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The campaign recognizes the important role of student journalists, the impact they make, and the challenges they face. Student journalists report on their schools and also increasingly cover local and regional news, filling a gap as local newspapers decline.

But student journalists often have fewer First Amendment protections and are subject to censorship and budget cuts, sometimes by school administrators more concerned about avoiding controversy than reporting the truth.

Only 14 states currently protect the press freedom rights of student journalists, though a national effort for such state laws is underway.

Student newspapers train the next generation of journalists in their First Amendment role as “watchdogs on government.” To recognize the contributions of student journalists, the Freedom Forum Institute, the Newseum and the Student Press Law Center declared 2019 the Year of the Student Journalist.


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