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Ethical guidelines for monitoring yearbook coverage QT29

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Arguably, the two biggest complaints most yearbook staffs hear are that a wide cross section of the school is not covered adequately, and quotes are not represented accurately. These are tough criticisms to hear, but staffs must consider the potential criticism while they create the book.

Putting the yearbook together is hard work, but the yearbook staff must avoid every temptation to cut corners and only take pictures of their friends, the first person they see in the hallway or the most high profile athlete, musician or student. Develop a system with a live index so you can track in real time how many times each individual has been in the yearbook and seek out underrepresented students and avoid over represented students.

Create an ethical guideline for how many times is too many times to be in the yearbook and find ways to target students who are underrepresented for your topical ro feature coverage. For example, when you ask a question for a sidebar in your sophomore section portraits, use that as an opportunity to find an underrepresented student. When you are covering the science experiment, take pictures of the student who is not the student government president.

When you gather quotes for these elements of the book, have students write them down and hand them to you on a piece of paper so that you can ensure accuracy. These quotes could then be archived with the other quotes for the page. This way you can ensure that the answer they give you is the answer that shows up in the yearbook.

Guideline:

The yearbook will ensure that each student can see himself or herself represented in the publication in a fair, equitable and accurate manner.

Social media post/question:

What are your ethical guidelines for choosing subjects for the yearbook?

Stance:

Work with your staff early to develop goals and guidelines for the year to help you ensure accurate and equitable coverage.

Reasoning/suggestions:

Putting the yearbook together is hard work, but the yearbook staff must avoid every temptation to cut corners and only take pictures of their friends, the first person they see in the hallway or the most high profile athlete, musician or student.

Students are the consumers of the book, and yearbook staffs are producing an historical document, which must include an accurate and complete picture of the student body for that year, regardless of who buys the book. Staffs must work early to establish their ethical guidelines for how they choose coverage, how they monitor who has been included and how they decide which students get selected for coverage.

Resources: Yearbook ethics guidelines, SPRC

 

 

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