My father was career Army. He joined the military in 1968 and did a tour in Vietnam during the Tet Offensive. We were lucky to be able to travel to Europe and many places in the US due to his service. My uncle, dad’s cousin, served in the Air Force during Vietnam too. My mom’s sister’s husband served in Korea and both my grandfathers were in the Navy during WWII.
What I’m slowly getting at is that I was taught from an early age to respect those who have served. But I was also taught that the reason for their service was not the government, but the people. They served to protect the rights of the people and self-government, what we commonly call democracy. And that includes first and foremost the first amendment.
I bring this up for two reasons. First, one of my fellow j-teachers and bloggers is in the middle of a bit of a crisis. An administrator at her school is hassling her and telling her that video is not journalism, so not protected by her state’s student media protections. Please visit Cindy’s blog and give her the encouragment and weapons she needs to fight this. Let her know we’re out here and that we can and will help her.
Second, when I was at the ASNE workshop, the Student Press Law Center gave us a great presentation on our rights as journalists and more importantly our STUDENT’S rights. They do NOT leave their Constitutional rights at the school house door, no matter what some administrator with an over inflated ego thinks. There ARE limits to Hazelwood.
I know that I have to toughen up myself. No one said that this job would be easy. But we dishonor those who wear the uniform and risk their lives for our freedoms if we are not willing to fight for them ourselves. Freedom is not free. My father taught me that.