Recent Update: Student Safety Tips (contributed by USC-Annenberg and adapted, edited and expanded by Geanne Belton.)

Journalism Programs As News Providers: Supporting The Journalism By Addressing Legal Risk

With cutbacks in newspaper editorial staff and the ease of Internet publication, journalism programs are filling gaps in news coverage. Their school-based publications and collaborations with professional news outlets are enhancing educational and professional opportunities for students and playing a vital role in informing the public.

How can journalism programs protect and advance their journalism and journalism education while appropriately and reasonably planning for and mitigating legal risk?

The overarching goal for this project is to help support the increasingly important journalism that journalism schools are contributing to the public by:

1. Identifying legal issues and areas where we might find a consensus on best practices and easy, sensible ways to reduce legal risk and providing recommendations;

2. Identifying helpful law and legal protection-related resources;

3. Considering strategies to help ensure journalism and press freedom values and media law expertise play a prominent role in law-related decisions.

This project resulted in the development of Recommendations for Journalism Programs, published on this site.  This project also was a catalyst for the development of Student Safety Tips by USC-Annenberg, which we’ve adapted, expanded and newly published on this site.

Thank you to the many journalism and law professors, deans, media lawyers, journalists, journalism scholars and foundation-based journalism experts who have participated in this project, including from:

American University
Associated Press
Baruch College
Berkman Center’s Citizen Media Law Project
Boston University
Carnegie Corporation
Columbia University
Creative Commons
CUNY Journalism
Harnisch Foundation
Harvard Law School
Howard University
Knight Foundation
Levine, Sullivan, Koch & Schulz, L.L.P.
New York Times
Palo Alto High School
Poynter Institute
Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press
Robert R. McCormick Foundation
Student Press Law Center
The Tribune Company
University of Minnesota
University of Missouri
University of North Carolina
University of Southern California

Geanne Belton
Project Director
Professor, Department of Journalism and the Writing Professions,
Baruch College of the City University of New York
Faculty Associate, Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University
(646) 312-3969

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