Crown

Editorial Policies

Regina Dominican High School Student Online Newspaper
Editorial Policy and Code of Ethics

Regina Dominican High School, a college preparatory Catholic school for women is sponsored by the Adrian Dominican Sisters. Congruent with our mission statement that “fosters academic excellence, truth, peace, and justice,” the staff of Crown, Regina’s Student Online Newspaper, strives to uphold these precepts with each published issue.

The staff takes seriously Regina Dominican philosophy that challenges each of its students “to experience a love for truth and beauty, an appreciation of justice, and a respect for the world.”

Through its dedication to Regina Dominican’s mission and philosophy, the Crown staff works constantly to adhere to the National Scholastic Press Association’s Model Code of Ethics for High School Journalists to:

Be Responsible.
Be Fair.
Be Honest.
Be Accurate.
Be Independent.
Minimize Harm.
Be Accountable.

The Crown staff takes every measure to adhere to the ethical standards originated by American journalists and set forth by the University of Wisconsin’s Center for Journalism Ethics to act as “an impartial communicator of important news and views to the public and from the impartial perspective of the public; using responsible and accurate methods of newsgathering, for the sake of self-governing citizenship.”

The First Amendment of the U.S. Congress states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

The Crown staff takes the First Amendment very seriously. Even though the 1988 U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in the Hazelwood School District case upholds the right of public high school administrators to censor stories from a school-sponsored student newspaper or in private schools to rely on school policies or state law to protect free expression rights, the Crown staff strives to abide by our school philosophy whereas“ each student is challenged to achieve her potential for excellence in an atmosphere where learning is experienced as a cooperative enterprise.”

As such members of the Regina Dominican school community, the Crown staff will abide by Administrative decisions regarding publishable content but will work together to forge acceptable policies that reflect the school’s mission and philosophy while also allowing the rights of the student journalists to report world, state, local, and school news that is relevant, truthful, and fair.

The editors of Crown worked together to put together a consistent set of editorial policies based on the Journalism Education Association’s Model Code of Ethics. Please note that Crown is currently

Crown is a school-sponsored student-produced newspaper written by Regina Dominican journalism students. Crown, published digitally on the Student Newspapers Online WordPress platform has been established for student journalists to inform and educate their readers as well as a vehicle for commentary from its readers.

 

FREEDOM OF THE PRESS

As it is essential to preserve the freedom of the press in order to preserve a free society,

  1. Crown will serve the best interest of the entire Regina community, keeping itself free from any commercial obligations distracting from this purpose.
  2. Any decisions affecting the Crown publication on all levels will be made by the editorial board, the adviser is allowed to give legal advice and his/her opinion, but the final decision rests in the hands of the editorial board unless dictated by the Administrative team through its policy of Prior Review.
  3. Only the editorial board may prevent material it judges to be in violation of the editorial policy, from being printed, unless the Administration dictates that the content must be removed, under Prior Review.
    Crown vigorously denounces all attempts at censorship, particularly pre-publication censorship, or Prior Review.
  4. The Editorial Staff retains the right to publish any and all material obtained through an interview by a staff member of the publications staff, holding that the interviewee was made aware that the information could be published in any form at any time;
  5. Student journalists will use its online platform to report news and information, to communicate with other students and individuals, to ask questions of and consult with experts, and to gather material to meet their news gathering and research needs;
  6. The Regina Dominican journalism staff, adviser, and sources are protected by and bound to the principles of the First Amendment and other protections and limitations afforded by the Constitution and the various laws and court decisions implementing those principles;
  7. The Crown will not publish any material determined by student editors to be unprotected, that is, material that is libelous, obscene, materially disruptive of the school process, an unwarranted invasion of privacy, a violation of copyright, or a promotion of products or services unlawful (illegal) as to minors as defined by state or federal la

Definitions and examples for the above instances of unprotected speech can be found in Law of the Student Press published by the Student Press Law Center.

 

Regina Dominican Editorial Staff

  1. The editorial board will consist of all student staff editors of Crown.
  2. The editorial board decides on all decisions that pertain directly to the stories published on the student newspaper online website.
  3. No member of the editorial board shall have more than one vote on the board.
  4. All members of the editorial board and the adviser will elect a replacement for board members who have been dismissed.
  5. All members of the editorial board are expected to know their duties and jobs in the room and must understand the consequences of not fulfilling said jobs.
  6. The student editor and staff who want appropriate outside legal advice regarding proposed content – should seek attorneys knowledgeable in media law such as those of the Student Press Law Center. Final content decisions and responsibility shall remain with the student editorial board.
  7. The duly appointed editor or co-editors shall interpret and enforce this editorial policy.

