The Standard

Code of Ethics

Code of Ethics

The Standard abides by the strictest standards of journalistic integrity. Ethical journalism is integral to the work of the publication and staff members report and write with a commitment to following the Code of Ethics.

Responsibility for Accuracy

All journalists must be fair, impartial and responsible for their work. All articles should contain verified, accurate information at the time of publication. Staff members must report and write honestly, omitting bias and relaying the opinions of the sources unless writing an opinions, commentary, or review. Members of staff must never accuse a member of the community, thus tarnishing his/her image, of anything without giving this person the opportunity to be heard. Members of the staff should handle controversial subjects dispassionately.

Integrity

Staff members must always identify themselves to sources as reporters who are gathering information. Staff members must present all sides to a story by gathering information from a wide range of sources in order to be intellectually honest and adhere to the standards of journalistic integrity. Members of staff are permitted to use recording equipment provided that those being interviewed have given their permission to be recorded. Any information that is given “off the record” cannot be published unless the interview subject agrees to talk on the record to a member of staff. Staff members should not hesitate to disclose information that might be of value or interest to the school community.  Plagiarism of any form results in a loss of rights as a member of staff (See section on plagiarism in content guide). 

Conflict of interest

Staff members avoid writing about students, teachers, activities and organizations that they are closely associated with. Staff members act independently from other organizations that they may be obliged. In addition, staff members avoid quoting or photographing members of staff. Staff members make sure that they do not express their opinion in articles except those that are contained in the Opinions section or expressed as columns or commentary in other sections. 

Humanity

The Standard strives to embody humanity in its position as a platform for the community. Staff members should engage sources in discourse. Reporting should be done with respect, and without malice. Staff must be careful to avoid stereotyping members of the community by gender, age, religion, physical appearance, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, social status, mental or physical handicaps, etc.

Obscenity

Good taste and community standards regulate the content of The Standard. As ASL is a diverse, multicultural community, staff should realize that what may not seem offensive to them may be highly offensive to other members of this school. In this light, staff will not publish words or pictures of an obscene nature. The staff understands the negative consequences and potency of printing profanity, and as such, profanity will only be used in the newspaper when it is contained in a direct quote from an individual and when, in the opinion of the Editor-in-Chief and adviser, the language is essential for accurate reporting. In these cases, the reporter must have documentation of the accuracy of the quote and that the person quoted understood he or she was on the record. In the event of extreme profanity, the Editor-in-Chief and adviser will consult with the High School Principal and/or Head of School as to appropriateness of use. All profanities deemed to be essential to coverage in the newspaper will be displayed with only the first and last letters of the word written out, with asterisks in between; e.g. “profanity” would be published as “p——-y.”

Unprotected speech, libel & slander

No words that slander or libel an individual or group will be published in the newspaper. Though ASL operates outside the borders of the United States, the Code of Ethics adopted by The Standard operates by the principles of the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights in the US Constitution, and as such does not print anything that is defined as “unprotected speech.”