State Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco/San Mateo, will receive two awards this weekend for authoring bills that protect student journalists and their advisors.

The Journalism Education Association will present Yee with its Friend of Scholastic Journalism Award at a ceremony in Portland, Ore. today.

The award goes to an individual or group that makes a significant contribution to scholastic journalism, according to the Journalism Education Association.

The California College Media Association will also present Yee’s staff with the organization’s first annual Leland Yee Award today, which will be given to an individual who goes “above and beyond” in supporting college media. The ceremony will be held at Hearst Castle in San Simeon.

Yee said he was honored to receive the awards.

“It is essential that our high school and college campuses have a press free from censorship and that our laws protect students and teachers from retaliation by administrators,” he said in a prepared statement.

In 2006, Yee authored AB 2581, which prohibited censorship of college student press in California and made it illegal to retaliate against students for exercising this right.

SB 1370 extended this protection from retaliation to university employees, including faculty advisors, in 2008.

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