Purposes Of Student Publications
The publications fulfill a vital role within the school community in providing a means by which students, faculty, administrators, and community can communicate with other students, faculty, administrators and community members. The publications serve as a forum for the constructive expression of ideas, opinions, plans for innovation, events, etc., in a factually informative, interpretive, and entertaining manner, thereby providing primarily the students but also the faculty and administrators with an instrument of constructive leadership for influencing the school and community.
Student publications offer students an opportunity for practical and legitimate journalistic experience in terms of writing, editing, organizing, administering, financing and budgeting, etc. Assuming a position of leadership on the student publication signifies the student's acceptance of responsibility. The acceptance of this responsibility also provides the student with the opportunity to develop the potential which he/she possesses.
In fulfilling their roles as participants in the community media, students must demonstrate their maturity and dependability, and must show that they are capable of analyzing problems and making sound judgments. The following statement is adapted and modified from the Canons of Journalism by the American Society of Newspaper Editors.
Objectives and Responsibilities of the Publication Staff
In student publications, staff members must assume the following responsibilities:
Coverage of Material
News stories in student publications will be objective - free from opinion and bias. Stories will be based on facts obtained through thorough research and investigation. An emphasis will be placed on previewing upcoming events and activities to create interest. Newsworthy occurrences will receive attention in coverage articles. The stories will be presented on the pages of the paper in such a way that undue attention will not be given to articles of lesser value, interest or significance.
The primary function of features or special-interest articles is informational and entertainment. A special emphasis will be placed on in-depth coverage of material deemed to be of significant interest to the readers.
Sports articles will provide accurate description and records of athletic activities. Individual athletes will not be revered as stars or heroes, but proper credit for outstanding records, honors or performances will be given when due. The sports section of the paper will carry advance information to create interest in upcoming events as well as coverage articles for events. Material on the page will be varied to appeal to all readers, not just athletes and their avid fans. Proper coverage will be given to all teams and athletic activities, male and female, varsity and sub-varsity.
Responsibility for Handling Materials to be Published
If material submitted to a page editor is rejected, the writer, after a conference with the editor, may appeal to the Editorial Board. If the Editorial Board rejects the material, the writer may appeal to the faculty advisor. The faculty advisor, after hearing both sides, considering all factors and giving guidance and counsel, shall submit in writing his/her recommendations and resolutions. The Editorial Board may by a two-thirds vote reject the proposal of the faculty advisor and not publish the material. The statement of the final action taken by the Editorial Board will be signed by all parties.
If material presented by a page editor is rejected by an editor-in-chief, the writer after a conference with the editor-in-chief may appeal to the Editorial Board. If the Editorial Board rejects the material, the writer may appeal to the faculty advisor. The faculty advisor, after hearing both sides, considering all factors and giving guidance and counsel, shall submit in writing his/her recommendations and resolutions. The Editorial Board may by a two-thirds vote reject the proposal of the faculty advisor and not publish the material. A statement of the final action taken by the Editorial Board will be signed by all parties.
Material found unobjectionable by the Editorial Board but questioned by the faculty advisor shall be discussed by both parties. If the difference cannot be resolved, the material shall be presented to the building principal for review and guidance.
Material still found unobjectionable by the Editorial Board but questioned by the faculty advisor and/or building principal shall be presented at a joint meeting of the Editorial Board and the advisor. The faculty advisor must give specific reasons for his/her objections and give guidance to the group. The student writer shall be afforded an opportunity to present his/her viewpoint. If the Editorial board by a two-thirds vote still finds the material unobjectionable it may be printed. A quorum will be considered present when two thirds of the Editorial Board attend a meeting, and two thirds of those present must agree.
A brief statement summarizing the dialogue held and signed by all parties shall be presented to the building principal. The building principal shall forward the statement and copies of the article to the Superintendent and the Board of Education for their information. The signed statement shall signify that the Editorial Board fully understand the reservations of the faculty advisor and/or building principal and has chosen to exercise its option under the Board Policy.
The building principal/designee may delay or stop distribution of any materials proposed for printing or that have been printed which may be reasonably forecast to cause substantial and material disruption or obstruction of any lawful mission, process or function of the school.
The building principal/designee must forward a copy of the material to the Superintendent and a statement of reasons for delay or stoppage. The Superintendent shall schedule a hearing with all parties immediately to determine if the delay or stoppage was warranted.
Editorial Page Policy
An Editorial Board (composed of the editor-in-chief, chairman, the managing editor, news editor(s), editorial editor(s), feature editor(s), sports editor(s), photography editor(s), business manager, production manager, art editor and the head advertising manager) determines the content of the editorial page. Editorial ideas are presented to the Editorial Board for consideration. Editorials in the school publication will only be printed after all sides of an issue are considered and researched. The staff should consult with their advisor before printing issues which have a controversial connotation. The principal may also be consulted at the staff's discretion. There are basically four types of editorials that appear in the student publication:
Pictures and Artwork
Pictures and artwork in the publications shall add to the meaning of a story, shall serve to identify individuals, and shall generally add reader interest to the publication. These pictures shall cover many and varied individuals and activities. The photographs shall not violate the right of privacy and shall present a truthful situation. Cartoons and artwork shall have a definite function within the editorial context of the publication.
All published materials and reproductions of artwork, etc., must not violate copyright laws.
Advertising and Business Management
The financial operation of student publications must be approved by the building principal in accordance with current district funding practices. At no time are financial arrangements to be entered into without principal or school district approval.
The amount of space allocated to advertising in school publications should not dominate the overall image of the paper. This situation should be examined from time to time by the faculty advisor so as to protect as much editorial space as possible to develop the writing abilities of students. The publication schedule and the size of the individual issues of the school publication shall be a matter of judgment of the faculty advisor and editorial staff.
Advertising rates per column inch will be sent by each school publication with approval of the faculty advisor.
Advertising shall be accepted from bona fide business firms in operation for a year or more or from new firms of a stable and permanent character.
Any advertising offering employment opportunities promising high earnings, travel or other extravagant claims should be thoroughly investigated.
Advertising contracts between the student publication and the advertiser are binding to both parties as per terms of the contract. In cases where the advertiser does not pay his due bill, the business manager shall send at four (4) week intervals three (3) "reminder" letters. If the bill remains unpaid, the business manager shall make a personal call on the advertiser. If at this time the bill remains unpaid, the advertiser's name and contract shall be turned over to the building principal for action, as is stated in the third reminder sent to the advertiser. If the student publication staff fails to fulfill its contract terms, the contract is automatically canceled at no expense to the advertiser if he/she so desires.
Violations of Standards
If any school publication or publication other than those sponsored by schools is in violation of standards of school publications, the principal/designee shall request the distributor to desist distribution and call for a hearing immediately with parties involved.
Hearing procedures shall follow those in the school district guidelines.