Recognize & Reject Self-Censorship

Have you ever decided not to pursue a story because you were worried about pushback from your school or community?

Are there stories you wish you could cover but feel you can’t?

You may have self-censored without even realizing it.

This Student Press Freedom Day, join us in fighting self-censorship. Student journalists must be empowered to expose hard truths and not shy away from difficult but important stories.

The U.S. Supreme Court’s 1988 Hazelwood decision left a destructive legacy for student journalism: not only by enabling administrators to censor more freely, but by creating a culture of fear for students. Student press freedom requires fighting prior review and overt censorship, of course. But it also means understanding when we are engaging in self-censorship. We must push back against our inclination to avoid or dilute tough stories, out of fear.

Reporting on topics like vaccinations, COVID policies, sexual misconduct, racism, school finances, or teacher misconduct might be considered objectionable to administrators, advisors, or even other students. But these stories must be told.

We need your voice!

Take the quiz

You can’t fight self-censorship if you can’t recognize it. Unfortunately, many of the students who share their stories of self-censorship with SPLC indicate that they didn’t know they were engaged in self-censorship at the time. Take our quiz to see how well you can spot and resist self-censorsing.