Tuesday, August 05, 2008
We hope to see you there early and often, and we hope you love the changes as much as we do! And if you want to find something we've written in the past, don't worry -- all of our posts from here appear over there, too.
Sunday, June 29, 2008
Whitehead's free speech legacy includes ...
- Being sued by a pair of students at Everett High School who were unfairly censored;
- Watching a pair of her high schools' newspapers (Everett and Cascade) head underground because of repressive administrative practices;
- Suspending and nearly expelling a student for "working on" one of those underground papers and suspending a journalism teacher for allowing it;
- The tacit endorsement of secret video surveillance on that teacher; and
- The relocation of the journalism teachers at both Everett and Cascade to another school in the district.
Whitehead said she decided to up the time frame of her retirement from January to September because of a recent threat on her life.
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
First comes this story from the Chicago Tribune, exploring the possibility that censorship is on the rise in the wake of the firing of a respected adviser in Naperville, Ill. Quoted in the story are former SPLC director Mark Goodman and current SPLC director Frank LoMonte.
"Experts are adamant that losses like (adviser Linda Kane's) reverberate and are much more foreboding. The disagreement that led to Kane's dismissal stemmed from some controversial articles on drug use among students, and experts say her firing is part of a growing trend toward censorship in high schools, a trend that erodes citizenship, even chips away at democracy in important — if almost imperceptible — ways."
That last statement rings especially true for those of who believe student journalism is at the cornerstone of teaching democracy to future citizens — both those who work on publications and those who read them — and is supported by this recent article from the First Amendment Center.
"After 12 years of censorship and regimentation, many high school students will graduate this spring with little or no idea about what it means to be a free, active and engaged citizen in a democracy.
"When they march across the stage to get their diploma, let’s hope someone slips them a copy of the First Amendment — with instructions on how to use it.
"Far too many public school officials are afraid of freedom and avoid anything that looks like democracy. Under the heading of “safety and discipline,” administrators censor student religious and political speech, shut down student newspapers and limit student government to discussions about decorations at the prom.
"Fortunately, a growing number of brave students defy the odds and take seriously what they hear about free speech in civics class."
It reiterates a lot of points many of us have made many times over the years, but it never gets old — especially since this particular piece also ran in the Spokesman-Review. (It's the top link on the Google search — that's the only way to get to an S-R article without a subscription.)
If you're hungry for more information on the Naperville issue, I suggest starting here, then going here and here.
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
The cost is $10, and only about 60 seats remain out of the 100 originally available. Tickets can be reserved by calling 206-262-9793 -- ask for WJEA President Kathy Schrier.
The evening will be moderated by KING 5 anchorman Dennis Bounds, and is scheduled to last two hours.
Monday, May 26, 2008
It turns out that Whitehead's district viewed Kay Powers, the former journalism teacher at Cascade High School, enough of a threat that it set up video surveillance in her classroom -- without her knowledge -- to see if she was helping students produce an underground newspaper.
For her part, Whitehead says she had no knowledge of the cameras when they were installed, but defends the district's actions as legal. The teachers union, of course, disagrees.
Legal or illegal, the words "hostile" and "unsavory" jump to mind.
Tuesday, May 06, 2008
- President: Vince DeMiero, Mountlake Terrace HS
- Vice President: Sandra Coyer, Puyallup HS
- Secretary: Susan Fergueson-Holihan, Mt. Si HS
- Treasurer: Deb Kalina, Jackson HS
Coyer (current secretary) and Fergueson-Holihan (current vice president) essentially flip roles, while Kalina takes over for Lu Flannery, who is stepping down after having been the WJEA treasurer for a very, very long time.
Current president Kathy Schrier will move into both the past president role and the newly created WJEA executive director position.
You can learn more about all of your new officers here.
Now you can.
Ken Robertson at the Tri-City Herald wrote a nice editorial touting the NAA findings and encouraging parents to put their kids in journalism programs if they really want their students to succeed. Feel free to use it liberally for promotion of your program. I know I will.
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
If you didn't attend the convention, or did but somehow missed the most amazing keynote I've heard in my nine conventions, or you just want to relive the speech again, there's good news: Text of his speech is available at this link. I plan on using it in my class every year from here on out. It captures everything that we should aspire to as journalists and journalism educators.
