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Related Articles:
Freedom of Information

See archive for more articles

Quill
– Why the #FreePress editorials were not enough
– Meet the victims of violence against journalists
– World Press Freedom Day hits home
– Student press freedom laws gain momentum
– Isolation and harassment: My life as a female journalist in Pakistan

SPJ News
SPJ objects to Justice Department secretly confiscating journalist’s records
SPJ announces 2017 Mark of Excellence Award winners
2018 Black Hole Award bestowed upon Trump and his administration
SPJ, GAP launch 'The Whistleblower Project'
SPJ urges Utah, Washington lawmakers to be honest, transparent

Freedom of Information
FOIA Home
News/Articles
Find FOI in your state
FOI step-by-step guides

Quill: Stories About FOI
– Why the #FreePress editorials were not enough
– Meet the victims of violence against journalists
– World Press Freedom Day hits home

FOI Committee
This committee is the watchdog of press freedoms across the nation. It relies upon a network of volunteers in each state organized under Project Sunshine. These SPJ members are on the front lines for assaults to the First Amendment and when lawmakers attempt to restrict the public's access to documents and the government's business. The committee often is called upon to intervene in instances where the media is restricted.

Freedom of Information Committee Chair

Danielle McLean
Investigative reporter
ThinkProgress
E-mail
@DanielleBMcLean
Bio (click to expand) picture Danielle McLean is an investigative reporter at ThinkProgress and chair of SPJ’s Freedom of Information Committee. Over the past five years, McLean has worked as an investigative reporter at the Bangor Daily News and has been published in the Boston Globe, the Boston Herald, the MetroWest Daily News, the Milford Daily News, and dozens of weekly Massachusetts publications. She was ranked no. 13 in Scout Somerville magazine’s list of the top 40 local leaders in the City of Somerville, Massachusetts for her reporting at the Somerville Journal newspaper and has won the New England Newspaper and Press Association’s government, transportation, business and economic, and courts and crime reporting awards. McLean previously served as president of SPJ’s New England chapter, pushing for public records reform and a free press. Under her watch, the chapter won SPJ’s 2014-15 Circle of Excellence award for Freedom of Information.

Home > Freedom of Information > Resources for Students > Student FOI: Campus Access

Campus Access Center

Students in SPJ News
Essential Tutorials, courtesy of Quill Magazine
Helpful Links
All About FERPA


The Society of Professional Journalists is here to support student journalists nationwide as they begin to mold their careers. Whether it’s a campus chapter, student media outlet or individual, SPJ is here to offer advice, training and up-to-date information on important freedom of information decisions.

Contact your SPJ Campus Board Members

Vice President, Campus Chapter Affairs

Sue Kopen Katcef
Philip Merrill College of Journalism
University of Maryland
301-405-7526
@umnewsie
Email


Bio (click to expand) Sue Kopen Katcef is an award winning reporter who's currently the Broadcast Bureau Director for the Capital News Service operated by the Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland. Sue has been a member of SPJ since 1974 (when it was still Sigma Delta Chi) while a student at the University of Maryland. She is a past president of the Maryland Pro Chapter and a former long-time board member of the Washington, D.C. Pro Chapter. She has previously served on the SPJ national board as a campus adviser at-large and is currently SPJ's National Vice President of Campus Chapter Affairs. Sue has served on SPJ's Awards & Honors Committee for a number of years. As chair of the committee, Sue led the panel in what is now an on-going review of both the MOE and SDX awards to try and contemporize both contests. Sue has submitted MOE entries (on behalf of her students) as well as judged and coordinated (regionally) the Mark of Excellence contest and served as a judge for many years of the Sigma Delta Chi contest.

Campus Advisers
At-Large


Leticia Lee Steffen
Department chairwoman/professor
Colorado State University-Pueblo
Email
@letstef

Jeff South
Virginia Commonwealth University
Email
@jcsouth


Campus
Representatives


Rahim Chagani
Columbia Journalism School
Email

@chaganirahim


Hayley Harding
Ohio University
Email
@Hayley__Harding

On this page, you’ll find resources that can help you and your chapter regarding freedom of information news and education.