Regina Dominican Adviser

  1. The adviser is a professional teaching staff member and is in charge of the class just as in a conventional classroom situation.
  2. Is a certified journalism teacher that serves as a professional role model, motivator, catalyst for ideas and professionalism, and an educational resource.
  3. Provides a journalistic, professional learning atmosphere for students by allowing them to make the decision of content for the media and ensuring the media will remain an open forum.
  4. Guides the newspaper staff in accordance with approved editorial policy and aids the educational process related to producing the newspaper.
  5. May caution, act as legal consultant and educator terms of unprotected speech, but has no power over censorship or veto except for constitutionally valid reasons.]
  6. Will keep abreast of the latest trends on journalism and share these with students.
  7. Will submit the school newspaper produced by the students to rating services and contests in order for the school publications staff to receive feedback.
  8. Will forward any received correspondence and/or information to the appropriate editors.
  9. Will provide information to the staff about journalism scholarships and other financial aid, and make available information and contacts concerning journalism as a career.
  10. Will work with the faculty and administration to help them understand the freedoms accorded to the students and the professional goals of the school publications.
  11. The adviser will not act as a censor or determine the content of the paper. The adviser will offer advice and instruction, following the Code of Ethics for Advisers established by the Journalism Education Association as well as the Canons of Professional Journalism.
  12. School officials shall not fire or otherwise discipline advisers for content in student media that is determined and published by the student staff.
    Regina Dominican Administration
  13. Regina Dominican administration will provide the students with a qualified journalism instructor to serve as a professional role model, adequate classroom equipment, and space for a sound journalism program.
  14. Regina Dominican administration respects and supports the code of ethics that the student journalists agree and adhere to.
  15. Regina Dominican administration is not required to view and approve publication content before publishing.
  16. Regina Dominican administration in accordance to its mission statement and philosophy will be apprised of any controversial articles before publication and discuss any concerns regarding publication with the advisor and staff.
  17. If the Regina Dominican administration does not agree with content published in Crown, they will contact the adviser and request the material be removed.

Regina Dominican administration considers the four legally permissible justifications for censorship of student expression, based on the court cases:
Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District, Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier, Bethel School District v. Fraser, Morse v. Frederick

  • When the expression will create a material and substantial disruption of school activities or an invasion of the rights of others – Tinker
  • When the expression is pervasively vulgar, lewd, or indecent – Fraser
  • When the expression advocates illegal drug use – Morse
  • Only in the context of school-sponsored, non-public forum student expression, when the censorship is viewpoint neutral and is based on a reasonable educational justification – Hazelwood

 

CONTENT OF CROWN

INTRODUCTION

  1. All content decisions will be made in occurrence to the following provisions while keeping in mind that the overall purpose, role, and goal of Crown, Regina Dominican’s student online newspaper.
  2. Inform, interpret, and entertain their viewers through accurate and factual reports, where information has been thoroughly gathered and information has been completely verified;
  3. Serve as an educational and journalistic experience for those on staff;
  4. Be accurate, fair, and impartial in its coverage of issues that affect the school community;
  5. Crown will not avoid publishing a story solely on the basis of possible dissent or controversy;
  6. Cover the total school population as effectively and accurately as possible;
  7. The Crown staff will strive to report all issues in a legal, objective, accurate, and ethical manner, according to the Canons of Professional Journalism developed by the Society for Professional Journalists. The Canons of Professional Journalism include a code of ethics concerning accuracy, responsibility, integrity, conflict of interest, impartiality, fair play, freedom of the press, independence, sensationalism, personal privacy, obstruction of justice, credibility, and advertising.
  8. The Crown staff will digitally publish one issue per month and an additional hard copy of the senior issue in May.

