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#SJW11: Take the TAO pledge today

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Today is the day to join other scholastic media across the nation as they take the TAO Pledge – a promise to your audience, your administrators and yourselves – that you will be transparent about who you are as student media, that you will be accountable for your mistakes and open to other points of view.

The Pledge, a service of the Washington News Council, aims to provide a symbol of media communities can trust. With the explosion of new media sources online, a TAO of Journalism FAQ explains,  many citizens are even more confused about who they can trust in the mainstream media, independent media and the so-called blogosphere. Surveys also show that institutions and individuals that are transparent about who they are, accountable for their performance and open to citizen input are the most trusted.

Student media that take the Pledge register to have their school media included on the list of TAO Pledgers, receive downloadable art of the TAO of Journalism seal to use in their mastheads and temporary tattoos of the TAO Seal for each staff member.

The pledge takes three minutes, max, to fill out; student publications should use this form. And it takes just another two minutes to snap a picture of your staff signing it, then upload it to the SJW Flickr page, just like these California student journalists did.

When you sign the Pledge, you can also complete a Facebook comment form at the bottom of this page that will also appear on your Facebook page.

The Journalism Education Association has endorsed the TAO of Journalism Pledge as one way student media can instill trust in their programs.

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