Steven Cooper

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What: “Free Tools to Increase Your Social Media Following”

Who: Andy Dehnart, adviser for Stetson University’s student newspaper, publisher of and contributor to NPR, The Daily Beast, and others.

Where: Terrace D

When: Thursday, 9-9:50 a.m.


Dehnart’s presentation focused on free websites and applications that help create ideas for content, assist your writing, edit your work, post at the right time and analyze your audience.

Dehnart said tools like allow you to see the latest trending Twitter links while acts like a search engine for social treds in Twitter. Using these tools to keep up on recent trends allows you to create relevant content. When you’re writing, and provide background noise to help you concentrate. The website rewards you with kitten pictures the more you write. After writing your content, Dehnart recommended using and to edit your content. Both tools provide advanced spelling and grammar checks, but Hemingway takes it a step further. It spots hard-to-read sentences, counts uses of passive voice and highlights adverbs that should be replaced with strong verbs.

Dehnart also discussed tools for publishing rather than writing. Tools like, and allow you to schedule posts, post across multiple social media platforms, and determine your audience’s peak hours. “My audience is really active from 8-midnight because they’re TV-watchers and on their phones because they don’t have lives,” Dehnart said.


“Reward yourself for writing with kitten pictures at Helpful advice from journalist & social media guru Andy Dehnart. #Indy2015ACP”

“Excited to follow Andy Dehnart’s advice and start using This thing puts spell-check in the dark ages. #Indy2015ACP”

What: “Getting the Shot Without Getting Shot”

Who: Frank LoMonte, Executive Director of the Student Press Law Center.

Where: Terrace B

When: Thursday, 10-10:50 a.m.


LoMonte gave an overview of laws protecting photojournalists from police and campus security and provided tips to help interactions with police go well. LoMonte’s biggest point was that the “right to privacy” does not exist in the form many people think. “It’s not an invasion of privacy to take pictures of people in public, and that includes kids,” LoMonte said. LoMonte said he uses the “drop your pants” rule to determine what would be an invasion of privacy legally. “Any place you would consider dropping your pants would be an invasion of privacy,” LoMonte said. That rule means that even on private property like a hotel or business, taking photographs is not legally an invasion of privacy. You can still be arrested or sued for trespassing, defying a police officer’s lawful order or obstructing traffic, LoMonte clarified.

Even if everything you are doing is completely legal you may come across police officers who either don’t know the law or are abusive, sad LoMonte. These situations can result in police unlawfully taking your camera and photos and in extreme cases your arrest. LoMonte gave several tips to help defuse these tense situations. Wear a press ID when taking photos. If police do demand you aren’t legally obligated to do, ask lots of questions. “It’s the best way to argue with someone–just ask questions.” You should also tell the officer that you’ll get in huge trouble with your editor if you don’t return with photos. That can help the officer relate to you. “Cop’s hate their bosses too,” LoMonte said. Before leaving, always let your editor know when and where you are going. You should also have quarters to use a pay phone if the police take your cellphone.


“Taking photos anywhere short of where you would consider dropping your pants is not an invasion of privacy says Frank LoMonte. #Indy2015ACP”

“‘Cop’s hate their bosses too,’ Tell the police you’ll get in trouble with your editor if you don’t get photos. Helpful advice from Frank Lomonte. #Indy2015ACP”

What: “Mythbusting Campus Secrecy”

Who: Frank LoMonte, Executive Director of the Student Press Law Center.

Where: Terrace C

When: Thursday 1-1:50 p.m.


LoMonte discussed what information is and isn’t subject to disclosure under laws and how to get information that is protected. Many student records are protected under Federal Educational and Privacy Act. However, some records are not. For example, any student records that lack personally identifiable information such as names are not covered by FERPA, LoMonte said. In a court case that LoMonte worked on, officials established that traffic tickets are also not covered by FERPA because they were being left face-up on car windshields. This example shows that the college can’t claim FERPA protection if they aren’t treating the information like confidential student records.

In order to get information that is protected by FERPA, there are several workarounds. For example, if you want access to a disciplinary hearing and can get the defending person to sign a waiver, you can’t be denied access. You can also request other non-protected documents like faculty emails to get information.

One place to get good information for stories is college crime logs. According to the Cleary Act all colleges participating in federal financial aid programs must maintain a crime log for immediate release of the last 60 days with no more than the last three days not updated. Information older than 60 days must be made available after no more than two business days.


“FERPA doesn’t cover parking tickets left face-up on windshields says Frank LoMonte. Good advice on what records your college is required to provide. #Indy2015ACP”

“Cleary Act states that every college must maintain a crime log for immediate release. Frank LoMonte has good advice on how to get the inside scoop. #Indy2015ACP”

What: “Digital Dilemma: Four Things You Need to Know”

Who: Frank LoMonte, Executive Director of the Student Press Law Center.

