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How should student media
handle academic dishonesty? QT56

Posted by on Apr 8, 2018 in Blog, Ethical Issues, Quick Tips, Scholastic Journalism, Teaching | 0 comments

Dishonesty compromises the integrity and credibility of the student publication. The editorial board and/or adviser should address any instance of academic misconduct immediately.

Student editors should develop a clear process for handling academic dishonesty. Both media staff and school policies may dictate consequences for academic dishonesty. In addition to school consequences, other approaches could include removal or suspension from the media staff and publishing an apology.

Guidelines

Students should be honest in all stages of their work. Dishonesty is a serious offense and should not be tolerated. Dishonesty compromises the integrity and credibility of the student publication. The editorial board and/or adviser should address any instance of academic misconduct immediately.

Stance

Student editors should develop a clear process for handling academic dishonesty. Both media staff and school policies may dictate consequences for academic dishonesty. In addition to school consequences, other approaches could include removal or suspension from the media staff and publishing an apology.

Suggestions

In journalism, academic dishonesty is not limited to cheating and plagiarism. Issues especially relevant to student media include:

  • Fabrication — inventing quotes or other content
  • Non-contextual content — taking quotes, facts or other content out of their intended context in a way that misleads the audience
  • Manipulation of photos, video and text — editing or altering content in a way to change its meaning or misrepresent reality
  • Inadequate verification — failing to assure the veracity of information, quotes or facts for your story.

Resources

The Fundamental Values of Academic Integrity, The Center for Academic Integrity

Journalism Department Code of Ethics and Conduct, San Francisco State University

The Medill Justice Project Ethics Book, Northwestern University

Our cheating culture: Plagiarism and fabrication are unacceptable in journalism, The Buttry Diary

Audio: Plagiarism, JEA Scholastic Press Rights Committee, Press Rights Minute

National Press Photographers Code of EthicsAudio: Creative Commons Licensing, JEA Scholastic Press Rights Committee, Press Rights Minute

 

 

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Ad Placement QT53

Posted by on Mar 8, 2018 in Blog, Ethical Issues, Quick Tips, Scholastic Journalism, Teaching | 0 comments

Newspapers used to keep in-depth, front page and opinion pages completely separated from advertising.

The thinking was the advertising and promotion of products should not appear to influence a newspaper’s editorial choices. They wanted to keep their most important pages dedicated to the content they deemed most important.

These self-imposed guidelines have relaxed significantly in recent years. Newspapers include ads on front pages and on in-depth pages, often in prominent places on the outside edges.

Most newspapers do still keep the editorial pages free of advertising in order to keep their editorial content free from explicit or inferred influence.

When students secure advertising for the newspaper, editors must decide where that content will go. In order to maintain the integrity of the most important aspects of your newspaper.

They need to make sure their advertising is placed away from editorial pages and in-depth content, but consider carefully what compromises they might make on the front page.

If there is page page advertising, what premium price should get from advertiser(s).


Guideline:

Ads will touch student produced content on the inside pages of the publication with no ads on the editorial or in-depth pages.

Organizations directly competing with each other will be placed on different pages, when possible. Special pricing will be available for ads that run in color on the back page.

Question: Where do we put all of these ads we’re getting?

Stance: Advertising must not show up on editorial pages, in-depth pages or the front page.

Reasoning/suggestions: When students secure advertising for the newspaper, editors must decide where that content will go. In order to maintain the integrity of the most important aspects of the news medium.  Ensure advertising is placed away from editorial pages,  in-depth content and your front page.

If students opt to run ads on the front page, the ad shouldn’t overwhelm the content or appear to be actual news content. This is a longstanding principle with most publications and is meant to avoid the potential for conflicts of interest.

Advertising must be clearly recognizable and differentiated from the most import and highest profile content.

Resources:

Student media guide to advertising law, SPLC

 

 

 

 

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Equipment purchase does not mean content control QT30

Posted by on Nov 13, 2017 in Blog, Law and Ethics, Quick Tips, Scholastic Journalism, Teaching | 0 comments

It has long been understood that school purchase of equipment or provision of a room that is not the only factor in who controls the content.

There other factors, including a guiding court decision.

According to Antonelli v. Hammond, “We are well beyond the belief that any manner of state regulation is permissible simply because it involves an activity which is a part of the university structure and is financed with funds controlled by the administration. The state is not necessarily the unrestrained master of what it creates and fosters.”

Even though that was about a college situation, it is applicable to student media that receive state or federal funds for their student media.

 

Policy and Guidelines

Students in designated forums for student expression control content decisions for their student media regardless of who bought the equipment.

Question: When and why should student media take down content, in print or online?

Key points/action: Simply put, state/government involvement in providing funding and facilities for student media does not give content control.

Guidance comes from a college case, Antonelli v. Hammond,  308 F, Supp. 1329 (D. Mass, 1970).

Stance: Advisers and student staffs need to understand and make others aware of this point, even adding it to editorial policies if applicable.

Reasoning/suggestions: According to the decision, “We are well beyond the belief that any manner of state regulation is permissible simply because it involves an activity which is a part of the university structure and is financed with funds controlled by the administration. The state is not necessarily the unrestrained master of what it creates and fosters.”

ResourcesAntonelli v. Hammond,  308 F, Supp. 1329 (D. Mass, 1970). Print reference is also available on page 40 of the red edition of Law of the Student Press.

