Social Media, the Classroom and the First Amendment, written by Melissa Wantz, and published by the First Amendment Center and Knight Foundation, takes a fresh look at how America’s schools can enhance learning through the use of emerging and interactive media.
This guide is designed to give teachers the tools and ideas they need to engage students using social media and existing curricula. The guide was inspired by the recent Knight Foundation study “Future of the First Amendment 2011” written by Dr. Kenneth Dautrich. The Knight study – based on a survey of 12,090 high school students and 900 high school teachers — indicates that students who are most active in social media also have the best sense of First Amendment principles. That suggests that Twitter, Facebook and other social media can play an important supplemental role in the classroom.
We are indebted to Knight Foundation for its support and the funding of this teachers guide. Knight Foundation, along with the First Amendment Center, Newseum, American Society of News Editors and McCormick Foundation are also the core founders of 1 for All, an unprecedented national campaign on behalf of the First Amendment (http://1forAll.us).
1 for All is the collaborative effort of educators, artists, journalists, lawyers, librarians and many more who believe that the American public would benefit from a greater understanding of the First Amendment and the need to protect all voices, views and faiths.
“Student journalists should know by now, you likely won’t start out earning an enormous salary. And that money will seem even scarcer if you’ve got student loans to pay back. So Thursday is your chance to both support the First Amendment — that’s the one with freedom of the press and freedom of speech, which I really hope you already knew — and to potentially earn a $5,000 scholarship. It’s as easy as exercising your right to tweet — by tweeting about why you love that right (or any of the others in that near sacred amendment). For those who’ve gone through other scholarship competitions, that’s a scholarship essay of 140 characters instead of 1,400 words or so. And with 22 available awards, your odds may be better than many national winner-take-all competitions.”
The 1 For All website is hosting a Free To Tweet contest for students on Dec. 15. The idea is to get as many students talking about and exercising their First Amendment rights. Students who participate in tweeting about the First Amendment using the hashtag #FreeToTweet will have a chance to win a $5,000 scholarship.
Their website has this to say about the contest:
“Beginning at midnight on Dec. 15, students ages 14 to 22 can tweet their support for the First Amendment with the hash tag #freetotweet, which will enter them in the “Free to Tweet” scholarship competition. Students are encouraged to freely express themselves in their entries, which can be posted on any publicly viewable social media platform, including blogs.
The Free to Tweet contest takes place throughout the day, Dec. 15, 2011, on National Bill of Rights day.”
Read more on the 1 For All website.
AEJMC Presidential Statement on First Amendment Rights of Occupy Movement & of Journalists Covering It
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Nov. 21, 2011 | The Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) is committed to freedom of speech and the press in the United States and abroad. AEJMC supports citizens’ and journalists’ First Amendment rights in every city and every state, including in participating in the Occupy movement. AEJMC fully supports the Occupy protesters’ freedom of speech and assembly as a whole, and urges that journalists’ right—and responsibility–to cover these important matters of public concern be respected by all law enforcement officials. This is all the more compelling because other countries are closely watching how city, state, and federal governments handle the Occupy movement across the United States.
While recognizing the need for law enforcement officers to maintain public safety, AEJMC encourages public officials and law enforcement officers to work with Occupy participants and journalists covering their protests to ensure that basic constitutional freedoms are maintained and not encroached. The rights to protest and to criticize government are core values enjoying Constitutional protection. Additionally, the press must be allowed to freely communicate to the public information about these important and powerful demonstrations and the ideas they express. AEJMC reminds public officials at every level of government that as a nation we are and should be exceptionally committed to the often tested proposition that, as the Supreme Court of the United States declared in 1964, debates on matters of public concern remain “uninhibited, robust, and wide-open.”
For further information: Contact Linda Steiner, President, Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, 2011-2012
Available at firstname.lastname@example.org
973-762-6919 (Nov 21-27). After Nov 28: 301-405-2426
The AEJMC President’s Advisory Council allows the association’s president to weigh in on important issues that are central to the association’s mission. A three-member subcommittee of the Standing Committee of Professional Freedom and Responsibility helps inform and advise the president of important issues.
The Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication is a nonprofit, educational association of journalism and mass communication educators, students and media professionals. The Association’s mission is to advance education, foster scholarly research, cultivate better professional practice and promote the free flow of communication.
From Jason Stverak on OJR, Sept. 29, 2011 – Last month, a federal court ruled that recording public officials, including police officers, is protected by the First Amendment. This decision, which may outrage law enforcement officials and members of Congress, is one of the first federal court decisions that brings the First Amendment into the Internet age.
This case emerged from an incident where a private citizen used his personal cell phone to capture alleged police brutality.
Simon Glik could have walked away when he saw two police officers punching a man in the face. Instead, he pulled out his cellphone and started recording it. When Mr. Glik informed the police officers that he was recording audio, the officer arrested him for violating the state’s wiretap law. He also was charged with disturbing the peace and aiding the escape of a prisoner. The charges were dropped eventually because of lack of merit, but Mr. Glik filed a lawsuit claiming his free-speech rights had been violated.
This latest ruling is especially relevant to those who consider themselves citizen journalists. Before the court’s decision, members of the general public did not have the legal protection guaranteed by state shield laws enjoyed by credentialed journalists.
Charles N. Davis is an associate professor at the Missouri School of Journalism and the executive director for the National Freedom of Information Coalition (NFOIC), headquartered at the School.
Davis’ scholarly research focuses on access to governmental information and media law. He has published in law reviews and scholarly journals on issues ranging from federal and state freedom of information laws to libel law, privacy and broadcast regulation. He has earned a Sunshine Award from the Society of Professional Journalists for his work in furthering freedom of information and the University of Missouri-Columbia Provost’s Award for Outstanding Junior Faculty Teaching, as well as the Faculty-Alumni Award. In 2009, Davis was named the Scripps Howard Foundation National Journalism Teacher of the Year.
Davis has been a primary investigator for a research grant from the James S. and John L. Knight Foundation for NFOIC and another from the Rockefeller Family Fund for the study of homeland security and freedom of information issues. He was a co-investigator for an award from the U.S. Department of State for a curriculum reform project for Moscow State University in Russia.
Davis worked for newspapers and as a national correspondent for Lafferty Publications, a Dublin-based news wire service for financial publications, Davis reported on banking, e-commerce and regulatory issues for seven years before leaving full-time journalism in 1993.
How do you define mass communication?
Hmmm…..I wonder whether the question is whether the very nature of mass communication is changing in real time, with emphasis on the “mass.” Blogs, listservs, Twitter feeds – all can achieve what a decade ago required mass distribution. What that does to the relationship between the audience and the content mean these days, and how it works with and without interpersonal media – those are real questions worth pursuing. [Read more...]