Here's a preview to whet your whistle, or if you were there, to remind you how awesome it was:
I was a miracle. All because of my words. It was proof that words can take you place you will never imagine.
That can be you. Be that miracle. Your words can make you one. That’s why journalism is still the greatest equalizing business in the world. It doesn’t matter your color or your gender or your bank account or where you live or how you talk. If you can write, you can touch, and if you can touch, we will hire you, because that’s one thing newspapers still do better than anyone else, we can touch and be touched, the morning paper soggy from the milk and the tears.
Be the miracle.
And write the miracles.
Awesome. That's the only word I can think of.
Thursday, April 24, 2008
No longer. A new 2008 study by the Newspaper Association of America has reaffirmed the findings of a groundbreaking 1987 study that found that students with journalism experience had better grades and standardized college entrance test scores than students without journalism experience.
Just over 31,000 college students were sampled for the study, roughly 20 percent of whom had experience on their high school newspaper and/or yearbook. As in the 1987 study, the journalism students had statistically significant higher scores in the following areas:
- High school overall grade point average
- ACT composite score
- ACT English score
- College freshman English grades
- College freshman grade point average
According to the study itself:
"If nothing else, we can conclude that high school newspaper or yearbook staff involvement is an excellent outlet for talented, active and involved students. It also gives them a chance to apply their natural leadership abilities while also exercising their critical thinking, designing and writing skills."
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
But time is short. Here are the rules:
- The motto must be about journalism, but does not have to contain the word journalism.
- The motto must be exactly six words long, not five, not seven.
- Multiple entries from the same writer are OK.
- The deadline for entries is: Friday, April 25, at noon EST.
- Poynter is free to publish, or not, any entry.
- Last one out, turn off lights.
- If it doesn't fit, edit it.
- Need more Knight, but less Ridder.
- All the news no longer fits.
- See no evil, write no story.
- Feed the watchdog, euthanize the lapdog.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
- President: Vince DeMiero, Mountlake Terrace HS
- Vice President: Sandra Coyer, Puyallup HS, and Jeff Nusser, Wenatchee HS
- Secretary: Susan Holihan, Mt. Si HS
- Treasurer: Deb Kalina, Jackson HS
The Best of Show competition was highlighted by the first place finish by The Peninsula Outlook in the newspaper of eight pages or less category, led by editor Taylor Buck, the 2008 WJEA Future Journalist of the Year, and adviser Derek Smith.
The other Best of Show placers:
- The Sound, Gig Harbor HS - Seventh Place, Newspapers 1-8 pages
Arianna Thornton and Catherine Van Zimmerman, editor
Ehren Gossler, adviser
- The Hawkeye, Mountlake Terrace HS - 10th Place, Newspapers 13-16 pages
Ji Mun, editor
Vince DeMiero, adviser
- Viking Vanguard, Puyallup HS - Fourth Place, Newspapers 17+ pages
Matt Anderson, editor
Sandra Coyer, adviser
- The Apple Leaf, Wenatchee HS - Fifth Place, Newspapers 17+ pages
Claire Mueleman, editor
Jeff Nusser, adviser
- The Academy Times, Charles Wright Academy - Seventh Place, Newsmagazines
Emily Rome, editor
Steve Matson, adviser
- WaWa, Wenatchee HS - Eighth Place, Yearbooks 275-324 pages
Madeleine Warner, editor
Jeff Nusser, adviser
- Dallas Welker, Emerald Ridge HS - Newswriting
- Megan Albert, Emerald Ridge HS - Sportswriting
- Alex Gratzer, Kentwood HS - Review Writing
- Maria DeMiero, Mountlake Terrace HS - Newsmagazine Layout
- Ji Mun, Mountlake Terrace HS - Advertising
- Kellen Ray, Wenatchee HS - Yearbook Copy/Caption: Sports
- Elise Utterback, Franklin Pierce HS - Yearbook Copy/Caption: Sports
- Laura Livingston, Charles Wright Academy - Yearbook Copy/Caption: Academics
- Katie Wheeler, Deer Park HS - Yearbook Copy/Caption: Academics
- Elsy Pawelak, Gov. John R. Rogers HS - Yearbook Layout: Theme
- Sara Chemodurow, Gov. John R. Rogers HS - Computer Design: Infographics
- Mike Ake, Puyallup HS - Computer Design: Photoshop Art
- Travis King, Peninsula HS - Newspaper Sports Photography
- Cody Gibbons, Wenatchee HS - Two Weeks' Work
- Rebecca Perry, Emerald Ridge HS - Video Commercial/PSA
Monday, April 07, 2008
California's state student journalism organization has pledged $2,000 to the SPLC, and is challenging other states, including Washington, to best that figure.
