Talk of New Voices legislation pervaded sessions throughout the day as 801 student journalists and 97 advisers gathered for the Garden State Scholastic Press Association’s 40th Fall Press Day at Rutgers’ Busch Campus Center on Oct. 28.
With New Jersey Senator Nia H. Gill in attendance, Mike Simons, teacher at at Corning-Painted Post High School in New York, adviser to Tesserae Yearbook, and president of the CSPA Advisers Association, delivered a keynote session titled “Telling Stories That Need To Be Told” and trumpeted the need for New Voices legislation to clarify and strengthen student journalists’ First Amendment rights. The bill passed in the NJ Senate Education Committee by unanimous vote in June and could reach the Senate floor in the coming weeks.
Thank you @GSSPA for inviting me to discuss the very important #NewVoices legislation S-1176. I am committed to defending the 1st Amendment rights of our student journalists. pic.twitter.com/0dabivEYpB
— Nia H. Gill (@SenatorGill) October 30, 2019
GSSPA President Bill Rawson presented Sen. Gill with a special citation for her efforts on behalf of the state’s journalism students, teachers, and advisers in advocating for New Voices legislation.
GSSPA Executive Board members John Tagliareni, a retired journalism teacher at Bergenfield, and Tom McHale, a teacher at Hunterdon Central, are helping lead the charge in the state’s New Voices movement. They hosted a call to action session with student journalists from around the state titled “Join the Student Freedom Fighters.”
The Golden Quill award for lifetime service to New Jersey journalism was awarded to GSSPA Executive Board member Karen Bruno, a longtime representative for Herff Jones Yearbooks who has helped guide the state’s yearbook advisers and students.