Cumberland Times-News

Opinion

July 7, 2014

Survey backs student free expression

In a survey released by the Newseum Institute’s First Amendment Center, a growing majority of Americans say high school journalists should be free to explore controversial subjects without prior approval, but 38 percent say the First Amendment goes too far in the rights it guarantees, up 25 percent from the 2012 survey.



The survey, commissioned by the
Newseum Institute’s First Amendment Center, has been conducted since 1997 to determine public knowledge and opinion about the First Amendment and related issues. The results were released today at a luncheon for high school students attending the 2014 Al Neuharth Free Spirit and Journalism Conference.



“It’s valuable to know the five freedoms of the First Amendment — religion, speech, press, assembly and petition — but it’s even more important to know how we can use them,”
said Gene Policinski, chief operating officer of the Newseum Institute. “As a nation, we must better prepare our fellow and future citizens for the hard decision of defending core freedoms against those who would damage or limit them by violence or by law.”



In this year’s survey, conducted in May 2014, 68 percent said they agreed that public high school journalists should not need prior approval to explore controversial subjects, while 27 percent disagreed. In 2001, 58 percent said prior
approval should be required, while 40 percent opposed the need to get approval in advance.



A new question on the survey this year asked if someone who makes a defamatory comment on social media should be subject to the same legal consequences as someone who makes a similar comment on television or in print. Sixty-nine percent of Americans said the consequences should be the same.



Also new in 2014, the survey asked respondents what qualifies someone
to be a “journalist.” Thirty-six percent said a journalist is someone who creates stories based on objective fact; 21 percent said a journalist is someone who works for an established news operation, 16 percent believe it is when an individual reports to an audience, and 14 percent of Americans said someone is a journalist when that person is paid to gather news.



Complete survey results are available at newseum.org and firstamendmentcenter. org.

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Opinion
  • Preposterous Preposterous

    File this one under the We Thought We’d Heard Everything category: A man who attempted the armed robbery of a pizza shop is now suing the pizzeria and the employees who tackled him and wrestled his gun away during the holdup.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Legion honor guard available to honor veterans at their funerals

    We in the honor guard of Fort Cumberland Post 13, American Legion, performed 196 veterans service in 2013.

    July 22, 2014

  • No secrets No secrets

    The idea of fracturing for natural gas makes many people anxious about potential harmful effects. For that reason alone, it is incumbent on Maryland government to require full disclosure of chemicals used in the process.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Remember, we’re not immune to extinction

    I’d like to pose a theoretical scenario to Cal Thomas.

    If a medical specialist said, “Cal, you’ve got a serious physical problem. Do nothing and you’ll die soon. Follow my prescription, which involves certain life-style changes, and there’s a good probability you’ll live, even if your life may be a bit more constrained than now.”

    July 21, 2014

  • America has three branches of government for good reasons

    “Mikulski Calls for Continued Action to Protect Women's Health Following Dangerous Supreme Court Decision” is the heading you will find on Sen. Barbara Mikulski’s website.

    July 21, 2014

  • Tell legislators to do what is right for America’s vets

    Without our veterans and those who made the ultimate sacrifice, where would America be today? It is anyone’s guess, however certainly not the Freedom and Liberty we enjoy.

    July 18, 2014

  • Opposition and inclusion understood

    Those of you who have been here before know how I feel about the late great Len Bias, who I will remember foremost as Leonard Bias, the polite, spindly Bambi-eyed kid from Hyattsville’s Northwestern High School, who could throw a dunk through the floor, yet had the most beautiful jump shot I have ever seen.

    July 17, 2014

  • Move over Move over

    Have you noticed, in your travels, that the front end of a police cruiser usually protrudes a bit more than you would expect when the officer has it parked behind another vehicle on the side of the road?

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Use local workers in building new Baltimore Pike travel stop

    As a delegate to the Maryland General Assembly representing Allegany County, and specifically the City of Cumberland, I welcome you to our community as you prepare to construct a Love’s Travel Stop at the above referenced location (on Baltimore Pike).

    July 17, 2014

  • Northern Garrett Rescue Squad raising funds, seeks members

    The Northern Garrett County Rescue Squad recently conducted several fund raising events to raise funds for new Lifepak 15’s, which are EKG monitors with AED / defibrillator.

    July 16, 2014