Original. Student reported. Your daily dose of Right-minded news and commentary from across the nation
Approved bill protects North Dakota student journalists from censorship

Good news for student journalists with nosy administrators: North Dakota’s Legislature has approved a bill that would guarantee their right to publish as long as it doesn’t “cause a substantial disruption to the operation of the school.”

The Student Press Law Center reports that North Dakota would be the eighth state to have such protections against censorship for student journalists.

And lawmakers already took out a poison pill:

On Monday, the House Education Committee chairman reviewed and conferred the Senate’s amendments, including the removal of language that would have created guidelines for the prior review of student publications at colleges. [Sponsoring Rep. Alex] Looysen said the House unanimously passed the bill as amended.

The governor’s expected to sign the bill, but there’s more work to be done:

As the proposal approaches law, [Valley City State University professor Steve] Listopad said he would like to keep the momentum going by working on rules that would extend additional free-speech protections for students at private schools and colleges — a proposal that lawmakers nixed early in the legislative process.

Steve Andrist, the North Dakota Newspaper Association’s executive director, said the legislation is an important step forward for student journalists, adding that it was gratifying “that the student free press movement has been reinvigorated by a little thing that was able to happen in a small, obscure, rural state like North Dakota.”

Read the story.

Like The College Fix on Facebook / Follow us on Twitter

IMAGE: Jonathan Blocker/Flickr


About the Author
Associate Editor
Greg spent several years as a technology policy reporter and editor for Warren Communications News in Washington, D.C., and guest host on C-SPAN’s “The Communicators.” Previously he led media and public relations at Seattle’s Discovery Institute, a free-market think tank. Greg is developing a Web series about a college newspaper, COPY, whose pilot episode was a semifinalist in the TV category for the Scriptapalooza competition in 2012. He graduated in 2001 with a B.A. from Seattle Pacific University, where he co-founded the alternative newspaper PUNCH and served as a reporter, editor and columnist for The Falcon.

Add to the Discussion