A couple of WJEA members already have pledged support, and we're asking if you'd consider doing the same. If you'd like to make a pledge -- no matter how small -- you can either e-mail WJEA president Kathy Schrier with the amount and she'll send you an invoice, or you can make a direct pledge and donation online via this link.
California is a much bigger state, but wouldn't it be awesome if we could show up to Anaheim with a big check for our important friends at the SPLC?
Thursday, March 20, 2008
(At the program) students will work with professional editorial cartoonists on how to capture the essence of an issue or event in a single drawing. The course will introduce beginners to world of editorial cartooning, while giving experienced cartoonists a chance to hone their skills. Partial to full tuition scholarships will be available to the top high school editorial cartoonists.
Students wishing to be selected for a partial to full tuition scholarship should send 3 editorial cartoons or drawings, or a paragraph describing his/her interest in learning how to become an editorial cartoonist by May 1 to:
Discover the World of Communication
4400 Massachusetts Ave. NW
Washington, D.C. 20016
Attn: Sarah Menke-Fish, Assistant Professor and Director
Please include your name, age, high school and home phone number. Winners will be notified no later than May 5, 2008. Check out the website at soc.american.edu/highschool.html for additional courses.
Monday, March 17, 2008
If you missed out, you can catch up on all of the award winners here. Special congratulations to our major award winners.
- Future Journalist of the Year: Taylor Buck, Peninsula HS (Gig Harbor)
- Lu Flannery Outstanding Journalist: Emily Rome, Charles Wright Academy (Tacoma)
- Newspaper Best of Show: JagWire, Emerald Ridge HS (South Hill)
- Newsmagazine Best of Show: The Commoner, Gov. John R. Rogers HS (Puyallup)
- Yearbook Best of Show: The Thunderbolt, Todd Beamer HS (Federal Way)
- Adviser of the Year: Kay Locey, Gov. John R. Rogers HS (Puyallup)
- Fern Valentine Freedom of Expression Award: Jeff Nusser, Wenatchee HS
- Special Recognition awards: Brian Schraum and Fern Valentine
- Adviser Scholarship awards: Stephanie Keagle, Auburn Mountainview HS (Auburn), and Michelle Hornaday, Edmonds-Woodway HS (Edmonds)
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
If you just can't wait until Saturday to get your presenter program, you can get a sneak peak at this Google spreadsheet. I think it's a tremendous lineup that is going to give all students a wide variety of learning opportunities. This is in addition to the contests in the morning and the keynote by the Seattle P-I's Monica Guzman. Exciting stuff!
Hopefully we'll see you all there.
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
The event is on March 15 at Auburn High School, and is going to feature write-off competitions, a keynote from Seattle Post-Intelligencer blogger Monica Guzman, presentations by advisers and industry professionals that will give you knowledge you can take with you to make your publication immediately better, and an awards ceremony that will celebrate the accomplishments of student journalists around the state.
Still not convinced? Check out some of the presenters we've got lined up for the day:
- Chris Pirello, podcaster extraordinaire from the University of Washington
- Mike Sando, football writer for ESPN.com
- Brian Schraum, instigator of the student press legislation in Washington and recent graduate of Washington State University
- Kathy Schrier, WJEA president
- Julie Simon, Graphics and Design Editor for the Seattle P-I
- David Montesino, Assistant Managing Editor for Visuals at The News Tribune
- Judith Endejan, lawyer for Graham and Dunn speaking on reporter privilege
- Patrick O'Callahan, chief editorial writer for The News Tribune
- Mike McLaughlin, desk editor at the Seattle P-I
- Dan Hardebeck, 2007 WJEA adviser of the year from Timberline HS
- Scott Bush, freelance designer
- Students such as Matt Anderson, editor-in-chief of the Puyallup HS Viking Vanguard, and the editorial board of JagWire newsmagazine at Emerald Ridge HS.
