Resources for Students
Student Research Guidelines: How SPJ can help students
SPJ is more than happy to help student journalists. We welcome research questions as students pursue studies inside and outside the classroom. We offer a variety of resources and professional experts that are available, but try as we may, our services are not available 24/7/365 - specifically those of our hard-working volunteer experts and committee members. While we recognize those limitations, we will do all we can to assist students. In order to gain that assistance, we ask that students please follow these three guidelines:
1. Please submit your questions early.
SPJ asks that students submit any questions to national headquarters or SPJ committees two weeks before the due date of the project/test/paper/etc. This will give staff or volunteers enough time to answer your questions effectively and comprehensively. Please do not call the day of or the day before a paper or project is due. If you have a research question about journalism ethics, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. All other questions may be sent to email@example.com.
2. Please submit thoroughly researched questions only.
If you have questions for a research paper or project you are completing, please show in your questions to SPJ that you have a thorough knowledge of your subject. SPJ staff and volunteers are not responsible for reciting or directing you to research and studies that have already been published. We are happy to provide insight and deeper analysis, but we ask that you demonstrate an understanding of the basic principles you are studying and discussing in your paper or project.
3. Please limit your calls to the Ethics Hotline.
Please do not call the Ethics Hotline with a question for a research paper or project. The Ethics Hotline has two main purposes: First, it is intended to assist professional journalists with ethical dilemmas they face in the workplace. Second, the Hotline may be used by students who encounter ethical dilemmas while working for student media outlets. If you do not fall in those two categories, we ask that that you not use the Hotline.