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Websites should post policies, procedures, too

Posted by on Mar 17, 2015 in Blog, News, Scholastic Journalism, Teaching | 0 comments

sprclogoby Candace Bowen
Including a mission statement and other policy points on the newspaper’s editorial page or inside a newsmag front cover is pretty standard, but where does that info go on a website? From recent experience judging state competitions, it seems some staffs really aren’t sure.

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Be disaster aware, be prepared, take action

Posted by on Sep 25, 2014 in Blog, Ethical Issues, Legal issues, News, Scholastic Journalism, Teaching | 0 comments

sprclogoby Glenn Morehouse Olson
Throughout September, I find my classes cut short time and time again as the school works to squeeze in the required fire, lockdown and tornado drills. I’ve never really given it any thought. It’s an important part of preparing students in case of an emergency.

However, on Sept. 19 an email appeared in my in-box from the U.S. Department of Education, and it turns out, September is National Preparedness Month.

The headline read:

Be Disaster Aware, Take Action During National Preparedness Month

I have a number of friends and colleagues throughout the country who have faced their worst nightmares in these situations and who understand the importance of being prepared in time of great stress. Although nothing can truly prepare us for disaster, having a plan ahead of time helps.

“Safety and effective learning go hand in hand. So, although September is a very busy time of year for the education community, it’s also a good time for students, school staff, and families to make sure they are up-to-date in their knowledge of school emergency plans, policies and procedures,” the Homeroom Blog stated.

Just as our schools take time to prepare for physical disasters, September is also a good time for journalism teachers to make sure students are up-to-date in their knowledge of legal and ethical policies and procedures that can help prevent prior review and first amendment disasters from happening or, at least help them navigate the storm should disaster strike.

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Getting your editorial policy
the right way

Posted by on Sep 3, 2014 in Blog, Hazelwood, Legal issues, News, Scholastic Journalism, Teaching | 0 comments

by Candace Perkins Bowen, MJE

Part 1 of a 2-part blog on teacher plagiarism and copyright issues

Teachers can be the world’s worst thieves without ever meaning to be.

We’ve all done it — sometimes out of panicked need, sometimes out of ignorance, sometimes because we think our classroom is some sort of copyright-free zone.

So just what CAN teachers use that others have created? Just what is fair use in the classroom? What may be legal but not exactly ethical for us to use? This is the first of a two-part series concerning OUR use of others’ creative work.

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Tweet3: Strong editorial polices
speed you to the Hazelwood cure

Posted by on Jan 10, 2013 in Blog, Hazelwood, Law and Ethics, News, Scholastic Journalism, Teaching | 0 comments

hazelwoodcolorDevelop strong editorial policies that protect students, administrators and community. #25HZLWD

Once you have established yourselves as forums, the next step is to design clear and concise policies that protect student final decision-making for your media, and that help protect the school system and community from harm. The best policy can protect you from many illnesses, including Hazelwood, and will go a long way to speed you to the Hazelwood Cure. A bad policy can be worse than the plague..

Many models of policies exist. It is important for you to have a consistent policy across all your student media.

In addition to information below, a myriad of other support on policies exists on the  SPLC website and on JEA’s Scholastic Press Rights Commission site.


 Resources for developing sound policies
JEA statement on prior review
Steps for developing edit policies

Double-edged sword of policies
SPLC model editorial policy 
Press Rights Commission PowerPoint on edit policies

JEA model edit policy
First Amendment Schools sample policies and information
• Good policies establish credibility

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Developing media editorial policies makes for good start to the year

Posted by on Aug 18, 2011 in Blog, Law and Ethics, News, Scholastic Journalism, Teaching | 0 comments

As scholastic media staffs begin their year, there really is no more important strategy  than developing a strong editorial policy, for print and digital media.

For a good model print policy, see JEA’s model editorial policy.

For an excellent policy model that combines print and digital media, see JEA Digital Media’s article on collapsing multiple editorial policies (and not just newspaper) into one.

As Aaron Manful says in his article, “school programs should not be seen as individual mediums, but as a media program.”

Whatever the future brings for scholastic journalism, a good way to anticipate it is with a strong, unified policy that empowers all student media staffs with final content decisions.

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