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Fools, wills and quotes: credibility disasters

Posted by on Mar 17, 2019 in Blog, News, Scholastic Journalism, Teaching | 0 comments

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by John Bowen, MJE
It’s that time of year.

Senior quotes. senior wills and April fools sometimes can be considered the three Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

They  have minimal journalistic value and can quickly damage a staff’s –– and a school’s –– reputation and credibility.

What’s a good media staff to do?

The decision is even more difficult if it involves adamant seniors who demand such humor for their yearbook. Or, if for some reason there’s always been one. Tradition is a powerful wall to breach. With April Fools, some media missions call for entertainment. So, why not?

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Clickbait QT68

Posted by on May 16, 2018 in Blog, Digital Media, Quick Tips, Scholastic Journalism, Teaching | 0 comments

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Guideline:

Journalists should present relevant information in context so the audience has adequate information on which to base decisions. Context is just as important as factual accuracy and can help readers fully understand an issue and its relevance to their daily lives.

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Senior quotes, wills:
Can harm students, damage credibility QT65

Posted by on May 6, 2018 in Blog, Ethical Issues, Quick Tips, Scholastic Journalism, Teaching | 0 comments

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Senior wills, April Fool’s issues and senior quotes sometimes can be considered the three Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

They  have minimal journalistic value and can quickly damage a staff’s –– and a school’s –– reputation and credibility.

Senior quotes present too much potential for damage and turn over too much control of your student publications to students who are not trained in legal and ethical considerations. Libel, innuendo, and bullying could be slipped into content, and it may slip past your editors or advisers, thus causing harm to students and damaging your publication.

Guideline:

Because senior quotes have minimal journalistic value and great potential for damage, they will not be used in school publications.

Social media post/question:

Senior quotes in your publications? 

Key points/action:

Students love senior quotes in the yearbook or newspaper, but what happens when a student slips something inappropriate in the quote? When does the editor decide what can and cannot go in? What if another student is bullied through a quote, and you don’t catch it? What if a double entendre slips in that no one recognizes? What if a student says something in September that they don’t want published in May? Can you guarantee every student will be equally represented?

Stance:

Senior quotes should be taken out of your yearbooks and replaced with better ways of telling student stories.

Reasoning/suggestions:

Senior quotes present too much potential for damage and turn over too much control of your student publications to students who are not trained in legal and ethical considerations. Libel, innuendo, and bullying could be slipped into content, and it may slip past your editors or advisers, thus causing harm to students and damaging your publication.

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SPRC package offers insights
for reporting protests, marches

Posted by on Mar 18, 2018 in Blog, Ethical Issues, Legal issues, Scholastic Journalism, Teaching | 0 comments

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by Candace Bowen
Tomorrow will mark the beginning of a series of daily posts to help students cover upcoming protests.

#NeverAgain will represent many thousands of marchers Saturday, March 24 in Washington, D.C., and cities across the country, and JEA’s Scholastic Press Rights Committee wants to help student journalists be effective and safe as they report on these and future events.

School walkouts March 14 proved student journalists want to let others know what their classmates are doing, and their impressive news articles, video, audio, tweets and other social media certainly did just that.

But what these journalists may encounter if they head to the nation’s capital or even a city nearby is likely to be very different from reporting on 17 minutes of speeches and balloons on the football field with their classmates.

For one thing, not everyone agrees on the ways to stop school shootings and violence. Counter protesters – possibly armed – are not unlikely. Police will be part of the mix.

These days, some people don’t like journalists anyway, which adds another layer of concern.

The Student Press Law Center has legal FAQs for you. We hope to offer useful logistical and ethical information that could make the difference between a frightening and poorly reported experience and something that tells perhaps the most important story of their generation.

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Ad Placement QT53

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

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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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