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JEA updates its Adviser Code of Ethics

Posted by on Nov 15, 2015 in Blog, Ethical Issues, News, Scholastic Journalism, Teaching | 0 comments

sprclogoAt its board of directors meeting in Orlando Nov. 11, JEA updated its Adviser Code of Ethics by adding several new statements and updating several others.

Changes are noted in bold, below:
• Model standards of professional journalistic conduct. to students, administrators and others.
• Empower students to make decisions of style, structure and content by creating a learning atmosphere where students will actively practice critical thinking and decision-making.
• Encourage students to seek divergent points of view and to explore a variety of information sources in their decision-making.
• Support and defend a free, robust and active forum for student expression without prior review or restraint.
• Emphasize the importance of accuracy, balance and clarity in all aspects of news gathering and reporting.
• Show trust in students as they carry out their responsibilities by encouraging and supporting them in a caring, learning environment.
• Remain informed on press rights and responsibilities across media platforms.
• Advise and mentor, rather than act as censor or decision-maker.
• Display professional and personal integrity in situations that might be construed as potential conflicts of interest.
• Support free expression for others in local and larger communities.
Model traits of a life-long learner through continuous professional development in media education along with membership and involvement in professional media organizations.
• Foster cooperation and open communication with administrators and other stakeholders while students exercise their First Amendment rights.
• Encourage journalistically responsible use of social media in schools and educate students, school officials and community to its value. Educate students about the ramifications of its misuse.
• Champion inclusion so that ALL students not only see themselves and their ideas represented, but also see themselves as able to contribute to and to lead student-determined media.


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Careful preparation creates
strong mission statements

Posted by on Sep 29, 2015 in Blog, Ethical Issues, Legal issues, News, Scholastic Journalism, Teaching | 0 comments



Part 2 of a series  on pieces of the journalism puzzle: Mission Statements

by Candace and John Bowen
A mission statement defines your student media, shows your audience what’s important to you and helps them see why you do what you do. It’s not easy to write an effective one.sprclogo

When JEA’s Scholastic Press Rights Committee set it out write a sample mission statement to share, the 10 of us didn’t realize what a challenge this would be. Sure, it would take some tweaking and some discussions when this many writers work together. But we came to find out it was more than that.

We think you need a mission statement, and we think ours is worth consideration.

The following is the model we finally agreed was best – though not perfect. We knew, for instance, we didn’t want to post a mission statement and have schools everywhere think it’s the only option. Schools are different: the student staffs, the advisers and the audiences have variations that show not one size fits all.

So here is our contribution. We think you need a mission statement, and we think ours is worth consideration. But we also share some points to think about as you write your own from scratch or adapt what we offered you.
• Audience engagement. Think about the importance of getting your audience to think and hopefully to act. Your mission should be to create media to get and keep them involved.
• Journalistic responsibility. Point out the basis of solid journalism you want as the very heart of your media: truth, integrity, completeness and accuracy.
• Additional reporting basics. Make sure your audience knows it can trust you because you also offer context to put reporting in perspective, verification that shows you double-checked, coherence that ensures it makes sense and presents all relevant information.
• Ethical reporting and editing. To complete the reporting process, present your work ethically and to professional standards for your audiences.
Student-determined content. It should make a difference to your audience that students are in charge and decide all content for your student media. It definitely makes a difference to courts, too.
• Diversity of ideas and representation. It’s not just one clique that runs your student media. All voices contribute ideas and have representation in your media.
• Platform consistency. It’s not a newspaper policy and a separate Web, yearbook or TV station policy. As all media providers realize they are connected and each telling a story in the best way possible, it’s important the school’s media share the same policies and ethical approaches.
• School mission statement connection. It shouldn’t be surprising that school mission statements often mention the same points student media do: building thinking citizens, preparing students for democracy, etc. Tie parts of your media mission statement to those as well.

Our model, then, would look like this:

_____________ (school name) student media provide complete and accurate coverage, journalistically responsible, ethically gathered, edited and reported. Student-determined expression promotes democratic citizenship through public engagement diverse in both ideas and representation. 

Part 1: Build a strong foundation
Part 3: Points to avoid in mission statements
Part 4: Fitting the pieces into a strong Foundation


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Students making content decisions – 1
Administrative review – 0

Posted by on Sep 16, 2015 in Blog, Legal issues, News, Scholastic Journalism, Teaching | 0 comments

sprclogoby Candace Perkins Bowen
Even media staffs that have been the well-respected voice of a large, diverse student body sometimes run into problems with administrators. And sometimes a few tweaks of the editorial policy or staff manual could get them through the rough spots and apparently back on track to publish what they know their readers need and want to know.

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The foundations of journalism:
policies, ethics and staff manuals

Posted by on Apr 29, 2015 in Blog, Ethical Issues, Featured, Legal issues, News, Scholastic Journalism, Teaching | 0 comments

Mouse over the visual and click on numbers 1-4 for content.

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Honor – and elevate – all programs
during Scholastic Journalism Week

Posted by on Feb 18, 2015 in Blog, Ethical Issues, Hazelwood, Legal issues, News, Scholastic Journalism, Teaching | 0 comments

by John Bowen
With Scholastic Journalism Week starting Feb. 22, it would serve us well to note SPLC executive Frank LoMonte’s words in this week’s Education Week.

LoMonte covers a number of points he suggests disrespect and trivialize high school journalism: mistreating female scholastic journalists, establishing the lowest, barely legal level of freedom for scholastic media and undermining the news-literacy obligation of a high school education.

As we rightfully celebrate our strengths in scholastic journalism next week, we should also heed LoMonte’s points so we help others reach the levels of scholastic journalism programs we honor.

Check out a story here about such a situation where the principal  is quoted as saying, “The school paper here at school is mine to control.”

Examine LoMonte’s thoughts, compare with the comments of the principal, and commit ourselves to elevate all journalism programs as they strive to reach the uncensored educational quality of the ones we honor most.

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