Gov. Ige Signs Bill To Extend Press Freedom Protections To Hawaii Student Journalists

Student journalists in Hawaii’s public schools and university are now under freedom of speech and press protections when Governor David Ige signed HB1848 on May 23.

The act also supports student advisors from retaliation for refusing to censor student journalists.

“Providing student journalists with the same protections they’d have working in the industry gives them real-world learning opportunities and creates a more enhanced laboratory for learning,” says Ige.

Speaker Scott K. Saiki, who introduced HB1848, says he’s honored to collaborate with a journalism teacher Ms. Cindy Reeves at Honolulu’s McKinley High School.

“I was honored that Ms. Cindy Reeves, the journalism teacher at McKinley High School, asked for my help with her student journalism bill. She has been working on this issue for a number of years and wasn’t able to get it passed,” Saiki said.

“Her heartfelt commitment helped me understand how important this bill would be for student journalists at McKinley and across the state. I am pleased that the rights of student journalists are codified in Hawaiʻi’s law.”

The new law is now in effect and Senator Karl Rhoads, Senate Judiciary Committee, says new journalists should see this as an encouragement.

“Our newest journalists should be encouraged to investigate, report, and opine on the issues of today without concern that the school administration will censor the content of their work,” he said.

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