Statement of Policy for Student Publications at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
The Board of Trustees is responsible, as legal publisher, for student-operated publications to which it provides funding for the express purpose of publishing. In furtherance of the Board's responsibilities for these publications, this policy is enacted to establish fundamental principles governing student-operated publications for which the Board is legal publisher at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.
Scope of Application of Policy.
This policy shall apply to any student newspaper, magazine, or publication at SIUE which is supported in whole or in part by University monies when the University monies are provided for the express purpose of publication.
Responsibility for Publication.
Publications subject to this policy are responsible in legal and financial matters ultimately to the Board of Trustees. That responsibility officially shall be structured through the Office of the Chancellor, SIUE. Direct responsibility under the Chancellor shall reside in the appropriate administrative line officer (where designated), a faculty or staff advisor (or general manager), the fiscal officer of the publication, and its student editor-in-chief. Each of these parties of direct responsibility shall be identified annually (in no event later than October 1 of each year) to the Office of the Chancellor by the administrative line officer with operating responsibility (where applicable), or by the faculty or staff general manager.
Initial responsibility for monies generated by student fees which are allocated to student publications shall rest with the appropriate student advisory committee, and shall be structured through the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and the Office of the Chancellor.
Authority to Publish. No University monies may be provided to a publication or expended by a publication subject to this policy (see I above) until such publication is operative by the terms of Section III B of this policy.
Operative Requirements. Publications subject to this policy shall become operative upon proof of fiscal responsibility, establishment of workable staff organization, and approval of final working papers of the publication by the Chancellor (SIUE) or his authorized designee. Such final working papers shall be developed in consultation with and pursuant to recommendations of appropriate University representative bodies, and the recommendations of such appropriate advisory bodies must accompany a request to the Chancellor for approval of working papers. Revisions and amendments to working papers shall be effective upon the approval of such by the Chancellor or his or her authorized designee. Such revisions and amendments shall be developed according to the procedures set forth and in effect in the working papers of the publication at the time of revision or amendment.
Publications in existence prior to, or at the time of, the enactment of this policy and which possess working papers currently approved by the Chancellor shall be deemed operative and shall not be subject to the first provision of this section. These publications, however, shall be subject to the revision and amendment provision of this section. Publications in existence prior to, or at the time of, enactment of this policy without approved working papers shall be deemed operative, but such publications shall in good faith and in a reasonable amount of time file final working papers for approval with the Office of the Chancellor in accordance with this policy.
Faculty/Staff Advisor. Each publication subject to this policy shall have a faculty or staff advisor. The role of the faculty/staff advisor shall be to assist the student staff's transfer of the staff's theories of publication and content to successful, effective practice. The faculty/staff advisor is a principal party responsible to the Chancellor as set forth in II above. Details in respect to this operating role and functions shall be delineated in the working papers of the publication in a manner consistent with provisions of this policy statement.
Student-oriented Operations/Campus Relevance. As a general principle, publications subject to this policy shall be as student-oriented in organization as practicable. As a guiding principle for general content, such publications shall strive to maintain relevance to SIUE, its purposes and goals as a university, and the customs, attitudes, and goals of the student body, student staff, and faculty/staff.
Fiscal Responsibility. Publications subject to this policy must maintain continuing fiscal responsibility and, as required by University regulations, have a faculty/staff member as fiscal officer.
Editors and Advisors. Principal editors and advisors for publications subject to this policy shall be selected in a prudent manner to be specified in the working papers of the publication. Such procedures shall assure, however, that each principal editor and advisor so selected is conversant with prevailing laws of libel, obscenity, privacy, and any other laws and ordinances affecting the publication. Where circumstances reasonably suggest a review of specific materials or practice involving publication, decisions concerning content and publication practices shall in every case be made by the principal editor and the publication's advisors in full accord with applicable legal principles. The chief advisors for such problems shall be the publication's faculty/staff advisor and the Office of the General Counsel, or such successors to such offices.
