WLHSnow

Amplifier Editorial Policy

                       Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press …”

— The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America

The primary goal of The Amplifier, as defined in the mission statement, is as follows:

“The Amplifier delivers the independent voice of West Linn students by honestly reporting on local and national interests through engaging and professional media.”

The WLHS Editorial Policy applies to WLHS newspaper The Amplifier and media published by The Amplifier staff through the website WLHSnow. All media published in these formats is student-produced.

 

The EDITORIAL POLICY of The Amplifier

I. FREEDOM OF THE PRESS

The right to a free press brings with it a great responsibility. The role of journalists in our society is twofold: The right and power to observe and report upon all public figures and the responsibility to inform the public.

As such, the staff and editorial board of The Amplifier and WLHSnow holds themselves to the absolute highest standard. It is with a sense of honor and responsibility that we write for a publication that has represented the students and citizens of West Linn for nearly a century.

The role of the independent press is fundamental within our society. As such, the staff of The Amplifier steadfastly objects to any interference in our publication.

While the requests and concerns of adults and staff officials will be respected, it should be made clear that The Amplifier is an independent publication protected under the first amendment. Any attempt by parents, teachers or distract staffers to hinder or control the process of publication will be seen as a violation of the first amendment.

The Amplifier Editorial Board reserves the right to full and total control of content.

II. THE EDITORIAL BOARD

The Amplifier is a student-run, student-published and student-produced newspaper. The Editorial Board of The Amplifier is composed entirely of West Linn High School students. Every publication uploaded on the WLHSnow website, and printed in The Amplifier must be cleared by members of The Editorial Board.

The student staff of The Amplifier in general, and The Editorial Board in particular, have an obligation to uphold the highest moral and ethical standards. The members of The Editorial Board accept full responsibility in preventing libelous and false publications.

The Editorial Board functions as the sole governing voice of The Amplifier. The right and responsibility to decide what is published is exclusively that of The Editorial Board.

III. THE ADVISER

The adviser of The Amplifier and WLHSnow is a professional teaching staff member and certified journalism teacher. The adviser serves as a role model and educational resource who may guide the staff in accordance with editorial policy.

The adviser has educated the staff in journalism ethics and law. Though the adviser may offer suggestions, the adviser does not act as a censor or determine the content of the paper.

IV. THE BUILDING ADMINISTRATION

The administration of WLHS will provide the students with a qualified instructor. The WLHS administration is not required to preview or approve content before publishing.

V. CONTENT OF WLHS MEDIA

While The Amplifier will not print any unnecessary profanity, The Editorial Board reserves the right to publish language that may be deemed profane or otherwise in need of censure.
Further, The Editorial Board reserves the right to determine what language is profane, and how that language should be edited or censored.

As The Amplifier is a community news organization, we will strive to present a ‘clean’ publication, the right and responsibility to dictate inclusion or exclusion of profanity and obscenities will be undertaken exclusively within The Amplifier. Every effort will be made to produce a school appropriate publication, but the staff of The Amplifier will not make sacrifices in order to appeal to sensibilities of readers.

VI. PRESS LAWS

The Amplifier is an independent publication, and as such functions under the laws governing of the US government in relation to the independent press.

The Amplifier has an obligation to abide by the laws of the press as the Constitution and courts have designated them. Each and every publication must be carried out in a legal manner. The laws governing the press create a specific set of guidelines that The Amplifier will strictly adhere to.

Adhering to the law is of the utmost importance, not only in terms of strict legality, but also as an issue of professionalism. While the staff of The Amplifier strives to operate on the forefront of journalistic progress, every effort necessary to maintain legal and ethical operation must be undertaken.

VII. ETHICS

The Amplifier takes the ethical conduct of our staff very seriously. While we value our position as a safe and open place for communication, we also recognize our responsibility as a voice of students and a news outlet for our school.

The Editorial Board of The Amplifier makes no compromise in matters of ethics. All articles must be based in fact. In matters where a writer has intentionally misstated information or mislead the public, The Amplifier will issue an immediate retraction, a public apology and conduct an internal review. Consequences for the individuals responsible will be determined on a case by case basis.

The Editorial Board stands with it’s staff, and in order to protect the role of The Amplifier as a free and open forum, a degree of protection must be afforded to writers. The Editorial Board of The Amplifier will never remove an article because it is controversial. That said, The Amplifier takes accusations of misconduct by any staff members very seriously. Any accusations or complaints will result in an internal review.

VIII. ERRORS

The Amplifier strives to report the news in a timely manner. As is the nature of modern news, this can sometimes result in oversights. When an error has been made, The Amplifier will issue a prompt correction.

In areas of egregious mistakes or errors, The Editorial Board may determine it necessary to publish an apology, or to issue a retraction. This decision will be made on a case by case basis.

IX. EDITORIALS AND OPINION ARTICLES

The Amplifier takes pride in it’s position as a publication of student voices. For that reason, The Editorial Board will gladly print the views of students in the form of commentary pieces and Opinion articles.

Articles submitted to staff members for publication will be marked as ‘Letters to the editor’ while submissions requested by the staff will be marked ‘Contributing Writer’.

While the goal of The Amplifier is to represent the voices of students, a certain level of quality is expected. Opinion articles must meet the high journalistic and literary standards of The Amplifier. The Amplifier Editorial Board reserves the right to judge and select submissions on an individual basis.

Similarly, The Amplifier expects writing of the highest quality from student staffers. With that in mind, it is dangerous and damaging to limit the right of staffers to opinions. While articles deliberately written to incite controversy or cause an uproar will not be accepted, controversial and dissenting opinions are encouraged. The right of staffers to publish articles of varying opinions should not be misconstrued as a statement of support. The ideals expressed in opinion articles are those of the author alone, and in no way represent the views of WLHSnow or The Amplifier.

As is deemed appropriate, The Amplifier Editorial Board may sometimes see fit to publish an editorial written by the high ranking staff. These will be marked as “Board Editorials.” A board editorial will be written and cleared by every member of the Editorial Board.

X. EXPULSION FROM STAFF

In extreme situations WLHSnow reserves the right to remove students from the publication team.

XI. ANONYMOUS SOURCES

It may occasionally prove necessary to withhold the name of a source. Reporters for The Amplifier and WLHSnow must, in all situations, make a reasonable effort to provide the name of a source. However, in incredibly specific situations, such as protecting the livelihood or safety of a source, student writers will be permitted to provide quotes or information from an anonymous source. Provided:

1. Every attempt is made to provide a named source

2. The anonymous source is cleared by The Editor(s)-In-Chief

3. The writing is specific (i.e A member of school administration, who wishes to remain anonymous)

4. This information can be provided only by this anonymous source.

5. The nature of the source is clearly marked. The word anonymous must be provided within the article.

6. The information is of the utmost importance to the story.

The independent student media site of West Linn High School
Amplifier Editorial Policy