The Power of Student Journalism

In honor of Student Press Freedom Day, EWA Radio features student journalist Riya Vyas, who exposed allegations of teacher misconduct when she was a high school junior. Plus, the Student Press Law Center’s senior legal counsel offers insight about the importance of student journalism. (EWA Radio 338)

Photo credit: Allison Shelley for EDUimages

While in her junior year at Milpitas High School in Northern California, student journalist Riya Vyas  heard the rumors like everyone else – two teachers had been accused of improper behavior with students. 

She used the power of the press – and open records requests – to build a paper trail and show that the teachers had been allowed to resign quietly, decreasing the possibility that a record of disciplinary action might follow them to their next jobs. Vyas won the Student Press Law Center’s inaugural Student Freedom of Information Award

Also, Mike Hiestand, senior legal counsel for the SPLC, discusses why the work of high school and college journalists pressing for transparency and accountability is more important than ever. Feb. 22 marks Student Press Freedom Day. 

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