Research and Centers
Professional Outreach and Research
Research fuels learning and teaching. It brings fresh insight, invites the participation of a wide spectrum of communication and media practitioners, raises important questions and breaks ground for the future. Our faculty and students engage in research and professional outreach through two nationally renowned centers, as well as through individual scholarship.
The Kent State Center for Scholastic Journalism (CSJ) is the clearinghouse for multiple aspects of student media and teacher training and support, building from programs that already exist and expanding into new areas of concern.
In the spring of 2011, the Center for Scholastic Journalism solicited information about scholastic media from one of the largest samples ever surveyed and the first such sample gathered after student media began to move online. We learned how many schools have student-produced newspapers and newsmagazines, yearbooks, television and radio programs or websites. Combining that information with the demographic data from each school presents a picture of scholastic journalism that we've never seen before.
In January of 1988, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its decision in the case Hazelwood School District vs. Kuhlmeier. The ruling limited the strong First Amendment protection that had been afforded scholastic journalists by the courts before that time. Public school officials were given greater — but not unlimited — authority to censor than they'd ever had before.
In the years since the Hazelwood ruling, a number of states have enacted laws to protect student free expression. But in most places, censorship is a fact of life for high school journalists. CSJ continues to study the impacts of this ruling on student press freedom.
Media Law Center For Ethics and Access
The Media Law Center for Ethics and Access, originally named the Center for Privacy and the First Amendment, offers workshops and seminars in media ethics and access to government information.
It provides advice and counsel for anyone—journalists, government officials or members of the public—with questions about ethics or access or related media law concerns. The Center was founded in 1991 to provide information and research on accessing government records and meetings. It was expanded in 2007 to include ethics training and to address issues of access and ethics in online journalism.