Student speech

A nationwide movement protecting the student press from censorship gains momentum

Demi Vitkute | Prior Restraints | News | September 8, 2017
September 8, 2017

Laws designed to protect the student press from censorship by school officials are gaining traction around the country, and the American Bar Association recently lent its support to the cause with a unanimous resolution.

Rhode Island passed a new law on July 18 that protects the free expression rights of student journalists, becoming the third state to do so this year after similar laws passed in Nevada and Vermont, and the thirteenth state overall to enact statutory protection for student journalism.

Student journalists' email must be turned over to state

J.C. Derrick | Reporter's Privilege | Feature | September 9, 2011
September 9, 2011

An Illinois judge ruled earlier this week that while the state's shield law covers student journalists, more than 500 email messages between a Northwestern University professor and his students investigating a 33-year-old murder case must still be turned over to state prosecutors.

Judge quashes subpoena for journalism professor's notes

Cristina Abello | Reporter's Privilege | Feature | August 19, 2010
August 19, 2010

A federal judge in Seattle yesterday granted a journalism professor’s motion to quash a subpoena from lawyers representing Chicago police officers in a civil rights case.

Judge Marsha Pechman of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington ruled in favor of Carolyn Nielsen, who wrote articles about a now-exonerated teenage murder defendant during graduate school. Pechman also awarded Nielsen a protective order against future deposition and her attorneys fees and costs.

College journalists negotiating over seized riot photos

Cristina Abello | Newsgathering | Feature | April 19, 2010
April 19, 2010

Attorneys representing a college newspaper and a local prosecutor agreed on Sunday to temporarily seal photographs that were seized from the publication's hard drives and transfer them to a third party until further negotiations can take place, James Madison University's The Breeze reported.

Chicago police subpoena journalism professor's 16-year-old notes

Cristina Abello | Reporter's Privilege | Quicklink | March 30, 2010
March 30, 2010

A journalism professor who wrote articles about a now-exonerated teenage murder defendant during graduate school has been subpoenaed by lawyers representing Chicago police officers.

Student's suit over Facebook suspension can go forward

Amanda Becker | Content Regulation | Quicklink | February 17, 2010
February 17, 2010

A federal magistrate said this week that a former Florida high school student who was suspended for criticizing her teacher on Facebook can proceed with a lawsuit against the principal who suspended her, CNN reported.

The magistrate's decision to deny the principal's motion to dismiss the suit could set an important legal precedent for cases involving free speech on social networking sites.

Univ. of Wisconsin pays student paper to settle records dispute

Nadia Tamez-Robledo | Freedom of Information | Quicklink | February 16, 2010
February 16, 2010

The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee has agreed to settle an open records lawsuit by providing previously redacted information and paying $11,765 in legal fees to its student newspaper, The UWM Post reported.

Evidence withdrawn to render journalists' subpoena irrelevant

Cristina Abello | Reporter's Privilege | Quicklink | February 11, 2010
February 11, 2010

In an effort to persuade prosecutors to withdraw a subpoena for Innocence Project students’ notes, grades, and other information, a lawyer for the criminal defendant whose conviction is being questioned withdrew yesterday some of the exculpatory evidence journalism students had previously uncovered, the Daily Northwestern reported.

California bill would protect charter school journalists

Curry Andrews | Prior Restraints | Feature | January 12, 2010
January 12, 2010

A California state Senate committee passed the latest incarnation of a bill today that would extend existing free-speech laws to charter schools. The bill will likely go to the full floor for a vote as early as next week.

Media organizations support Innocence Project's motion to quash

Cristina Abello | Reporter's Privilege | Quicklink | January 11, 2010
January 11, 2010

Media organizations today urged an Illinois judge to block a criminal prosecutor’s subpoena for the notes and records from students in Medill's Innocence Project at Northwestern University.