[High School Journalism] An Update On Students Editing Newspapers

Remember when I posted on an old USA Today story that covered a new Oregon law that eliminated prior restraint for collegiate and high school newspapers?

I excerpted this bit:

Opponents of the bill, such as the Oregon School Boards Association, said that students aren’t capable of responsibly editing a newspaper.


Ouch, right?

Well, a few days ago I got an email from Shannon Priem, the Communication Services Director for the Oregon School Boards Association. She had this to say (posted with permission):

The blurb from the USA Today July 11 story you quoted from was the “conclusion” of Tracey Loew, the reporter — not OSBA. She wrote, “Opponents of the bill, such as the Oregon School Boards Association, said that students aren’t capable of responsibly editing a newspaper.”

I’m sorry, but we didn’t say that. If we did, I’d like to know who — because as the communications director for OSBA, that “position” wouldn’t have cleared my desk. This statement is simply her assumption . . . and one not based on facts. We would never claim “students aren’t capable” of anything.


That’s a pretty solid refutation, and quite the indictment of the story – if Priem is right, Loew did something more than a little sketchy by journalistic standards.

Of course, it is possible that someone from the OSBA did say that, but it’s unlikely given the construction of the relevant sentence in the original story.

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