Academic Commons

Articles

A Shield Does Not Fall in Hazelwood: Privileging the Legitimate Journalism of High School Student Reporters

Hu, June M.

After fifteen-year-old Audrie Pott hanged herself, student reporters on her high school’s newspaper began investigating the circumstances leading up to the tragedy. The newspaper staff at Saratoga High School conducted over fifty interviews regarding Audrie’s sexual assault and the photos of her attack that classmates had circulated before her suicide. After weeks of research, three reporters published their findings on April 14, 2013, in an article involving five anonymous student sources. In August, when the three student reporters went back to school for the first day of a new academic year, they found subpoenas waiting for them. The subpoenas required them to name the confidential sources in their article. The reporters chose to protect the names of their confidential student sources, for whom exposure could carry harsh social, disciplinary and legal ramifications.

Files

Also Published In

Title
Columbia Journal of Law & the Arts

More About This Work

Academic Units
Law
Published Here
July 23, 2015
Academic Commons provides global access to research and scholarship produced at Columbia University, Barnard College, Teachers College, Union Theological Seminary and Jewish Theological Seminary. Academic Commons is managed by the Columbia University Libraries.