New Voices legislation signed into law

GSSPA, SPLC, JEA issue joint statement


Bill Rawson

New Jersey Sen. Nia H. Gill says a word after receiving a special citation for her efforts in supporting New Voices legislation at the GSSPA Fall Press Day at Rutgers in 2019. Gill was instrumental in advocating for New Voices legislation which Gov. Phil Murphy signed into law Tuesday.

Gov. Phil Murphy signed New Voices bill S108 into law Tuesday, making New Jersey the 15th state to adopt a version of the legislation designed to clarify and strengthen First Amendment rights for student journalists in the state as well as protect journalism advisers against retaliation for controversial content.

Two national advocacy organizations, the Student Press Law Center and the Journalism Education Association, have joined the GSSPA in issuing a joint statement lauding the passing of the bill, which, as the statement points out, frees student journalists from the “intentionally vague” Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier standard.

After years of being introduced and reintroduced to the state’s legislative bodies, the bill was reintroduced again this week and passed unanimously in both the Senate and Assembly before it was signed by Murphy.