“Prior review by administrators undermines critical thinking, encourages students to dismiss the role of a free press in society and provides no greater likelihood of increased quality of student media.” — Journalism Education Association

Spartan Seal of DistinctionThe Spartan Critique Seal of Distinction recognizes student media outlets that are free of prior review and censorship. This seal may be awarded to student media recognized at all levels of the Spartan Critique contest.

A seal is placed on the award signifying this honor. To receive the seal, a student media outlet must submit a certification form, signed by the school’s principal, with the Spartan Critique entry form. This form verifies that the student media outlet is not subject to prior review.

Neither the student media outlet’s critique score nor its award level – Spartan, Gold, Silver or Bronze – are affected by the presence of a Seal of Distinction. Having – or not having – a seal also does not affect a media outlet’s ability to be inducted into the MIPA Hall of Fame.

Learn more about why avoiding prior review is educationally sound from the Principal’s Guide to Scholastic Media.