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Mark Goodman

Knight Chair in Scholastic Journalism
Kent State University
Kent, Ohio


Mark Goodman is the Knight Chair in Scholastic Journalism concentrating on First Amendment awareness and civic education.


Professor Goodman is a lawyer and was the executive director of the Student Press Law Center for 22 years where he helped advise student journalists and advisers about legal rights and responsibilities.

Grant Background

The chair will develop and share innovative teaching, be a leader crusading for First Amendment awareness and civic education, the use of news in classrooms and the creation of student media, building a strong Center for Scholastic Media and encouraging diverse students to pursue journalism careers. A significant web presence will help the chair reach journalists across all media. The chair is expected to collaborate widely, including with the Knight Foundation grantees working in this area. Ultimately, this chair should help strengthen student media by improving high school journalism education.

Recent Activities

Presented for the sixth year the Courage in Student Journalism Awards, the most prominent national recognition of high school journalists and their administrators and advisers who have shown outstanding support for the free press rights of teen journalists in the face of difficulty and resistance. The award was presented at the National Scholastic Press Association/Journalism Education Association National Convention in November. This award inspires other students to stand up and defend press freedom.

Got funding for and began creating a new graduate course on teaching news literacy for scholastic journalism educators to be funded by the McCormick Foundation.  Our goal is to allow teachers to better incorporate news literacy into their journalism classroom.

Reported the results of our survey of high school student journalists and their teachers/advisers on their experiences with prior review and censorship. The research showed that roughly one-third of scholastic journalists and advisers reported that their student publications had been censored by school officials and approximately the same number of students said that they had not published information out of fear it would be censored. The research demonstrated how real the impact of the Supreme Court’s Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier decision is 25 years later.

•  What are the most promising changes you see in journalism education as a whole, and why do you think they are hopeful?

I see a growing awareness that journalism training most effectively begins before college.  Students who are trained in the skills and values of journalism in middle and high school are both better practitioners and better consumers of the news media as adults.  When universities place a premium on scholastic journalism skills in their admissions decisions and support the training of scholastic journalists and scholastic journalism educators, both our academic programs and the profession is stronger.

      Internet surveillance, freedom and privacy have become central concerns for those journalists in the digital age. What are you teaching your students about those topics?

Fundamental to all of my teaching is ensuring students understand the unique position we hold in the world because of the protections afforded in the First Amendment. But that knowledge must include the importance of eternal vigilance for threats to these freedoms and the realization of how many Americans don’t believe that these rights really apply to them.

That said, I attempt to include in every course examples of the latest debates about surveillance, freedom and privacy.  Whether discussing the use of drones for news gathering or “net neutrality,” I want my students to think about these issues deeply and offer their thoughts in the debate.