Bill to expand student journalists’ rights moving in Missouri Legislature

By MITCH EDEN / Talk is cheap. Free speech isn’t. And that is what Missouri lawmakers must decide as they contemplate the Cronkite New Voices Act currently making its way through the state government. If passed, the bill, sponsored by Elijah Haahr, R-Springfield, would protect student journalists and advisers from censorship unless content is libelous, illegal or an invasion of privacy. The act would override a decision in 1988 by the U.S. Supreme Court in Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier, which ruled that St. Louis high school students’ freedom of speech rights were not violated when the school’s principal prevented articles about teenage pregnancy and parental divorce from being published in the school newspaper.

Carl Sandburg’s advice

More than a decade after St. Louis editor William Marion Reedy helped launch Carl Sandburg’s long career as a poet, Sandburg still saw himself as a journalist – and he offered advice to fellow newspapermen. His 1918-1919 series of essays, “Books the newspaperman ought to read,” ran in Pep, the monthly in-house magazine for Scripps’ Newspaper Enterprise Association around the time they hired him to cover World War I and the Russian Revolution.