Getting Started

This website is not the first attempt at providing a blueprint for passing scholastic press rights legislation. 

In 1996 Bruce L. Plopper conducted a study of the 28 attempts that had been made to that point.  In “A synthesis model for passing state student press legislation,” Plopper made four major recommendations:

  • Gain widespread support from a variety of journalism and education organizations
  • Choose a sponsor with certain characteristics  – an experienced Democrat with background in teaching and media
  • Arrange testimony from a variety of sources to demonstrate support and lack of opposition,
  • Develop a network of proponents who will call and write to legislators throughout the state at critical junctures

In February of 2016, the Journalism Education Association’s Scholastic Press Rights Committee published “Promoting Scholastic Press Rights Legislation: A Blueprint for Success.” It describes the process in eight steps: develop a core group, find a sponsor, draft bill language, build a coalition, find legislative allies, introduce the bill, contact legislators, and attend the committee hearing.

The publication also contains talking points, sample legislation, and a sample news release.  In the conclusion, the JEASPRC admits that the publication is just an introduction. “Much more can be said, and other states may have vastly different experiences.” It is the goal of this website to provide our experiences in New Jersey.

Finally, New Voices USA gathers news, resources, and helps document the efforts of every state that has or is attempting to pass legislation. This site will be linked to the New Jersey Campaign on New Voices USA and some of the material here may also be posted there.

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