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Proposal would shield Missouri student journalists from censorship

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Student journalists would largely be shielded from censorship by their schools under legislation that has won first-round approval in the House.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the idea started to gain traction in the 2016 legislative session. It stemmed from frustration over University of Missouri communications professor Melissa Click, calling for "muscle" to remove student journalists during November 2015 protests.

The Cronkite New Voices Act, which advanced Wednesday, states that "material in school-sponsored media shall not be suppressed solely because it involves political or controversial subject matter." The law would apply to public high schools and public universities and colleges.

The proposal states that school staff cannot be disciplined for refusing to halt publication of lawful stories. Students 18 or older could be held liable for publishing unlawful material.


Information from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, http://www.stltoday.com