VISION: PAM HUT TER Committee member Pam Hutter, ’79 editor and owner of Hutter Architects in Chicago, leads the toast for vision — publication alumni support for the Student Press Law Center. Hutter inspired the idea at the first planning meeting on Sept. 15, 2013. “With all of this energy happening already,” she said, “we should turn it into something great for the nation.” Photo by Randy Swikle LoMonte: Importance of Involvement by Staff IN THIS EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW, FRANK LOMONTE, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE STUDENT PRESS LAW CENTER, SHARES INSIGHTS HE HAS DISCOVERED THROUGHOUT THE NATION AND AT ECHOXTRA 2015 AT CANTIGNY ON THE MCCORMICK FOUNDATION ESTATE. By Howard Spanogle Why is it so important to involve scholastic media alumni in efforts to protect and to advance freedom of expression for the nation? WELCOME: FRANK LOMONTE Frank LoMonte, Student Press Law Center executive director, endorses the EchoXtra 2015 vision: publication alumni joining together to donate to the Student Press Law Center to advance Freedom of the Press. Photo by Randy Swikle The voice that policymakers need most to hear, and the voice that will speak the loudest to them, is the voice of a successful person in the community — a lawyer, a business owner — who can speak to the lasting educational benefits of having studied journalism. We are at a point of great danger and great opportunity for scholastic media -- great danger because journalism can appear to be a luxury item in a cashstrapped school’s budget and great opportunity because we’ve never been so close to actually curing schools of the cancerous effects of censorship. The unanimous passage of North Dakota’s New Voices Act this year has ignited unprecedented excitement throughout the nation for passing laws protecting students’ and advisers’ rights. It has created energy and momentum on which we can capitalize if we act quickly and if everyone who recognizes the value of uncensored student journalism speaks up. In at least 21 states, advocates have volunteered to organize “New Voices” chapters with the goal of enacting stronger legal protection for student journalism. Those movements will succeed only if a broad base of engaged citizens provide enthusiastic and articulate backing. The support must go beyond simply professional journalism educators.