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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The next Woodward and Bernstein
may be in your journalism class now

Posted by on Nov 4, 2017 in Blog, News, Scholastic Journalism | 0 comments

by Candace Perkins Bowen, MJE

Some say the next wave of great investigative journalists may be getting inspired now. Do you have a Pulitzer winner on YOUR staff? Are you teaching someone who could investigate the next Watergate break-in? What can you do to encourage him or her?

Sure, plenty of problems face today’s reporters: financial challenges for traditional newspapers, less-than-impressive wages, an attitude at the highest level of government that says media are the enemy, sometimes even threats of jail.

But Margaret Sullivan in the Fall 2017 Columbia Journalism Review had some good insight in her “Trump and the Watergate effect: Will young journalists still be inspired by today’s watchdog reporting?”

She remembers watching the Watergate hearings on tv as a child and realizing Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein made this all happen. “What these journalists did offered not only an important mission, but a gritty, roll-up-your-sleeves glamour. So, thanks to Watergate, Woodstein and Deep Throat, I was launched. And so were a generation of baby-boomer journalists—thousands of us. Some were in college in the mid ’70s. Others, like me, were in high school, or even younger.”

Will the reporters who are covering the Trump era — which, in some ways, is like the Nixon era with a special prosecutor, investigations into corruption and talk of possible impeachment — inspire today’s high school and college students to go into this career that can have a huge impact?

In today’s world of fake news, of chants to lock up journalists and of an attorney general who appears willing to prosecute those involved in leaks, is there still a calling?

Will the reporters who are covering the Trump era — which, in some ways, is like the Nixon era with a special prosecutor, investigations into corruption and talk of possible impeachment — inspire today’s high school and college students to go into this career that can have a huge impact?

How do we help recruit the best and the brightest to make a difference for us all?

First, we need to refute some of the arguments against a journalism career. Sure, some newspapers are struggling and cutting staff, but some are not, and, more important, newspapers are not the only venue even for investigative journalists.

The Pew Research Center reports, “In the U.S., roughly nine-in-ten adults (93 percent) get news online (either via mobile or desktop), and the online space has become a host for the digital homes of both legacy news outlets and new, ‘born on the web’ news outlets.”

Exposés don’t have to appear only in the New York Times. According to The Guardian, blogs have revealed everything from contaminated dog food to a reduced number of U.S. attorneys. Good journalists can be there, too.

Then we have to convince students what those following the Watergate era knew: They CAN make a difference. The watchdog role of the media is still vital in a democracy, and, without it, we’ve lost the foundation of our government.

What do today’s college students think?

Ben Orner, senior journalism major at Kent State University, said his high school interest in covering sports grew when he reached college. “I was able to make the connections between my news consumption, what I was learning in classes and how this could have an impact.”

He said he can see how journalism makes a difference. “Whether it’s big like Watergate or like corruption in the local city council,” he said he sees how journalists have make a difference.

“The ‘Trump Era’ inspires young journalists to hold their leaders accountable,” he said.

Kent State sophomore broadcast major Gretchen Lasso said she thinks the recent political climate has made her a more vocal journalist. She acknowledges when she arrived on campus she was not a very critical media consumer. “Now I’m better able to analyze news and decide if it’s credible.”

She said criticism of the media has made her “work harder to verify my own sources” and be a better journalist in the future.

Who knows if Ben and Gretchen will be future Woodwards and Bernsteins, but today’s media climate has served to challenge and inspire them. Could that happen to students in high school now?

Our democracy needs watchdogs who are willing to consider low pay and taunts from some crowds as the price to pay for a better democracy.

 

 

 

 

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Student news media fulfill growing need:
covering local news no one else does

Posted by on Oct 17, 2017 in Blog, Broadcast, Digital Media, News, Scholastic Journalism, Teaching | 0 comments

by Cyndi Hyatt

Student newspapers – the new papers of record?

Nearly 350 teachers wearing white T-shirts, chanting slogans and holding signs calling for a fair contract lined the front of the high school before the September school board meeting. Philadelphia’s television news vans were there: Action News, Fox 29, CBS 10.

And so was the local paper, the school newspaper, the only print media present.

As local and regional newspaper circulation continues to decline, there is less and less local coverage for more and more communities. Residents of areas without the local paper sometimes have to look long and hard to read about what’s happening in their own backyards leaving them in the dark about most community matters including politics, policies and police activity. 

Because of this lack of local press, student journalism is now more important than ever. While the regional TV stations may air a 15-second voiceover on the nightly news about a local happening, the school newspaper can tell the full story and often is the only media outlet doing so. The school newspaper has become the paper of record for many areas.

Good student newspapers are authoritative and cover the local community unlike other media. Because of protected speech, they can be editorially independent.  The result is fair and balanced reporting with high standards for news gathering and writing, paying close attention to accuracy in detail and fact-checking.

The paper and its online presence are publicly available not only to the immediate school but through distribution to local merchants and public buildings, like libraries and municipal offices.

That night of the school board meeting, four student journalists covered the event, arriving at 6 p.m. and staying until the meeting adjourned at 9 p.m. They shot video and stills. They interviewed parents, teachers and students. They listened, recorded and took notes. They were present to document the entire event.

The week prior and the week after the meeting they contacted school board members and union representatives, reached out to attorneys representing each side, researched past contract negotiations, learned about process, past and present.

The result was an informative and timely news story that objectively told both sides – a story that informs the community, both the school and municipal stakeholders, what is happening in their local school district.

Student journalists’ news media matter. They mean more than ever to their school and surrounding neighborhoods because oftentimes they are the only voice of authentic and honest local news coverage.

They have become the paper of record.

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