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Tweet5: Decision-making content control
rests with students, rooted in professional standards

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Have a journalistic purpose in mind for every story you write/propose. Don’t write stories to be sensational. #25HZLWD http://jeasprc.org/decision-students/hazelwoodcolor

Those who want to control student media often point to incomplete, biased or sensational treatment of stories. It really does not matter if the topic is controversial in nature. What does matter is that students, no matter the platform or approach, report and present these topics following journalistic standards – and that they make the final decisions for all content.

• Journalists must learn to recognize legitimate news values.

• Journalists must verify, verify, verify.

• Journalists must ask the tough and nagging questions of authorities and others a democratic society needs to continuously evolve and prosper. They must also then question the answers for complete and relevant meaning.

• Journalists have the inherent responsibility to find the best sources and to present relevant information in context and perspective so citizens have adequate viewpoints to consider.

• Journalists must find not only the best resources but substantiate sources’ information they use as well as present it clear and meaningful.

• Journalists must try to keep sources on the record for the most credible information unless there is a need to protect sources.

• Journalists must present their audiences with diverse and knowledgeable resources they can use to make informed decisions and to raise educated questions.

• Journalists must report information from all citizens, especially those who might not otherwise have a chance to be heard.

• Journalists must present information free of bias and agenda and clearly identify issues or limitations on that information, including that the information might be incomplete or from questionable sources.

• Journalists must not be afraid to say what they do not know as well as what they are able to report. Knowing what information is missing can help people understand the story.

• Journalists must clearly separate and label fact from opinion in their reporting of information to communities, and make concerted efforts to ensure that citizens know how to tell the difference.

• Journalists must inform accurately, thoroughly and coherently.

• Journalists must present relevant information in context and perspective so citizens have adequate information on which to make decisions.

• Journalists must use public records to enhance authoritative information.

• Journalists must make sense not only of information gathered, but also evaluate and challenge the sources.

• Journalists must establish a priority for balance and objectivity, recognizing that they are a process, not an outcome.

• Journalists must hold to the same ethical standards and guidelines for their use of social media as they do for print. The goal is consistent, responsible journalism and distribution of information.

• Journalists must tell the story the best way possible, using whatever format and media best present the information, in context.

• Journalists must develop a relentless pursuit of the truth.

• Journalists must reflect their communities, but they must first be able to challenge a community’s values and preconceptions when the need arises to maintain the free and accurate flow of information

Resources:
• Principles of journalism
http://www.journalism.org/resources/principles
• Journalism’s moral responsibility: three questions
http://www.poynter.org/dg.lts/id.5969/content.content_view.htm
• Sensitive Issues Guide
http://jeasprc.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/Sensitive-issues-guide.pdf

 

 

 

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