Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Editors chosen to participate in national student press rights group

Mary Turocy and Laura Weiss, The Spoke’s features editor and news editor respectively, were both selected to serve as Student Partners with the Journalism Education Association’s national student outreach program, 45words.

Twelve students were chosen to participate in the program’s second year of activism, from an international pool of 36 applicants. The 45words initiative, established last year by the JEA’s Scholastic Press Rights Commission, works as a student censorship watchdog group, using social media and the Internet to provide resources for student journalists.

“The reason I love journalism is because it allows you to express your voice and the voice of your community, but censorship can corrupt that voice,” Weiss said. “I hope to help the group reach out to students so that we can preserve their rights and let them know that their voices are just as important as anyone else's.”

Weiss and Turocy both expressed excitement at the opportunity to work with the ten other Student Partners and at the chance to further First Amendment rights.

“I want to interact with the scholastic journalism community through my words and my writing, reaching out directly to my peers at the 45words booth during upcoming conventions and writing for the 45words blog, because everyone’s words have power,” Turocy said in her application essay. “Whether they were written by a professional author, by me or by another student journalist, everyone’s words deserve to be heard.”

Both editors follow in the footsteps of The Spoke’s current co-editor-in-chief, Meghan Morris, who, along with last year’s seven other Student Partners, has helped to establish 45words as a reputable student resource for publications facing censorship.

For more information, visit: http://www.45words.org/