Ethical Standards. Publication subject to this policy shall operate in accord with the following Code of Ethics statement of Sigma Delta Chi (adopted by that organization's national convention on November 16, 1973):
- RESPONSIBILITY: The public's right to know of events of public importance and interest is the overriding mission of the mass media. The purpose of distributing news and enlightened opinion is to serve the general welfare. Journalists who use their professional status as representatives of the public for selfish or other unworthy motives violate a high trust.
- FREEDOM OF THE PRESS: Freedom of the press is to be guarded as an inalienable right of people in a free society. It carries with it the freedom and the responsibility to discuss, question, and challenge actions and utterances of our government and of our public and private institutions. Journalists uphold the right to speak unpopular opinions and the privilege to agree with the majority.
- ETHICS: Journalists must be free of obligation to any interest other than the public's right to know.
- Gifts, favors, free travel, special treatment, or privileges can compromise the integrity of journalists and their employers. Nothing of value should be accepted.
- Secondary employment, political involvement, holding public office, and service in community organizations should be avoided if it compromises the integrity of journalists and their employers. Journalists and their employers should conduct their personal lives in a manner which protects them from conflict of interest, real or apparent. Their responsibilities to the public are paramount. That is the nature of their profession.
- So-called news communications from private sources should not be published or broadcast without substantiation of their claims to news value.
- Journalists will seek news that serves the public interest despite obstacles. They will make constant efforts to assure that the public's business is conducted in public and that public records are open to public inspection.
- Journalists acknowledge the newsman's ethic of protecting confidential sources of information.
- ACCURACY AND OBJECTIVITY: Good faith with the public is the foundation of all worthy journalism.
- Truth is our ultimate goal.
- Objectivity in reporting the news is another goal which serves as the mark of an experienced professional. It is a standard of performance toward which we strive. We honor those who achieve it.
- There is no excuse for inaccuracies or lack of thoroughness.
- Newspaper headlines should be fully warranted by the contents of the articles they accompany. Photographs and telecasts should give an accurate picture of an event and not highlight a minor incident out of context.
- Sound practice makes clear distinction between news reports and expressions of opinion. News reports should be free of opinion or bias and represent all sides of an issue.
- Partisanship in editorial comment which knowingly departs from the truth violates the spirit of American journalism.
- Journalists recognize their responsibility for offering informed analysis, comment, and editorial opinion on public events and issues. They accept the obligation to present such material by individuals whose competence, experience, and judgment qualify them for it.
- Special articles or presentation devoted to advocacy or the writer's own conclusions and interpretations should be labeled as such.
- FAIR PLAY: Journalists at all times will show respect for the dignity, privacy, rights, and well-being of people encountered in the course of gathering and presenting the news.
- The news media should not communicate unofficial charges affecting reputation or moral character without giving the accused a chance to reply.
- The news media must guard against invading a person's right to privacy.
- The media should not pander to morbid curiosity about details of vice and crime.
- It is the duty of news media to make prompt and complete correction of their errors.
- Journalists should be accountable to the public for their reports and the public should be encouraged to voice its grievances against the media. Open dialogue with our readers, viewers, and listeners should be fostered.
- PLEDGE: Journalists should actively censure and try to prevent violations of these standards, and they should encourage their observance by all news people. Adherence to this code of ethics is intended to preserve the bond of mutual trust and respect between American journalists and the American people.
Complaints Against Publication.
The working papers of each publication subject to this policy shall set forth orderly procedures for the filing and disposition of complaints and actions against the publication and its personnel. Such procedures shall comport with and shall be conducted with careful regard to prevailing applicable standards of due process.
Specific provisions of this policy notwithstanding, prevailing legal principles of freedom of the press and expression shall be respected with regard to all publications at SIUE for which the Chancellor and the Board of Trustees are responsible. Accordingly, the policy shall be interpreted and applied at all times in a manner consistent with prevailing judicial interpretations of the meaning and substance of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and such other constitutional provisions or laws pertinent to the freedom of press and expression.
Approved by President effective 4/17/84
This policy was issued on October 14, 2002, replacing the February 1, 1996 version.
Document Reference: 3E1
Origin: OC 4/17/84; OC 11/14/90