Journalism 101

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Know Your J-Jargon

press agent: A person hired to gain publicity for a client. The tactics used, often called press agentry, might include the staging of interviews or stunts designed to attract the attention of reporters. News Reporting & Writing (Eighth Edition) by the Missouri Group. Copyright 2005. Reproduced by permission of Bedford/St. Martins.

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3 things that damage the credibility of youth journalism

Why it is educationally important school officials support the First Amendment and free expression rights of students

 By John Bowen for the Principal’s Guide to Scholastic Journalism

Administrators would not think of planning the chemistry teacher’s lessons or calling the plays for the football coach. Yet routinely they ask for prior review and prior restraint of student media.

Let's define these terms:

  1. Censorship – prohibiting publication of information, preventing reporters access to public information or creating an atmosphere in which students censor themselves.
  2. Prior review – examining copy prior to publication for any reason.
  3. Prior restraint – forcing the staff to remove or change something prior to publication which was to be published.

Administrators and sometimes media advisers practice prior review/restraint even though there is no definable educational value. Taking decision-making away from students clearly tells them and their advisers their ideas have no value, they don't need to be critical thinkers; the First Amendment is not a necessary part of society; the school needn't practice the principles of a democracy; trained journalism teachers are unnecessary; students who pursue journalism careers will not be able to decide what readers need to know.

Published by the Quill and Scroll Society, 2002