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III. F. Student Media Policies

  • Objectives and Responsibilities of the Student Media Committee

    The Student Media Committee has been established to create and maintain an environment in which the high quality student newspapers, radio stations, and other media forms, including electronic, most effectively benefit the entire University community.  The Committee formulates general policies as needed for the Collegian, WEXP, etc., and advises the Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students on related matters.

    The Committee will meet for consultation with student editors, station managers, etc., at the request of these students, any Committee member or the Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students.

    The Committee may conduct post-publication/broadcast reviews, review financial and legal matters, question any policy of any student media, and make recommendations to their governing boards.

    The committee can function as an intermediary to resolve disputes among faculty, administrators, students, and advisors and student media.  The Committee can also recommend to the Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students, if there is just cause, the censure, suspension, or removal of a student media leader, provided that the student has been given the opportunity to present his or her case before the Committee.

    Upon the Vice President of Student Affairs/Dean of Students’ request, the Committee will serve to help evaluate and appoint advisors to student media groups.  The advisors are appointed by the Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students in accord with the affirmative action guidelines of the University.

    Each year, the Committee will, on behalf of the University (as publisher and owner), approve the process and nominee for editor in chief and general manager position for The Collegian, The Explorer, and WEXP.

    The Committee will provide written policies and standards to student media groups, including the limitations and responsibilities of administrative and external controls.

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  • Membership

    • The Committee will be composed of the following 16 members:
      • Collegian Editor
      • WEXP Station Manager
      • Two at-large student members, neither of whom should be a member of any publication/stations whose editor/manager sit on this Committee (as appointed by SGA)
      • Two non-senior, non-voting members, one from the Collegian staff and one from the WEXP staff
      • Three faculty members to be appointed by the Faculty Senate
      • One administrator to be appointed by the Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students, to serve as Chair
      • Collegian Advisor
      • WEXP Advisor
      • La Salle TV station manager
      • La Salle TV student manager (as appointed by station manager)
      • Explorer Advisor
      • Explorer Editor-in-Chief
  • Advertising Guidelines

    As publisher/manager, La Salle University grants to the student editors and managers freedom to develop their own policies covering news, editorial, and advertising and protects them from arbitrary sanctions due to student, faculty, administrative and/or public disapproval of policies and content. While granting this freedom, the University limits editorial discretion in the area of advertisements under points 1 through 5 below. However, as publisher/manager of the Collegian and WEXP, the University strongly encourages editors and managers to accept any advertising announcing a speech or similar campus gathering devoted to the spread of ideas.

    As publisher/manager, the University retains the right to exclude advertisements for:

    • Drugs and alcoholic beverages, and related products and services;
    • Tobacco products;
    • Research/term paper services; and
    • Counseling, services, and off-campus events pertaining to abortion, contraception and reproduction.
    • Academic programs offered by other institutions that are in direct competition with programs offered by La Salle University.

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  • Guidelines for Letters to the Editor, Guest Columns, and Opinion Pieces

    The La Salle Collegian is a newspaper run by the students of La Salle University in Philadelphia, serving the entire University community. Letters, guest columns, and opinion pieces will be considered for publication provided they meet with the editor’s standards and can be allotted space. All letters must be signed, must include the address and telephone number of the sender, and must be under 300 words. The Collegian reserves the right to condense and edit as needed. Editorials reflect a consensus of the Editorial Board and are not necessarily the views of the University. Signed columns and cartoons are the opinion of the writers or artists.

    • Guidelines for Censure, Suspension, or Removal of the Collegian Editor-in-Chief or WEXP General Manager

      The Student Media Committee encourages free inquiry and free expression for student editors, and views the invoking of censure, suspension, or removal of a student Editor-in-Chief or General Manager as extraordinary. If such punitive action must be taken, the committee feels equally bound to guarantee procedural fairness to any student editors or radio managers, and therefore establishes the following guidelines for appropriate process:

      Any formal action by the committee will be preceded by open exchange by all members. If some action is not decided through this exchange, or if the Editor-in-Chief or General Manager refuses to appear to discuss his/her rationale for conduct, the committee can officially censure him or her.

      Suspension or removal of the Editor-in-Chief or General Manager may be imposed only after the student has been informed in writing of the charges against him or her, and after he/she has been provided a fair opportunity to refute the charges. The Editor-in-Chief or General Manager would be entitled to an advisor, could call witnesses, conduct cross-examination, and so forth. The committee’s decision may be appealed directly to the Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students.

      There must be at least six votes in favor of censure, suspension or removal. The Editor-in-Chief or General Manager under consideration would not vote.

