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Bite for your rights

Has your student media been censored or threatened? We want to know. We want to help. Here’s how SPJ defends student journalists...

We publicly shame bullies

Sometimes that’s administration. Sometimes Student Government. Recently, it was even another newspaper. When Florida Atlantic University editor Emily Bloch was plagiarized by a local weekly and ignored by its editors, our reporting was picked up by national outlets. Those editors quickly suspended the offender.

But if that doesn’t work...

We embrace uncivil disobedience

When Georgia’s attorney general ordered David Schick to remove embarrassing public records from his personal blog, we published those same public records on our website — and recruited others to do the same. After realizing his embarrassment was spreading nationwide, the attorney general gave up the very next day.

But if that doesn’t work...

We handle boring logistics

When Florida A&M shut down its newspaper for a month because it ran too many “negative” stories, editors started their own online publication. We offered tech advice and even recruited a college copyediting team from around the country — so the editors could spend more time doing more journalism that pissed off more administrators.

But if that doesn’t work...

We cough up cash

When editors at Iowa’s Muscatine Community College wanted to start their own newspaper — after their school hired a private investigator to interrogate them about their reporting — we led a fundraising effort that surpassed $5,400 in less than a week.

But if that doesn’t work...

We get defensive

When Otterbein University refused to release police reports about an alleged campus rape and other serious incidents, editor Anna Schiffbauer sued the school. SPJ’s Legal Defense Fund gave her $10,000 to pay an attorney. Her case made it all the way to the Ohio Supreme Court — where she won.

Now we’re combining all these tactics into a single, snarling watchdog group called SMACK. And we’re adding some new ideas...

Got something we should write about? Tell us.

Learn more

J Team: Smack some sense into your censors
Bayonet Awards: Recognizing the nation's edgiest student journalists
News: College Media Watchdog
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