- And me! (Jeff Nusser, adviser at Wenatchee HS)
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Find more information at wjea.net.
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
The staff of the Franklin Community High School student newspaper The Electron -- an uncensored open public forum for 25 years -- wrote a series of articles in a two-page spread on safe sex and sexually transmitted diseases. The principal, Craig McCaffrey, disagreed with the way the articles were written and felt there should have been more of an emphasis on abstinence. Now he wants prior review.
You can read all the details over at J-Ideas, which has reprinted an article from the local newspaper on its Web site. (Update: Here is the story from today's Indianapolis Star.) Essentially, the principal would like the ability to censor the publication because he disagreed with the content, something that is not protected even under the Hazelwood decision.
How can you make your voice heard?
If you would like to reach McCaffrey to voice your concerns about his unfounded censorship, you can reach him via e-mail here. If you would like to send a note of support to the adviser of The Electron or her staff, you can reach Carmen Mann-Lynch here. If you would like to contact the Franklin Community School Corporation's school board, you can find all five members' e-mail addresses here.
First, the deadline to apply for WJEA scholarships is Friday. Most of the awards require some amount of preparation, so if a student is planning on applying for one, they need to get on it.
Second, the deadline for NSPA Honor Roll applications is Friday as well. Any student who has been on the staff of an NSPA member publication for at least a year and has a cumulative GPA of 3.75 or greater is eligible. Seniors who apply and submit some additional information are eligible for $1,000 scholarships.
Friday, February 08, 2008
"Freedom breeds responsibility," Kline said. "Yes, (passing the bill) is a much needed improvement--a statement of trust."
Kline also said there is nothing in the bill that he would change, and he will persist at supporting the bill, explaining, "we adults are not good at letting go."
Sen. Joe McDermott, the bill's primary sponsor, also elaborated on his planned reintroduction of the bill in 2009.
"I do believe that awareness of student press rights is important and putting this bill forward opens the communication line to create a bill that can gain agreement," McDermott said. "In the short term, I believe some people are concerned that, on rare occasion, instruction will be interrupted when student journalists touch a nerve in their community -- something I know as a legislator the press can do at times."
Tuesday, February 05, 2008
Winners for the following awards will be announced at the WJEA State Conference, to be held March 15 at Auburn High School:
Sunday, February 03, 2008
First, this from Rep. Dave Upthegrove, who sponsored the original incarnation of the bill (House Bill 1307) last legislative session, via J-Ideas:
“We always knew it was a long-shot this year, but we felt it was important to introduce the bill in the Senate to begin the discussion in that chamber and to keep a spotlight on the issue,” Upthegrove said. “The Legislature will re-organize after the November election, and there may be new Senators and new committee assignments. We absolutely will reintroduce the bill next year.”
And then this, from Mark Goodman -- former executive director of the Student Press Law Center:
For what its worth, it was your efforts there in Washington that brought this effort back to life around the country after over a decade of dormancy. Legislators and others are talking about student press freedom as an issue of educational policy because of you folks. From the perspective of all of us watching from afar, we owe you a lot. Thanks for your hard work. Like Brian (Schraum), I believe success will come.
Friday, February 01, 2008
What happened? It's unlikely the bill was going to gain the necessary votes to make it out of committee in its present form -- with high schools included -- and in this short, 60-day session, bills that aren't on the fast track often get cast to the wayside.
However, as a famous man once said, this is not the end. It's not even the beginning of the end. We will all work hard to get legislation introduced next year, and the committees -- which hold so much power in the process -- likely will get shifted somewhat in 2009. Additionally, the opportunity still exists to educate your legislators in the meantime.
Here are the thoughts of Brian Schraum, the former Enumclaw High School and Washington State University student journalist who was the inspiration behind the initial bill and has worked tirelessly on its behalf the past two years:
Writing this for the second time sure doesn’t make it any easier.