REGARDING ADVERTISING

  1. The publication is supported by Regina Dominican High School; we do not solicit or accept advertising.

REGARDING ANONYMOUS SOURCES

  1. Under certain circumstances, Crown may not identify a source by name if printing the name will result in danger or ridicule or bullying of the source and only if the source is relevant to the story

REGARDING BYLINES

  1. All articles, graphics, photos, art, columns, pages, reviews, and other material creatively conceived, with exception to staff editorials, mug shots, and cut-outs will be bylined with the producer’s name.
  2. All bylined writers will be held accountable for their work.
  3. When more than one person has contributed creatively to a piece of work, any person who has contributed to the work must be bylined.
  4. In the case of a possible controversial article, the writer and adviser will contribute to the article and will both be bylined.

REGARDING CONTROVERSIAL ISSUES

  1. All coverage of controversial issues will occur upon a timely subject that has taken place during the month the issue will be published.
  2. All sides of the issue will be presented and reviewed so as to refrain from any bias, with exception of opinions
  3. In news, all sides of a school, community, city, state, national, or international political issue will be presented factually so as to inform rather than promote or endorse.
  4. Crown will not publish material that is unnecessarily obscene, libelous, unwarranted invasive of privacy.
  5. Crown will not attack any individual and/or group but will strive to ensure a balanced and fair story.
  6. If a question on the veracity of publication persists, the issue will be brought to the editorial board who must consider the following questions before publication of the piece:
  • Why is it a concern?
  • What is the journalistic purpose?
  • Is the information accurate and complete?
  • Are any important Points-of-View omitted?
  • How would we feel if the story was about ourselves or someone we know?
  • What are the consequences’ of the publication?
  • Is there a logical explanation to anyone who challenges the issue?
  • Is it worth risking our credibility?
  • What are the alternatives?

REGARDING DEATHS

  1. Any current student, staff member, faculty member, or building administrator that dies during the year may be recognized in Crown.
  2. Crown will publish factual information (date of birth, date of death, survivors, organizations, hobbies, interests) in an obituary including one mug shot if possible.
  3. Crown will work to obtain permission from the deceased’s family before publishing any information regarding the cause of death, if permission is not granted, the editorial board reserves the final say in the publication of the cause of death. Suicide will not be listed as a cause of death.
  4. Crown will treat all deaths in a tasteful, respectful way.
  5. An issue, or portion of an issue, should not be dedicated to or in memory of the deceased.

REGARDING DISTRIBUTION AND CIRCULATION

  1. The Crown will be published online at http://crown.rdhs.org each month. The Crown attempts to go live at 8:00 am the first Monday of the new month, but no later than the first week into a new month. Older stories will be archived and available for reading at any time by searching for tags.
  2. The senior issue of Crown will be published and distributed free of charge to all seniors before the last senior exam in May.
  3. The paper will be distributed during the first hour on the day of publication

REGARDING DIVERSITY

  1. It is important for Regina Dominican to respect and include material that pertains to the interests of all races, nations, religions, beliefs, and cultures. Diversity is a valuable part of our school and should be acknowledged. 
  2. Staff will make a genuine effort to include stories and images that represent the school community.

REGARDING EDITORIALS

  1. All editorials printed will be bylined by staff name and located under the category, “Panther Perspective.”
  2. All editorial subject matter will be determined by the editorial board.
  3. Crown will not publish any material for which there is evidence that the author is using the paper for inappropriate personal gain.
  4. Crown will endeavor to provide a chance for comment on all sides of a critical issue in the same edition.
  5. The editorial board, which consists of the staff’s student editors, will determine the content. The views stated in editorials represent that of a majority of the editorial board.

REGARDING ERRORS

  1. Concerns about errors in the school newspaper may be submitted through Crown’s email at crown@rdpanthers.org. The editorial board retains the right to determine whether, in fact, an error has been made.
  2. Known and or found errors that are brought to the attention of the staff will be addressed regardless if realized by the author, audience, or staff member.
  3. Staff members will strive to correct errors prior to publication; however, if the editorial board determines a significant error is printed, the editorial board will determine the manner and timeliness of a correction.
  4. Major corrections are determined by the editors and adviser.
  5. If changes are made to a web story once a story has been posted, the change will be noted along with the date and time the change was made at the end of the story.

REGARDING ILLUSTRATIONS, PHOTOGRAPHS, GRAPHICS, ETC.

