Free spirits, new voices, and strikes: this week’s Fresh Powder Report

‘New Voices’ in Nebraska applies to college students only:
Nebraska’s student press freedom legislation bill, known as the ‘New Voices’ Bill, was recently introduced by Sen. Al Davis. The aim of this bill is to ensure that student journalists attending public universities and community colleges have the right to exercise freedom of speech and freedom of the press in all school-sponsored media. This bill, however, would not extend to high school journalists (like the new law in North Dakota), due to the fact that Senator Davis believes college students are “mature” enough to responsibly utilize freedom of the press, whereas– according to Davis– high school students might not be.

Vox shares their social media secrets:
The popular journalism platform known as Vox shares their process for fully utilizing social media in reporting; from pitching stories based on questions their Twitter followers are asking to monitoring conversations across multiple social platforms, Vox uses a variety of social media to drive their content, give their audience a brief overview, and generate future content.

Local newspaper in Canada faces employment strike:
Around 100 employers from the Chronicle Herald in Halifax, Nova Scotia, are on strike due to the company’s desire to cut salaries, increase working hours, reduce benefits, and make layoffs. The owners of the Herald argue that a significant staff reduction is necessary due to the loss of readership of the paper, as well as the competition with other digital news providers. With considerable support from the community, the on-strike employees continue to stand strong in hopes of maintaining their journalism careers and the future of local journalism.

Making a Journalism School 101:
Journalisms schools are a consistent component of higher education across the country; most major universities have a school dedicated entirely to the study of journalism and mass media. But what if you wanted to start a journalism program at an already-established university from scratch? One professor at Morgan State University in Baltimore got to experience what that’s like first-hand. DeWayne Wickham, a former USA Today columnist and creator of the School of Global Journalism and Communications, had the unique task of building an entire program at Morgan State from the ground up. Now two years in, Nieman Lab interviews Wickham on his experience, the choices he’s made along the way, and why “global” is an integral part of the school’s title.

Show off your Free Spirit:
Application deadline for the 2016 Al Neuharth Free Spirit and Journalism Conference is fast-approaching.  One high school JUNIOR from every state and the District of Columbia will be selected for an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C., June 18-23, and will be awarded a $1,000 scholarship to the college of his/her choice. Visit for more information and to apply online.

These things also happened last week:

The managing editor of a hip-hop focused news site wrote a profound piece on white privilege in response toMacklemore’s recent song release on the subject.

The X-Files reboot premiered on Sunday night– cue the supernatural nostalgia.

The East Coast Blizzard may have subdued, but the cleanup has just begun. We here at SNO Headquarters feel your pain, east coast. We really do.