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The process of deciding staff editorials QT41

Posted by on Jan 7, 2018 in Blog, Ethical Issues, Quick Tips, Teaching | 0 comments

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Keys to effective editorials include focused positions, credible sources and meaningful topics. If the topic is focused on issues and problems, strong editorials include a call to action or possible solutions.

Ideas for topics should be discussed throughout the deadline cycle. The editorial board will select the topic, and a member of the editorial board will write it as an unsigned editorial.

In general, student reporters should consider reinforcing the importance of key stories with local impact and importance by preparing staff editorials that take a definitive stance.

Editorials are least effective and meaningful when they approach topics other than the  mundane.

Key points/action

Staff editorials, the position of the student media on topics of importance and interest, require thorough planning and credible sources and arguments for support.

Student media show leadership in many ways, and one of the most traditional is through concise, focused and authoritative statements of well argued and supported opinion that represents the institutional voice of the student media.

Stance

In general, student reporters should consider reinforcing the importance of key stories with local impact and importance by preparing staff editorials that take a definitive stance. Editorials are least effective and meaningful when they approach topics other than the mundane.

Such leadership pieces should not be exclusively negative or positive. They can offer solutions, alternatives, commendation and/or points for compromise. They should make statements and not ask questions.

Reasoning/suggestions:

Keys to effective editorials include focused positions, credible sources and meaningful topics. If the topic is focused on issues and problems, strong editorials include a call to action.

Ideas for topics should be discussed throughout the deadline cycle. The editorial board will select the topic, and a member of the editorial board will write it as an unsigned editorial.

Staffs may set their own policies, but the staff editorial need not reflect the views of all editorial board members.

Editorials can still play an important role in today’s 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.

Resources:

Quick Hit: Picking a topic for staff editorials, JEA Scholastic Press Committee

Quick Hit: Importance of staff editorials, JEA Scholastic Press Committee

Mirror, mirror on the wall,” JEA Scholastic Press Committee

Where have the leaders gone?” JEA Scholastic Press Committee

Editorials under attack, Student Press Law Center

They need the freedom to make mistakes, too,” Lindsay Coppens, JEA Press Rights Committee

Explained: why newspapers endorse presidential candidates, Dylan Baddour, Houston Chronicle

Reading newspapers: Editorial and opinion pieces, Learn NC

Video: How to write an editorial, New York Times

Writing an Editorial, Alan Weintraut

 

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Choosing topics for editorials QT37

Posted by on Dec 12, 2017 in Blog, Quick Tips, Scholastic Journalism, Teaching | 0 comments

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The best and most effective staff editorials are those that tackle an important topic and then give audiences a reason and a way to address it.

Staff editorials should concern local or localized issues for the student body and/or school community. They may advocate, solve a problem or commend.

Guidelines

Staff editorials should concern local or localized issues for the student body and/or school community. They may advocate, solve a problem or commend.

Question: What are best practices in choosing staff editorial materials?

Key points/action: The best and most effective staff editorials are those that tackle an important topic and then give audiences a reason and a way to address it.

Stance: Develop criteria for choosing editorial topics that can include:

  • A topic that can make a difference
  • A topic for which there can be reliable and credible sources
  • A topic audiences can address and create change
  • A topic that has reported content to provide background
  • A topic for which the reporter(s) can find first-hand information and sources

Reasoning/suggestions:

Remember, editorials are concise, supported and take a stand. Also to note: staff editorials are unsigned because they represent the entire publication or media.


Resources:

Quick Hit: Staff editorial process, JEA Scholastic Press Committee

Quick Hit: Importance of staff editorials, JEA Scholastic Press Committee

Mirror, mirror on the wall,” JEA Scholastic Press Committee

Where have the leaders gone?” JEA Scholastic Press Committee

Editorials under attack, Student Press Law Center

They need the freedom to make mistakes, too,” Lindsay Coppens, JEA Press Rights Committee

Explained: why newspapers endorse presidential candidates, Dylan Baddour, Houston Chronicle

Reading newspapers: Editorial and opinion pieces, Learn NC

Video: How to write an editorial, New York Times

Writing an Editorial, Alan Weintraut

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

Posted by on Sep 26, 2017 in Blog, Quick Tips, Scholastic Journalism, Teaching | 0 comments

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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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New policy, ethics and staff manual elements posted

Posted by on Apr 9, 2015 in Blog, Ethical Issues, Legal issues, News, Scholastic Journalism, Teaching | 0 comments

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sprclogoJust to give everyone a heads-up, the SPRC just published its Foundations of Journalism package to offer a new look at how editorial policies interact with ethical guidelines and staff manual procedures.

