Freedom of the student press?

“At a time when we are faced daily with conversations about media bias, internet hoaxes, social media, fake news and alternative facts, journalist education is more important today than ever,” said Indiana Republican Rep. Ed Clere.

One House bill would offer more protections to student journalists across the state, from middle school to college. State lawmakers debated these rights Tuesday.

Discussion of new legislation that would ultimately offer more rights to student journalists leads to another topic: Should student journalists have the right to publish such controversial articles? 

While one may disagree, The Franklin staff believes students should be able to cover what the public has a right to know. It is the duty of high schools and colleges to prepare their student journalists for the real world. How can these students “be prepared” when administrators censor articles and the budding journalists behind them?

The real world is not censored. What happens on a daily basis and is covered in a newspaper the following day can be much worse than what could be published in a school newspaper.

Wouldn’t it be more logical to allow students to write more relevant stories pertaining to their school and the surrounding community than about the basketball team’s latest loss? If a community is affected by teen pregnancy or suicide, why not allow students to write about it?

By giving students the opportunity to write about such topics, they can provide information that may otherwise be unknown. For example, in the incident of a suicide, an article about the situation could prevent rumors and provide the community with tips for grieving.

Students should be allowed to explore real world issues. Fluff stories about the best place to buy a formal dress are not sample-story worthy for internship applications. 

Several student journalists get internships where they immediately jump into the job. They are expected to know what they are doing in order to receive the same respect as those they work alongside. 

In a world where the media is scrutinized and criticized daily, all journalists must have the ability to write the stories that need to be told without the fear of being censored.

OUR POSITION: The staff believes student journalists should not be censored, and should have the right to write what they deem appropriate.

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OUR BOARD:

The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by the various authors in the opinion section do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of the entire The Franklin staff. Opinion editor Christina Ramey moderates the board and its members, including Brittney Corum, Adrianna Pitrelli, Matt Thomas and Ashley Steeb. Leigh Durphey, the executive editor, sits on the board. If you have an issue you would like the board to cover, email christina.ramey@franklincollege.edu.

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About The Franklin staff 69 Articles

The Franklin is the student newspaper at Franklin College in Franklin, Indiana. We publish in-depth campus news weekly.

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