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New legislation to protect student journalists introduced today

Delegate Chris Hurst's Twitter{p}{/p}
Delegate Chris Hurst's Twitter

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RICHMOND, Va. (WSET) -- Delegate Chris Hurst introduced new legislation today to guarantee protection for student journalists and student-published-media at their schools.

House Bill 2382 was created to safeguard work of school-sponsored student journalists from institutional censorship and restrictions.

The school or institution could only interfere if the media is defamatory, violates federal law, or creates a clear and present danger.

"The integrity of reporters and journalism has never been more important, including the work done by students," said Delegate Hurst. “Thorough and vetted articles and news stories in student media shouldn’t be subject to unnecessary censorship by administrators.”

Currently, media students put out is at the discretion of the school or institution where it's published, and is not given the same protections that professional journalists have.

The new bill aims to protect young journalists in Virginia, ensuring students and their advisers that they are allowed to create and publish what they want without fear of retaliation.

"This is not about the potential of censorship; we know this is already happening in Virginia and will continue to happen unless we take action,” Delegate Hurst added.

Similar legislation has already been passed in 14 other states.

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