” The artists described their process for making editorial cartoons, provided tips for effective editorial cartoons, and discussed working with editors and pitching ideas. They also spoke about censorship, including self-censorship, and give students a chance to ask their own questions. 

Free Speech Live! with Mary Beth Tinker

Wednesday, Feb. 23 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT

PEN America and the Student Press Law Center held an interactive online forum featuring a student-led discussion on Zoom with special guest, Mary Beth Tinker, the renowned free speech activist known for her role in the 1969 Tinker v. Des Moines Supreme Court case which guaranteed the First Amendment rights of public school students.

Recorded Events:

Book Club with Jodi Kantor & Megan Twohey

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey talked to the co-editors in chief of Townsend Harris High School’s The Classic about their book for young reporters, “Chasing The Truth.” The Instagram Live was hosted by student media adviser and advocate Katina Paron.

Using Social Media as a Journalist & Advocate

Social media is a powerful tool that enables almost anyone to have a platform. In this session, we explored how journalists can be advocates for student press freedom online and broke down the 2021 Mahanoy Area School District v. BL Supreme Court decision – you know, “the f*ck cheer” case.

How to Tell Your Story and Be a Spokesperson for Student Press Freedom

Effectively advocating for student press freedom means connecting with others and offering an authentic account of what motivates you to be a journalist. Because this workshop was designed for students to practice telling their own stories, we did not record the full event. But, you can watch special guest Cathy Kuhlmeier, of the 1988 landmark Supreme Court case Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier model how to concisely tell your story as an advocate, and tie it into a call to action.

Responding to Press Freedom Threats Through Advocacy

Whether through censorship, regressive legislation or bad policies, student voice is under attack. Learn how student journalists have changed the press freedom landscape in their states, and concrete strategies you can take to work with legislators and other decision makers to restore and protect the freedom of the student press.

Op-Ed Crash Course

Author & Veteran CNN & New York Times Journalist Steven A. Holmes gave insider tips on how to craft and place a compelling op-ed. Participants who opted in were matched with a professional journalist to support them as they craft their own op-eds related to student press freedom for a professional daily (or national!) newspaper. Watch the full recording now:

Student Press Freedom 101

In the first of our series of trainings for Student Press Freedom Day, SPLC attorneys helped students and advisers brush up on the legal concepts that are the foundation of student journalists’ right to publish truthfully and freely.