You also may contact SPJ Headquarters at any time if you have comments, questions or concerns.

Together — students, alumni and professionals alike — we continue the fight to preserve and protect the freedoms granted by the First Amendment and help the public understand those freedoms.

[Top]


Students in SPJ News
5/21/2018: SPJ announces 2017 Mark of Excellence Award winners4/23/2018: Region 1 Mark of Excellence winners announced in Philadelphia4/23/2018: Region 10 Mark of Excellence winners announced4/23/2018: Region 9 Mark of Excellence winners announced in Denver4/19/2018: SPJ Board reaffirms support for student newsrooms4/16/2018: Region 2 Mark of Excellence winners announced in Richmond, Va.
See archive for more articles


Essential Tutorials, courtesy of Quill Magazine

How to Conduct a Campus FOI Audit
FOI audits are great tools to monitor open-records compliance and check weaknesses in your state’s laws. Audits return journalism to its roots by protecting citizens’ rights to freedom of information and keeping government accountable. The purpose of the audit is to test how easily the average citizen can obtain public records. Here is a condensed guide on conducting an audit on your college campus.

FOI Toolbox: Make copies of documents on the cheap
What good is access to government records if it costs as much as a bank buyout to get copies? Too often public agencies charge more than they should for copies of records, sometimes as much as $1 or more per page. That’s just wrong, and in most states it’s illegal. So don’t stand for government gouging. Here are 10 tips for reducing or eliminating those outrageous copy fees.

10 great FOI programs for chapters, newsrooms
Chapters and newsrooms are doing great work in freedom of information, so the FOI Committee decided to share some of its programs with everyone. At the SPJ Web site, you’ll find dozens of ideas for FOI programs suitable for professional chapters, campus chapters or newsrooms. You’ll also find tips for writing about FOI, quotable expert FOI sources and studies, and FOI teaching ideas. Here is a snapshot of 10 program ideas.

[Top]


Helpful Links

Associated Collegiate Press
Columbia Journalism Review
High School Journalism Initiative
Journalism Association of Community Colleges
National Scholastic Press Association
The Poynter Institute
The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press
Student Press Law Center
UWire


[Top]


All About FERPA
The federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act was enacted in 1974 to protect the privacy of students and their education records. Unfortunately, school districts across the U.S. have twisted the law to deny records that would have otherwise been accessible. Reporters continue to strive for these records and for accountability within school systems.

We hope these resources help journalists gain access to what would otherwise be kept secret.

Language of the Law: GPO Access / FERPA

Relevant Articles:
The SPJ Guide to FERPA
Quill: FERPA Foibles
SPJ News: Restraining order against Wyoming newspapers is revoked
SPJ News: Columbus Dispatch writers win First Amendment award for reporting on FERPA


[Top]


Related Articles:
Freedom of Information

See archive for more articles

Quill
– Why the #FreePress editorials were not enough
– Meet the victims of violence against journalists
– World Press Freedom Day hits home
– Student press freedom laws gain momentum
– Isolation and harassment: My life as a female journalist in Pakistan

SPJ News
SPJ objects to Justice Department secretly confiscating journalist’s records
SPJ announces 2017 Mark of Excellence Award winners
2018 Black Hole Award bestowed upon Trump and his administration
SPJ, GAP launch 'The Whistleblower Project'
SPJ urges Utah, Washington lawmakers to be honest, transparent

Freedom of Information
FOIA Home
News/Articles
Find FOI in your state
FOI step-by-step guides

Quill: Stories About FOI
– Why the #FreePress editorials were not enough
– Meet the victims of violence against journalists
– World Press Freedom Day hits home

FOI Committee
This committee is the watchdog of press freedoms across the nation. It relies upon a network of volunteers in each state organized under Project Sunshine. These SPJ members are on the front lines for assaults to the First Amendment and when lawmakers attempt to restrict the public's access to documents and the government's business. The committee often is called upon to intervene in instances where the media is restricted.

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