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JEA board defines prior review


The JEA Board of Directors passed the following definition of prior review at its meeting April 15:

Prior review occurs when anyone not on the publication/media staff requires that he or she be allowed to read, view or approve student material before distribution, airing or publication.

Prior restraint occurs when someone not on the publication/media staff requires pre-distribution changes to or removal of student media content.

Prior review itself is a form of prior restraint and it inevitably leads the reviewer to censor and student journalists to self-censor in an effort to assure approval.

An officially designated adviser, when working with students and offering suggestions for improvement as part of the coaching and learning process, who reads or views student media content before publication is not engaged in prior review.

However, when an adviser requires pre-distribution changes over the objections of student editors, his/her actions then become prior restraint.

JEA’s Scholastic Press Rights Commission will publish FAQs about the definition and handling situations in the near future.

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