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  • Preamble to Appendices A and B

    The Student Media Committee expects that the student media will respect the University Mission Statement as well as the statements in Appendices A and B, with their guidelines applied to both print and broadcast media.

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  • Appendix A: “From the Joint Statement on Rights and Freedoms of Students”

    (by American Association of University Professors, National Student Association, Association of American Colleges, National Association of Student Personnel Administrators, and National Association of Women Deans and Counselors)

    Student publications and the student press are a valuable aid in establishing and maintaining an atmosphere of free and responsible discussion and of intellectual exploration of the campus. They are a means of bringing student concerns to the attention of the faculty and the institutional authorities and of formulating student opinion on various issues on the campus and in the world at large.

    Whenever possible the student newspaper should be an independent corporation financially and legally separate from the university. Where financial and legal autonomy is not possible, the institution as publisher of student publications, may have to bear the legal responsibility for the contents of the publications. In the delegation of editorial responsibility to students the institution must provide sufficient editorial freedom and financial autonomy for the student publications to maintain their integrity of purpose as vehicles for free inquiry and free expression in the academic community.

    Institutional authorities, in consultation with students and faculty, have a responsibility to provide written clarification of the role of the student publications, the standards to be used in their evaluation, and the limitations on external control of their operation. At the same time, the editorial freedom of student editors and managers entails corollary responsibilities to be governed by the canons of responsible journalism, such as the avoidance of libel, indecency, undocumented allegations, attacks on personal integrity, harassment, and innuendo. As safeguards for the editorial freedom of student publications the following provisions are necessary.

    • The student press should be free of censorship and advance approval of copy, and its editors and managers should be free to develop their own editorial policies and news coverage.
    • Editors and managers of student publications should be protected from arbitrary suspension and removal because of student, faculty, administrative, or public disapproval of editorial policy or content.
    • All University published and financed student publications should explicitly state on the editorial page that the opinions there expressed are not necessarily those of the college, university or student body.
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  • Appendix B: Code of Ethics or Canons of Journalism American Society of Newspaper Editors

    The primary function of newspapers is to communicate to the human race what its members do, feel, and think. Journalism, therefore, demands of its practitioners the widest range of intelligence, or knowledge, and of experience, as well as natural and trained powers of observation and reasoning. To its opportunities as a chronicle are indissolubly linked its obligations as teacher and interpreter.

    To the end of finding some means of codifying sound practice and just aspirations of American Journalism, these canons are set forth:

    • Responsibility

      The right of a newspaper to attract and hold readers is restricted by nothing but consideration to public welfare. The use a newspaper makes of the share of public attention it gains serves to determine its sense of responsibility, which it shares with every member of its staff. A journalist who uses his power for say selfish or otherwise unworthy purpose is faithless to a high trust.

    • Freedom of the Press

      Freedom of the press is to be guarded as a vital right of mankind. It is the unquestionable right to discuss whatever is not explicitly forbidden by law, including the wisdom of any restrictive statute.

    • Independence

      Freedom from all obligations except that of fidelity to the public interest is vital.

      • Promotion of any private interest contrary to the general welfare, for whatever reason, is not compatible with honest journalism. So-called news communications from private sources should not be published without public notice of their source or else substantiation of their claims to value as news, both in form and substance.
      • Partisanship, in editorial comment which knowingly departs from the truth, does violence to the best spirit of American journalism; in the news columns it is subversive of a fundamental tenet of the profession.
    • Sincerity, Truthfulness, Accuracy

      Good faith with the reader is the foundation of all journalism worthy of the name.

      • By every consideration of good faith a newspaper is constrained to be truthful. It is not to be excused for lack of thoroughness or accuracy within the control or failure to obtain command of these essential qualities.
      • Headlines should be fully warranted by the contents of the articles which they surmount.
    • Fair Play

      A newspaper should not publish unofficial charges attacking reputation or moral character without opportunity given to the accused to be heard; right practice demands the giving of such opportunity in all cases of serious accusation outside judicial proceedings.

      • A newspaper should not invade private rights or feelings without sure warrant of public right as distinguished from public curiosity.
      • It is the privilege, as it is the duty, of a newspaper to make and complete corrections of its own serious mistakes of facts or opinion, whatever their origin.
    • Decency

      A newspaper cannot escape conviction of insincerity if while professing high moral purpose it supplies incentives to base conduct, such as are to be found in details of crime and vice, publication of which is not demonstrably for the general good. Lacking authority to endorse its canons the journalism here represented can but express the hope that deliberate pandering to vicious instincts will encounter effective public disapproval or yield to the influence of a preponderant professional condemnation.

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Copyright 2017 La Salle University. All rights reserved. Produced by the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs
Effective Date: August 21, 2017

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