Where: Terrace A

When: Thursday, 2-2:50 p.m.


LoMonte discussed multiple legal dilemmas related to online publishing. The first topic LoMonte clarified is that you are not legally obligated to take down true information when someone contacts you with a “take-down request.” Even in the case of libel, after about 3 years have passed you are not legally accountable for the content or required to take it down. LoMonte said some people have misconception that special rules apply to online content. “Anything that is legal to put in a print edition is legal to put in an online edition,” he said.

Copyright is different, said LoMonte. LoMonte’s main focus on copyright was in the context of someone else stealing your news publication’s content. One suggestion is to send a bill to the offender stating the use of your content costs money. LoMonte said many people will pay the bill. The other option is to issue a DMCA takedown notice. Even if you can’t figure out how to contact the offender (common with the anonymity on the internet), you can issue the notice to the hosting organization like GoDaddy. LoMonte also gave guidelines to clarify what isn’t protected by copyright. For example, Tweets on Twitter probably aren’t protected by copyright because they don’t possess unique insights or creations like a news article or book. But even if the Tweet was protected by copyright, you can still publish it. “It’s perfectly okay to re-publish copyrighted material for the purpose of commenting on it,” Lomonte said.


“Anything that is legal to put in a print edition is legal to put in an online edition.” Frank Lomonte does an excellent job at dispelling myths. #Indy2015ACP

“This Tweet is probably not protected by copyright. Even if it were, anyone can republish to comment on it… Good advice from Frank LoMonte. #Indy2015ACP”

What: “(Word) Press Freedom”

Who: Frank LoMonte, Executive Director of the Student Press Law Center.

Where: Terrace A

When: Thursday, 3-3:50 p.m.


LoMonte said that in many parts of the country, legal president says student newspapers are not protected free speech. Most of this is the result of the 1988 Supreme Court case Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier, which ruled that that high schools have the right to control the content of student newspapers that have not been established as forum for student expression. LoMonte said subsequent rulings applied Hazelwood to all colleges and universities because the supreme court case only specified “students.” “Nobody would have thought a judge would be crazy enough to apply Hazelwood to college students,” LoMonte said. Some states have since passed laws that protect the rights of student journalists. Strangely enough, Iowa passed a protective law, but it only protects high school journalists because they didn’t think the ruling applied to colleges.

LoMonte listed several recent court cases in different states on this issue including Tatro v. University of Minnesota and Keefe v. Adams et al. LoMonte concluded that there are still significant legal reforms that need to be made and student journalists need to be vocal about their rights.


“Overturn Hazelwood! Frank LoMonte is explaining the ramifications to student journalists from the 26-year-old Supreme Court Case. #Indy2015ACP”

“Iowa protects high school journalists but not college journalists. Frank LoMonte is exposing the lack of free speech protection for many student journalists. #Indy2015ACP”

Other Workshops Attended

“Video and Multimedia on a Shoestring Budget” presented by Leslie Blood, an assistant professor at Fort Lewis College along with staff from the Fort Lewis newsroom.

“Taking the Pulse of Your College Student Body” presented by Tra Friesen, Diana Aristizabal and me (Steven Cooper).

Keynote Speech by Brian Stelter

Brian Stelter, host of CNN’s “Reliable Sources,” spoke to hundreds of college journalism students Feb. 27 about what New York Times’s David Carr taught him.

Stelter’s keynote speech at the 31st Annual ACP National Journalism Convention in Universal City, California was supposed to be given by Carr. Stelter stepped in a short notice after Carr died on Feb. 12.

From 2007-2013, Stelter worked with Carr at the New York Times. Stelter said Carr was a father figure to him and taught him much about how to succeed in journalism.

The main lesson Carr taught him was to put all your effort into writing and improving, Stelter said. “He taught me to write with every muscle of my body.”

Working hard when he first joined the New York Times is part of what caused Carr to notice him, Stelter said. “Through the act of putting my head down and working really hard, I was able to gain the respect of my editors and people like David Carr.”

Stelter said several characteristics set Carr apart from others.

Carr’s open-mindedness was one such characteristic. It was “one of the most important things about him,” Stelter said. According to Stelter, the takeaway is to be open-minded to new stories and always report without personal bias. “If we’re reporter first, that’s the most important thing we can hold on to—the most important badge we can wear,” he said.

The takeaway, Stelter said, is to keep on producing content with a view of what the future holds.

Stelter pointed out that 79 percent of views on social media phenomenon “the dress” were from mobile devices. “Think about where we’re going,” he said.

Stetler concluded with a quote from Carr. “The next wave is not just knocking on doors, but knocking them down.”