  1. All cutlines will record the who and other necessary information in the photo.
  2. All photographs must be captioned and bylined, with the exception of mugs and cutouts.
  3. Any photos and/or mugshots from Regina’s Yearbook will receive a byline.
  4. Crown staff will make every effort to take original photographs, infographics, or other visuals.
  5. Bylines are required on all online photos and galleries.
  6. Any photographs that contain any inappropriate attire or actions must be reshot.
  7. The artwork represents the interpretations of the artist, not necessarily of the staff or Crown.
  8. The publications will not publish any photos, illustrations, etc. that ridicule, demean, or misleadingly represent any individual or group.
  9. Electronic manipulations changing the essential truth of the photo or illustration will be clearly labeled if used.
  10. The Crown staff will make every effort not to infringe on any copyright issues. Photographs from Getty Images and the federal government in the course of their work is unprotected by copyright and can be freely reused. Crown will also look for materials carrying the Creative Commons (CC) license, a voluntary alternative to copyright. Typically, such materials can be used in a nonprofit publication as long as proper attribution is given.
  11. All mug shots used from the Yearbook will be attributed to HR Imaging.
  12. The Crown will use only official film trailers for movie reviews based on the Copyright Act. ” Material can safely be reused – a “fair use” – if the amount taken is limited to only what is necessary, and is used in a new-and-different way (such as a clip from a film to illustrate a movie review) that does not detract from the economic value of the original

REGARDING NEWS AND FEATURES

  1. Crown will specialize in and emphasize on informing their readers of school news and unique students of the Regina Dominican High School community.
  2. The staff will cover community, state, national, and international news, if it feels the material is informative, educational and would be appropriate and relevant to the school community.
  3. Crown will strive to provide coverage of school organizations and functions that they feel would constitute a story.
  4. When faced with the undesirable news such as student or staff or faculty crimes, the publications will endeavor to publish the facts correctly, explain the issue, and put a stop to any speculative stories that inevitably develop.
  5. As a Catholic educational institution, the Crown staff will uphold Catholic doctrines and refrain from running a story that does not represent the teachings of the Catholic Church.

REGARDING ONLINE COMMENTS

  1. Online comments will require a name and email address submitted that are verifiable. An anonymous name or alias name is allowed as long as the Crown staff can verify the email address.
  2. Online comments must be approved by the Editorial staff before they are approved.
  3. Alerts will be sent to staff editors each time a comment is posted to the site.
  4. Online comments that are found in violation of the editorial policy will be removed as quickly as possible.
  5. Personal attacks are not allowed.
  6. Online comments will remain online for the entire month the article is featured.
  7. Crown supports the Regina community input of comments regarding an article. The editorial staff sees online comments as a valuable outlet for students and the Regina community to voice opinions, to further debate, and to have a serious and thoughtful discussion.
  8. Crown will not delete or take down any reader comment that is deemed appropriate by the editorial staff unless mandated in writing by the Administration.

REGARDING PRIOR REVIEW 

  1. It is policy at Regina Dominican High School that all stories and pages are reviewed by administration before they are published. The administration is responsible for final decisions regarding the Crown and its content. It is possible that the administration can deny a story for whatever reason they decide. Student staff members are responsible for looking over their story; student staff members are also told to do their best to avoid bias in their story, along with fact-checking their story. Although this policy is enforced here at Regina Dominican, it does not mean the Crown’s staff members or others here at Regina Support this policy.
  2. The Journalism Education Association, as the nation’s largest association of scholastic journalism educators and secondary school media advisors, denounces the practice of administrative prior review as serving no legitimate educational purpose. Prior review leads only to censorship by school officials or self-censorship by students with no improvement in journalistic quality or learning.
  3. JEA continues to add that Prior review by administrators undermines critical thinking, encourages students to dismiss the role of a free press in society, and provides no greater likelihood of increased quality of student media.

REGARDING PROFANITY

  1. The media will not print profanity.
  2. The editorial board will make the decision on whether the content is considered profane or whether it is a cultural or non-vulgar slang term.
  3. The editorial board reserves the right to edit quotes for unnecessary profanity or unnecessarily offensive words, quotes that have been edited will be noted accordingly when published.
  4. Any edited quote will be read back or emailed back to the source prior to publishing and sources will have a chance to make changes.
  5. Staff interviewers have the right to ask a source when necessary to repeat a quote without the use of profane language

REGARDING PUBLICITY

  1. The goal of the Crown staff in its marketing is to promote and expand the media viewing audience
  2. Crown will submit work to Student Newspapers Online for awards in Best of SNO and submit the paper to receive awards/badges through different journalism organizations
  3. Crown will send a newsletter to all faculty, staff, and current students via the SNO e-Newsletter within one day of the publication going live.

