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The role of the adviser is multifold,
but ethically, practically not a doer QT20

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The role of the adviser in student-run media incorporates teacher, coach, counselor, listener and devil’s advocate but not doer. We like the JEA Adviser Code of Ethics as guides for advisers.

That role means letting students make all decisions including content, context and grammar.

One way advisers can help this process is by having a staff manual inclusive of the student media mission statement, policies, guidelines and procedures. The mission statement outlines the overall aim of the student media. Policies are either the board-level or media-level and state the functionality of the student press. Guidelines are the ethical components the student media will work with. The procedures and resources for students to learn how to do something

 

Guidelines

As per the board-level or media-level policy, students should be empowered to make all content decisions for student media.

Key points/action

If the term “student media” is to have meaning, then the role of the adviser should be just what it says: advise.

The role of the adviser in student-run media incorporates teacher, coach, counselor, listener and devil’s advocate but not doer.

That role means letting students make all decisions including content, context and grammar.

Stance

Students learn best when they are empowered to make their own decisions with support from the adviser on the sideline. A clear understanding of the adviser’s role helps students take ownership of their work and the program overall.

Reasoning/suggestions:
To help teachers and advisers understand this role more completely, we recommend the JEA Adviser Code of Ethics as a starting point. We also recommend inclusion of a statement on the role of the adviser by noting the adviser code and a statement that students make all decisions of content. Advisers should advise and ask questions to help the students examine the issue from multiple perspectives and concerns.

One way advisers can help this process is by having a staff manual inclusive of the student media mission statement, policies, guidelines and procedures. The mission statement outlines the overall aim of the student media. Policies are either the board-level or media-level and state the functionality of the student press. Guidelines are the ethical components the student media will work with. The procedures and resources for students to learn how to do something.

If students know (or can look at what to do) what By already establishing these prior to a problem happening, it’s easier to see what to do when something does happen. (And, it will.) These policies, guidelines and procedures should function as a reference and be complete (preferably) prior to the problem happening. This helps the students (and adviser) work through issues if they do happen.
ResourcesAdviser responsibility

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.

Teaching grit for citizenship — why we must empower, not shield students (related SPRC blog).

 

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