Today we learned that SB 6449, the latest incarnation of Washington’s student press freedom legislation, will not be scheduled for a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
I know this is disappointing. I’m disappointed too – especially that the passionate students, educators and journalists who support this bill didn’t have the opportunity to speak in Olympia again. We student press advocates are a feisty bunch. And we’re not done yet.
We’ve asked a lot of you over these last two years. We asked you to get involved. We asked you to spread the word. We asked to you to believe – to believe in the importance of this legislation and that passing it was possible.
It IS possible.
And it will happen – that much I’m convinced of. We passed this legislation in the House, and I honestly believe we came within just a few committee votes in the Senate. Next year the tune starts playing in Committee Musical Chairs, and things change. And the opportunity to educate our elected officials in this session continues.
We’ll have plenty of time to dissect this effort, to look at what went wrong and what didn’t. I’d urge you not to point the finger of blame at anyone just yet. For now, I think it’s safe to say this outcome was more political than philosophical.
So instead of growing cynical about a process that hasn’t yet been successful, I’d ask you to use that energy to thank a few folks. Thank the 18 member organizations of our state- and nation-wide coalition of folks who believe so strongly in student voices and real journalism. Thank Sen. Joe McDermott, Rep. Dave Upthegrove, Bryce McKibben of the Washington Student Lobby, Kathy Schrier of the Washington Journalism Education Association, and so many others for their invaluable contribution to this effort.
And thank the Association of Washington School Principals, which took the time (when others wouldn’t) to hear us out and realize we do more for students when we understand each other. That dialogue is the beginning of something big.
I’ll ask one thing more: don’t give up. Your efforts will matter throughout this year and into the next more than they ever have before. I’m with you. I may literally be packing up the U-HAUL and moving on down the road in life – but I’m with you on this, now and always.
Great things don’t come easy or by chance, but from the hard work of a dedicated few.
Monday, January 28, 2008
In today's editorial, the S-R endorsed Senate Bill 6449 as sound educational practice. An excerpt:
We encourage thinking from birth. Thinking -- including the comparison and evaluation of competing ideas -- is a desirable trait at any age, and we want our schools to cultivate it.
One of many logical ways for that to happen is to establish and empower student newspapers in high schools, colleges and universities. Give students a real-life experience in First Amendment freedom. ...
The proposal strikes a fair balance. Still, if it becomes law, it would be remarkable if student publications didn't sometimes cause ulcers and anxiety. It would be disappointing if they didn't.
In time, inexperienced teens develop into skilled drivers, but not without ample time behind the wheel. The same approach will help children grow into citizens.
The link is here, although you'll need a paid registration to read the article.
In the past year, most of the dailies in the state have come out in favor of the proposed legislation. Publications who have publicly supported the bill include the USA Today, the Seattle P-I, The News Tribune, and The Everett Herald. The only major daily in the state to oppose the bill has been The Seattle Times, although WJEA members refuted the Times' claims in these letters to the editor.
Thursday, January 24, 2008
However, it does have some significant hurdles to get over, and that is where YOU come in.
According to Bryce McKibben, president of the Washington Student Lobby, a strong grass roots effort contacting individual senators would make a huge difference right now. Here is part of what he said in an e-mail yesterday:
We are in need of a sustained, grassroots advocacy campaign. ... What we need is for Senators Rodney Tom (in particular, pictured above), James Hargove, and Bob McCaslin to hear from teachers, parents, and student journalists -- student editors in particular -- about the bill. We need to counter the pervasive argument that there is only opposition out there. Our organization does NOT have the resources available to mobilize this important community, so we need your help there. A lot of help.
The reason those senators are so important right now is because they are considered swing votes in the Judiciary Committee. In order for the bill to have a shot at being passed, it must first make it through that committee with five of the eight committee members voting for it.
How can you help? Here are some strategies:
- Write a hand-written letter addressed to the senators above. You can find their addresses by clicking on their names above. (This tends to be the most effective method.)
- Send an e-mail to any of the senators above. You can do that via a form on each senator's site.
- Call the legislative hotline at 800-562-6000.
For a full story on the bill and further background, go to www.jideas.org.
WJEA president Kathy Schrier contributed to this report.