REGARDING REVIEWS

  1. The reviewer must have experience in the area in which they are reviewing.
  2. All reviews will be bylined and all reviews will be expressed opinions of authors, the editorial board, and newspaper staff and do not express opinions on the subject matter.
  3. All reviews will be to evaluate and inform, not to promote.
  4. Evaluative criteria used will be determined by the editorial board depending on whether the event or item being reviewed is professional or amateur in nature.

REGARDING SOCIAL MEDIA

  1. Social media will be used to promote Crown in order to inform the Regina community of global issues and to promote published content and to engage the Regina community.
  2. The editorial board reserves the right to remove comments that violate any provisions hitherto outlined by this policy.
  3. The information posted on social media platforms should be held to the same standard as all other reporting in terms of information gathering and fact-checking.
  4. The official social media accounts should avoid the promotion of events and remain objective, reporting what is a fact. Reporters using personal social media to cover events should do the same.
  5. The information gained through social media channels should be verified through multiple channels before passing it along to others.
  6. Audience engagement through social media should be done in a professional manner.
  7. Transparency is important. Mistakes made on social media posts should be corrected as soon as possible and any deleted posts should be acknowledged in subsequent postings.

REGARDING SOURCES

  1. Sources will be identified and represent all religions, beliefs, and cultures of the Regina community.
  2. All information obtained by sources through the internet will be fact-checked and confirmed from two other reliable sources from the internet.

REGARDING STAFF WRITING

  1. All writing in Crown, other than comments to a post, and features soliciting material from Regina faculty, staff, and students, will be written by students of the journalism program and will not be accepted otherwise.
  2. Any writing submitted from an outside source for use will be accepted upon request of the editorial board or when open opportunities arise and will be viewed by EICs and adviser for
  3. Writing must be the original work of the writer and not previously published in any publication unless otherwise specified by the adviser and EICs.

 

QUERIES

  1. Questions or complaints concerning material published in Crown should be made in writing to the editor in chief(s) who will present the concern at the next scheduled editorial board meeting.
  2. Complaints and suggestions may be emailed to crown@rdpanthers.org
  3. Resolutions will be made within limits of deadlines.

 

PROFESSIONAL AFFILIATION

  1. Crown will continue to grow its affiliations with journalism organizations on the state, national, and/or international levels based on budget provisions
  2. Crown will work with Regina’s marketing and enrollment departments to promote the school newspaper.

 

STAFF POLICY FOR SELECTION AND DISMISSAL

EDITOR AND STAFF SELECTION PROCESS

  1. Editor in chief(s) and other editor level positions are chosen by the faculty adviser, with input from previous year’s editorial board.
  2. New and returning staff are judged by application, previous work, potential, and prerequisite classwork.
  3. Applicants are not turned down because of age, race, sex, religion, mental or physical handicaps that do not impair editorial responsibilities.
  4. Staff applications are due in February of each year prior to registration.
  5. The staff and editors are selected prior to registration each February. The adviser reserves the right to make changes to the list as he/she deems necessary after the registration deadline.
  6. Editor titles and positions are not named until after all media have finalized publication for the previous year and shortly before the first issue of the produced and published by the rising staff.

REGARDING STAFF DISMISSAL

  1. All individuals involved with Crown are considered a team, each member is expected to complete all assigned stories, pages, photos, etc. on or before the assigned deadline. Staff members, including editors, may be dismissed from their positions and/or the publications staff itself or asked not to take the class the following semester and/or year if any of the following violations occur:
  • Continuously missed deadlines (dismissal procedures will take place by choice of adviser and EICs)
  • Plagiarism
  • Quote falsification
  • Vandalism or theft of publication equipment
  • Continuous negative or pessimistic attitude toward staff member or adviser
  • Submitting an advanced page design, story, photo or another publishable item to anyone outside the media staff without approval by the editorial board
  • Does not adhere to Regina Dominican’s honor code as stated in Regina Dominican’s handbook.
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Editorial Policies