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Who should be on student media editorial boards, make decisions? QT15

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Because student media are productions of student work, only students should be on editorial boards of student media. That would include the general manager and producers of broadcast media.

Generally, student editors make up editorial boards. Some may have student staffers attend and vote if so desired. Editorial board meetings can normally be open to the whole staff. Others can be invited to sit in and observe by invitation.

The process of deciding editorials should be outlined in ethical guidelines and detailed in staff manual procedures. Having only student editors make decisions reinforces the open forum status for your student media.

 

Guidelines/Key points/action

Because student media are productions of student work, only students should be on editorial boards of student media. That would include the general manager and producers of broadcast media.

Only students should have voting or decision-making roles for such media, although some programs have the adviser sit in on board discussions ex officio. It is not recommended to have administrators, other non-journalism faculty or community members on student media boards.

Stance

Generally, student editors make up editorial boards. Some may have student staffers attend and vote if so desired. Editorial board meetings can normally be open to the whole staff. Others can be invited to sit in and observe by invitation.

Generally, board members vote on staff editorials, controversial approaches and other items as decided locally. On editorial board votes, the majority generally rules. It is not a typical practice for the editor to have veto power.

Reasoning/suggestions:

This process should be outlined in ethical guidelines and detailed in staff manual procedures. Having only student editors make decisions reinforces the open forum status for your student media.

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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