The package is available at   http://jeasprc.org/buildingfoundations/   and includes   separate models for possible board- and media-level policies, including rationale for each. The ethics and staff manual examples work together so you can see models for ethical guidelines and staff manual statements or procedures to carry them out.
The package also has a sitemap with direct links to individual articles and files at   http://jeasprc.org/foundationbuildingsitemap/  .
Please take a look at the whole package, including rationale of why we’re taking a new look at policy and ethics interaction. Each model ethics statement and staff manual process includes resource links. A general resources list is available for the whole project.
John Bowen
Director, JEA SPRC
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Sitemap for developing
Policy and Ethics in Student Media

Posted by on Apr 7, 2015 in Blog, Ethical Issues, Legal issues, News, Scholastic Journalism, Teaching | 0 comments

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Foundations_bar

Policy and Ethics Sitemap

Links from the boldfaced main sections below are intended to be sequential in nature but can also be used menu style. Pick one model from policies and as many as you need from the ethics/staff manual sections and you are on your way to building your own Foundations package. We think the policy section should come first since it sets the stage for all other areas, but that choice remains yours.

sprclogo

EandPIntroductory articles to policies
This section will outline the importance of our two types of policies, board-level and media-level and provide you with recommended language as well as comments on each of the five recommended levels. Other articles outline public forums and prior review.
Front page to the project                      —Introductory article                                 —Public forum overview      —Prior review and restraint            —Quick access to policy models            —Creating a mission statement     –Model for ethical guidelines

Introductory article link to ethics
This section will introduce how we visualize our concept, why we created it this way and our thoughts on updating ethics guidelines and staff manual. Please note that we believe in user additions to all these sections.

How to use this section

Establishing program Structure
We designed the ethics and staff manual sections into four main segments, from establishing the principles and ethical guidelines to evaluating them. This group of guidelines and procedures strives to establish basic principles and structure that work for all student media.

School board and media policy            —Publication level policy

The role of student media                     —The role of the adviser

Editor-staff relationships                        —Staff conduct

Balance and objectivity                          —Academic dishonesty

Ownership of student content              —jeamodeleditpolicy

— Creating “Put Up” guidelines               —Recognizing public spaces

Understanding “no publication” guidelines   —Publishing satire

Planning and gathering information
This group of guidelines stresses basic principles and process of information gathering across platforms. These represent more detailed approaches to carrying out daily journalistic functions.

News judgment and news values         —Prior review/prior restraint

Controversial coverage                          —Diversity of sources

Recording sources during interviewsVerification

Allowing sources to see content before publication

Email, texting and digital information gathering

Unnamed sources                                    —Treatment of minors

Public records and meetings                 —Treatment of sources

— Recording interviews                             —

 

Producing content
This group of ethics statements and staff manual procedures focuses more on the production of journalistic content, from print to social media and from reporting to advertising.

Handling links                                            —Guides for breaking news

Providing content                                    —Writing process

Social media                                              –Use of profanity

Obituaries                                                  —Sponsored content

Advertising                                                —Visual reporting

— Producing video dubs                             — Handling user-generated content

Assessing and responding
We envision this section focusing on how students and advisers evaluate their content. We would also include specialized issues.

Evaluating and critiquing content       —Correcting errors

Takedown requests         — Letters to the editor/online comments

Requests for specific ethical/manual statements
This version of Policy and Ethical guidelines is a living, breathing document to which we welcome comments and suggestions. If you have experience with something we did not include, please use the comment section here to let us know what you would like us to add, or just to comment.

Resources
We intend for these resource lists bring additional support and perspective to each of the more specialized and directly related resources attached to each of the files above.

If there are resources you find useful, please use the comment section here to share your knowledge.

 

 

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