Student Press Law Center

Student Press Law Center
Abbreviation SPLC
Formation 1974 (1974)
Type 501(c)(3) Non-Profit
Purpose An advocate for student First Amendment rights, for freedom of online speech, and for open government on campus.
Executive Director
Frank LoMonte

The Student Press Law Center (SPLC) is a non-profit organization in the United States that aims at protecting the freedom of the press for student journalists, usually from high school and university student newspapers. It describes itself as "an advocate for student free-press rights [that] provides information, advice and legal assistance at no charge to students and the educators who work with them."

The SPLC was founded in 1974. It is the only legal assistance agency in the United States with the primary mission of educating high school and college journalists about the rights and responsibilities embodied in the First Amendment and supporting the freedom of expression of student news media to address issues and express themselves free from censorship.

The SPLC is a non-partisan 501(c)(3) corporation. It is headquartered in Washington, D.C. It was previously headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, where it shared a suite of offices with the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press.



Governance and staff

The organization is run by an executive director and a corporate board of directors composed primarily of journalism educators, professional journalists, and attorneys. The current executive director is Frank LoMonte, who began at the Center in January 2008. He was preceded by Mark Goodman, who led the organization from 1985 to 2007 before accepting a position as professor and Knight Chair in Scholastic Journalism at Kent State University.

In addition to the executive director, the SPLC permanent staff consists of a full-time attorney advocate and an office manager. A full-time publications fellow serves as managing editor of the Center's news content, much of which is produced by journalism student interns, who work at the Center for a semester. In addition, the SPLC works with a development/communications consultant and a West Coast consulting attorney based in Ferndale, Washington.


The SPLC is supported by contributions from student journalists, journalism educators, and other individuals, as well as by donations from foundations and corporations. On January 23, 2007, the center announced it had successfully completed a three-year $3.75 million endowment campaign, spurred by a challenge grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

See also

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