I'm pretty sure it's serious.
Hat tip to Mark Murray for passing this along via tha JEA Listserv.
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
The workshop is from June 20-27; applications are due April 7. For more information, visit the workshop Web site. Applications can be downloaded there.
Most interesting is this quote from the Association of Washington School Principals, which vigorously opposed House Bill 1307 last year:
For this year's bill, Communications Spokesperson Jocelyn McCabe said the organization's members are talking with each other to disuss their thoughts on the bill, which generated "lots of debate" last year.
"We have been working with the WJEA since the end of session last year and have made good progress on this issue," McCabe said. "The legislation has prompted some good discussions between students, advisers and administrators about roles and responsibilities, and we’ve appreciated the opportunity to share the principal’s perspective on student press issues."
Friday, January 18, 2008
Guzman is most well known for her prolific contributions to the P-I's Big Blog, "a rolling digest of the best in news, culture and entertainment." She's a self-described "product of her wired generation" -- that's her Facebook profile picture to the right -- and is fired up about getting to speak to the next generation of journalists. From her bio:
Monica Guzman is the P-I's first online reporter and the main contributor to its new online project, the Big Blog.
A product of her wired generation, Monica obsesses over her Facebook profile and can't remember what life was like before e-mail. She calls it a good afternoon when she can tinker with her piano and her Ibanez and a good evening when she can get out and enjoy the nightlife. A huge film fan, Monica will often cry at movies people have no business crying in and has been known to get moody if she doesn't see at least one movie in a theater every week. She can't cook, but she's trying.
Monica has worked previously at the Houston Chronicle, the Midland Daily News in Michigan and Foster's Daily Democrat in New Hampshire, covering police and breaking news, higher education and arts and entertainment.
You can watch her on KOMO/4 News at 4:20 p.m. and listen in to KOMO 1000 radio at 4:45 p.m. on Wednesdays, when she rounds up the news that's got Seattle talking.
Monica holds a bachelor's degree in sociology from Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine.
Registration forms will be available on wjea.net soon, so be looking for those. In the meantime, we'll be working hard to line up all the session speakers for the conference. We'll pass those along as we get confirmations.
Three of the sponsors of the bill -- primary sponsor Joe McDermott (D-Seattle), and secondary sponsors Adam Kline (D-Seattle) and Brian Weinstein (D-Mercer Island) -- are on the judiciary committee. Kline is the committee chair.
The members of that K-12 committee are as follows. Clicking on each senator's name will take you to a page where you can contact that senator. You can also look up your own district's senator by clicking here.
Senate Judiciary Committee
- Adam Kline - Chair (D-37th District, Seattle)
- Rodney Tom - Vice Chair (D-48th District, Bellevue)
- Bob McCaslin - Ranking Minority Member (R-4th District, Spokane Valley)
- Mike Carrell (R-28th District, Lakewood)
- James Hargrove (D-24th District, Hoquiam)
- Joe McDermott (D-34th District, Seattle)
- Pam Roach (R-31st District, Auburn)
- Brian Weinstein (D-41st District, Mercer Island)
Thursday, January 17, 2008
Writes Richard Just, deputy editor of the New Republic:
My own experiences have convinced me that today, the vast majority of students are unable to practice true journalism at their high school papers. For the past six summers, I have directed a program for about 20 high school journalists at Princeton University. All the students are talented writers and thoughtful intellectuals. Yet, by and large, they work for newspapers that are either explicitly censored or restrained by the looming threat of official disapproval -- newspapers that read more like school-sponsored news releases than true journalism. Many have been taught to write fluffy profiles of teachers and to celebrate the achievements of their sports teams; fewer have been encouraged to challenge, to criticize or to investigate. Perhaps the most important part of our program's curriculum is to help students unlearn the instincts they have acquired at their high school newspapers.
And then, the kicker -- an argument many of us have been making for years.
No high school principal would dream of telling the basketball team that it could run drills but not play games, or permit the drama club to rehearse but never to stage shows. Yet, thanks in part to Hazelwood, many high schools train their students in journalism without allowing them to truly practice it.
