Chronicle policies

Philosophy

 

As members of the journalism community, the Chronicle and its staff members enjoy all the rights and responsibilities of the news media. Rights include freedom of expression, determination of content and establishment of editorial policy. Responsibilities include practicing accepted journalistic methods; seeking and presenting all viewpoints; adhering to laws concerning libel, obscenity, privacy and copyright; observing community standards of good taste; understanding the laws concerning disruption of the editorial process; practicing accepted methods of fiscal management; and reserving rights for fair comment. Members of staff follow ethics as outlined in this manual and by the National Scholastic Press Association as well as the Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics.

 

Introduction

  • Statement of Purpose: As the official student newspaper of Harvard-Westlake School, the Chronicle will fulfill three primary functions:
    • To inform
      • To present unbiased and accurate information regarding topics and events of importance and interest to the Harvard-Westlake community.
      • To provide a truthful, comprehensive account of the day’s events in a context which gives them meaning.
    • To serve as a public forum
      • To provide commentary on issues of importance to the community and serve as a forum for the exchange of comment and criticism.
      • To encourage the community to respond, contribute and participate in any discourse that arises in reaction to published material.
    • To educate
      • To create an effective and inclusive learning environment where staff members can learn both the journalism trade and professional skills.
      • To act as a way of reaching every member of the Harvard-Westlake community by the currents of information, which the press provides.
  • Ethics
    • Integrity
      • Vigorous standards of fairness and honesty in selection of content and in reporting.
      • Deal dispassionately and impartially with controversial issues.
      • Label editorial views or expressions of opinion.
      • Act independently of all previous and other obligations in order to avoid conflicts of interest.
    • Accuracy
      • Print the truth in all situations.
      • Provide a complete and objective picture of all situations.
      • Guard against carelessness, bias or distortion, by emphasis or omission.
      • Provide an outlet for declaring and correcting errors in fact through retractions in the next print issue.
    • Responsibility and Leadership 
      • Use mature and considered judgment in the public interest at all times.
      • Clearly define sources and tell the reader when sources cannot be identified.
      • Respect rights of privacy.
      • Instruct its staff members to conduct themselves with dignity and decorum.
      • Help protect rights and privileges guaranteed by law.
      • Act with courage in serving the public.
      • Strive to hold others accountable, providing leadership for necessary reforms or innovations, and exposing malfeasance in office or any misuse of public power.
    • Anonymity
      • Anonymity is reserved for legal issues or potential detriments to one’s future. 
      • Source lists must be submitted to an Editor-in-Chief and adviser, and include the names and contact information for anonymous and named sources.
    • Quality of writing
      • Writing will not only be accurate, but will be clear and concise.
      • Writing must follow both the AP Style Guide and The Chronicle Style Sheet.
  • Disciplinary measures
    • Grade deduction, loss of title or suspension from staff will be based on the following infractions:
      • Plagiarism
      • Fabricating quotes or stories
      • Missing three consecutive deadlines
      • Failure to fulfill duties and responsibilities as outlined in the job descriptions
      • Violence or threats of violence against staff members
      • Continued inability to get along or work with staff members
    • All infractions will be discussed by Managing Team with the Editors-in-Chief, with the adviser having the final determination on disciplinary measures.
    • The adviser, after the recommendation from the Editors-in-Chief, may report an infraction to the Honor Board for possible further academic discipline.
    • Content
      • Editorials
        • The editorial represents the collective opinion of the Chronicle Editorial Board, which is comprised of the senior editors. Each issue, the Managing Team will publish its viewpoint on a matter relevant to the Harvard-Westlake community in or around 400 words.
      • Letters to the Editor serve as a public forum for comment and debate. Letters must be no more than 700 words long and include the writer’s name. The Chronicle staff may edit for grammar but not content. The Chronicle reserves the right to omit letters. Please submit the letter through email chronicle@hw.com.

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