What is the MIPA Panic Button?

The MIPA Panic Button is a service for student journalists and their teachers to get quick help if they face censorship or prior review issues. We will connect you with local, state and national resources to help.

When you “hit” the MIPA Panic Button, your request for help will automatically be sent to members of MIPA’s Legislative Committee and MIPA’s executive director. They’ll respond within 24 hours and may also connect you with the Journalism Education Association’s Student Press Rights Committee, JEA’s 45Words student organization and the Student Press Law Center.

Who can use the MIPA Panic Button?

Any adviser or student in Michigan can push the Panic Button when faced with the threat of administrative censorship or prior review/restraint.

Do you have to be a MIPA member to use the Panic Button?

No. MIPA has a variety of benefits for members, but we’re committed to helping students, journalism advisers and others learn more about student press rights regardless of member status.

What kind of situations warrant hitting the MIPA Panic Button?

For students:

  • Any time anyone outside of the student media staff tries to force student editors to change content against their will. This does not include coaching/teaching/suggestions from your adviser.
  • Any time anyone outside of the student media editorial staff tries to prevent you from printing a story.

For advisers:

  • Any time an administrator or community member tries to force your student editors to change content against their will.
  • Any time an administrator directs you to remove or alter a story against the will of your student editors.
  • Any time a community member attempts to exert political pressure to try to get your students to change a story against their will or not run a story.

What if I have legal questions or need advice about a story we are working on?

If you’re not in an urgent situation facing censorship, instead of hitting the Panic Button, contact the MIPA office at [email protected] or 517-353-6761. The Student Press Law Center as well as the Journalism Education Association’s Student Press Rights Commission are also both excellent resources for your stories. See the contact information listed below for ways to get in touch with these people or organizations.

What if I want to contact someone for help directly?

While someone will respond to you within 24 hours of your hitting the Panic Button, you can also use one of the emails or phone numbers listed below to contact people at MIPA and our partner organizations directly: