Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Supreme Court judge holds school paper to "prior review" over his speech there; what about "Gossip Girl" bloggers?

The New York Times has an interesting conjecture about publication today, “Should school newspapers be subject to ‘prior review’”, in a column by Holly Epstein Oljavo. The term “prior review” means that sources (such as outside speakers) and sometimes school administrators approve coverage before going to press. The web URL link is here.

The question links to a front page story today, Nov. 11, in The New York Times, by Adam Liptak, “You Can Quote Me Next Week” in print, “From Justice Kennedy, A Lesson in Journalism”. Justice Anthony Kennedy spoke at Dalton, a private school in New York City, but Justice Kennedy insisted that his “office” approve any article discussing his talk before publication. This from a proponent of the First Amendment, including freedom of the press (and more freedoms than that).

Justice Kennedy seems to be overlooking the “Gossip Girl” effect (particularly in a private school): what’s to stop some “Blake Lively” type to cover it all in a blog and draw more attention than the school paper. Maybe school blogging policies. Then we get into what is enforceable when students write on their own time. (Don’t English teachers like to see students keep journals?)

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