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
The good news is that primary sponsor of the bill, Sen. Joe McDermott (D-Seattle), is on that committee, as is secondary sponsor Sen. Brian Weinstein (D-Mercer Island). Perhaps even better news is that the chair of that committee, Sen. Rosemary McAuliffe (D-Seattle, pictured right), has been added today as a secondary sponsor, as has Sen. Karen Keiser (D-Kent).
High schools were stripped from the bill in the senate judiciary committee last year, so perhaps a change of venue bodes well for the bill being sent to the floor.
The members of that K-12 committee are as follows. Clicking on each senator's name will take you to a page where you can contact that senator. You can also look up your district's senator by clicking here.
Senate Early Learning and K-12 Education Committee
- Rosemary McAuliffe - Chair (D-1st District, Seattle)
- Rodney Tom - Vice Chair (D-48th District, Bellevue)
- Curtis King - Ranking Minority Member (R-14th District, Yakima)
- Dale Brandland (R-42nd District, Bellingham)
- Tracey Eide (D-30th District, Federal Way)
- Mike Hewitt (R-16th District, Walla Walla)
- Steve Hobbs (D-44th District, Lake Stevens)
- Janéa Holmquist (R-13th District, Moses Lake)
- Claudia Kauffman (D-47th District, Kent)
- Joe McDermott (D-34th District, Seattle)
- Eric Oemig (D-45th District, Kirkland)
- Marilyn Rasmussen (D-2nd District, Eatonville)
- Brian Weinstein (D-41st District, Mercer Island)
- Joseph Zarelli (R-18th District, Ridgefield)
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
The bill is nearly identical to the one that was passed by the House of Representatives last year, HB 1307, before high schools were stripped from the bill in committee in the Senate.
“Gaining experience in real life journalism is an important part of the learning process,” McDermott said. “This puts students that much closer to success in their professional careers.”
Supporting the bill is the Coalition for Responsible Student Expression, made up of 16 organizations, including WJEA, and the sponsor of HB 1307, Rep. Dave Upthegrove (D - Des Moines).
“I worry about a generation growing up without an appreciation of their constitutional rights and how to exercise those rights and responsibilities,” Upthegrove said. “One of the best ways to develop an appreciation of constitutional rights is to model and apply those constitutional freedoms in the school environment. This is why I introduced legislation last year, and why I will be supporting Sen. McDermott’s bill this year.”
Also sponsoring the bill are senators Adam Kline and Brian Weinstein -- both vocal supporters of the bill last year as members of the judiciary committee -- and senators Ed Murray and Jean Kohl-Welles.
- Student free-expression bill resubmitted in Wash. Senate (SPLC)
- Washington state Senate to reintroduce student expression bill (J-Ideas)
- SB 6449 Home Page
- SB 6449
"The Washington Coalition for Responsible Student Expression believes that student journalists should strive for accuracy, fairness and balance in order to achieve and maintain credibility and to bring to the public, as Walter Lippmann said, “a view of reality upon which the citizen can act.”
"Student journalists also must be responsible to the laws that govern the press – such as libel, invasion of privacy, copyright infringement and obscenity – and should strive to maintain the highest standards of journalistic ethics. Also, their work must not materially and substantially disrupt the school day.
"At the same time, student journalists should be free of obligation to any interest other than the public’s right to know, and they should be accountable to their readers, listeners, or viewers.
"A free student press reflects the intellectual health of a vibrant, dynamic school. It helps create a respect for diversity, provides a voice for students, and establishes a link between students and school officials.
"This coalition of concerned organizations and individuals support the First Amendment rights of student journalists and a strong, robust student press, not only in Washington state but across the nation."
Members of the coalition:
- Allied Daily Newspapers of Washington
- American Civil Liberties Union of Washington
- Association for Women in Communications – Seattle Professional Chapter
- Dow Jones Newspaper Fund
- Journalism Education Association
- Kent State University Center for Scholastic Journalism
- Poynter Institute for Media Studies
- Society of Professional Journalists – Western Washington Professional Chapter
- Student Press Law Center
- University of Washington – Department of Communication
- Washington Community College Journalism Association
- Washington Journalism Education Association
- Washington News Council
- Washington Newspaper Publishers Association
- Washington Student Lobby