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want to do senior wills? QT10

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Because senior wills have minimal journalistic value and great potential for damage, they should not be used in school publications.

Seniors wills have been dying a slow death in high school yearbooks. Yes, students love them, but can we defend them as a journalistic device? Do they represent the best of our work, and the most creative way to tell the stories of students in our schools?

Publishing something information not related to all students and which creates significant issues of review might have harsher outcomes than foreseen. Passing Senior Wills off to the senior class for publication might be a workable solution to solving a clash between professional standards and meeting student desires.

 

Guideline: Because senior wills have minimal journalistic value and great potential for damage, they should not be used in school publications.

Question: What is the journalistic value in publishing senior wills?

Key points/action: Seniors wills have been dying a slow death in high school yearbooks. Yes, students love them, but can we defend them as a journalistic device? Do they represent the best of our work, and the most creative way to tell the stories of students in our schools?

Stance: Students need to balance their free expression rights with their mission and social responsibility to truth, accuracy and verified reporting. Senior wills should be taken out of your yearbooks and replaced with better ways of telling student stories.

Reasoning/suggestions: Publishing something information not related to all students and which creates significant issues of review might have harsher outcomes than foreseen. Passing Senior Wills off to the senior class for publication might be a workable solution to solving a clash between professional standards and meeting student desires.

Senior wills are a vestige of the past and serve little purpose in advancing the stories of the school year. When you allow senior wills, you are inviting others to create content for the product which has your name behind it. You lose control of the message and invite students the opportunity to include inside jokes, Libel, innuendo or other messages which may harm other students in your school. Content could slip in that covertly bullies or harms members of your community, and you would be responsible for it.

Resources: Winner of ‘worst reputation’ award sues Ind. High school over comments in newspaper

Related: These points and other decisions about mission statement, forum status and editorial policy should be part of a Foundations Package  that protects journalistically responsible student expression.

 

 

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