The student news site of Monarch High School

The Howler

About

The Howler Editorial Policies
These policies apply to all print, online, or broadcast media published by the staff of The Howler.

Purpose
The Howler strives to inform, educate, and entertain the student body of Monarch High School as a monthly student-produced newspaper and open forum for student free expression. The paper will also provide a forum for community opinions.

Membership
Membership to The Howler staff is open to all students attending Monarch High School; however, students must either be enrolled in or have taken the Journalism elective course, or have been given strong recommendation from another teacher and the adviser must agree to the placement of students on the staff. Students interested in membership must submit an application of interest including teacher recommendations, along with samples of photographs or writing to the staff.

Students from outside the Newspaper class may contribute content, but are not involved directly in production and do not participate in editorial decisions.  All work submitted to The Howler becomes property of The Howler and can only be re-published with permission.

Editorial Board
The board consists of all student editors and the adviser (a non-voting member). Editors of The Howler reserve the right to select all content and priority of stories. The Board also oversees and manages the finances of the publication unless a business manager has been named.

The Board will also select and vote on the content for every staff editorial. These topics will not be signed by the writer, but will reflect the views of the majority of the Editorial Board. When possible, the Editorial Board will review Staff Editorials with the full staff prior to publication.  Staff Editorials do not represent the views of BVSD or its employees.

Content
The content of The Howler is selected during staff brainstorm sessions for every issue and will be covered in a fair, impartial, and accurate manner. The content will be chosen to reflect the activities and concerns of the current time frame. The Howler is not able to cover every school or community event and story, but will strive to cover a diverse and newsworthy assortment. The staff will strive to cover issues in a timely journalistic fashion, but will be restrained by the publication schedule. The Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics   (http://www.spj.org/ethicscode.asp ) serves as the basis for the publications’ ethical standards.

Reporters will always identify themselves as a representative of The Howler when conducting an interview, with the one exception of undercover reporting. The authorities may be contacted prior to an undercover story, and students will not be asked to break the law in pursuit of a story.  Undercover reporting will take place only when direct acquisition of accurate information for a story is not possible and must be approved by the Editorial Board in consultation with the adviser.

The Howler will publicize events in the Twitter feed or on Facebook as the Editorial Board finds relevant. The Howler has a small staff and cannot cover all events in the Monarch community. The Howler  will only write articles about events that the Editorial Board finds newsworthy and retains the right to be selective about what events they choose to publicize. The Howler  will not publish articles that read as advertisements.

Sources
A source is any person or organization that gives information to a repo rter.In articles, information and quotes must always be attributed to a source, unless it is common knowledge. (Ex., “MHS cafeteria lunches cost $3.00.” is not information that needs to be attributed. However, the statement “Cafeteria lunches in most American schools cost about $3.00” must be attributed to be considered valid. )

Reporters may not use close friends or fellow Howler staff members as sources for quotes, unless those people are essential to the story. For example, a reporter covering the Math Team may not quote their best friend, Hank the Math Team Member, because there are other math team members besides Hank. However, Hank may become Hank the Math Team Captain. In that case, he now has a unique viewpoint and authority which may be important to the article, and he can be quoted despite his friendship with the reporter.

Sources may not be quoted as “anonymous” unless they would be somehow put at legitimate risk (e.g., threats of violence, persecution by the police or school administration, bullying) by the publication of their real name.  Reporters must notify their section editor and an Editor in Chief of the circumstances and anonymity must be approved by the Editorial Board before publication.

The Howler will not give up the identity of any source offered the protection of anonymity unless issued a subpoena by a court of law and will consult the SPLC or other counsel if necessary to determine compliance.

Opinion
Commentaries and columns will be signed by and reflect the view of the author alone. They are not the official position of The Howler.

Letters to the Editor
Any person interested in the Monarch community and has an opinion to be voiced is encouraged to submit letters to the editor. All letters must be signed and include contact information, but anonymity may be requested. Anonymity will only be granted if deemed necessary by the Editorial Board and each request will be reviewed on case-by-case basis. Letters to the editor may be submitted to the adviser’s mailbox in the office, delivered to room L205A, or mailed to Monarch High School, care of The Howler. All signatures will be verified by phone call or interview.

Letters should be fewer than 300 words in length. If excessive editing is needed, the letter will be returned to the author for corrections. The staff will not make grammatical corrections to the letters, but reserves the right to edit for libelous content or space limitations. It is preferred that letters are typed, but handwritten letters will be accepted, if legible.

Online Comments

  • The Howler encourages comments from readers.  Please stay on topic and keep it polite.  Argument and debate are welcome;  attacks are not.
  • Comments published on MHS Howler are the opinion of the author and do not represent the views of The Howler, BVSD, or its employees.  Commenters are responsible for the content of their own posts.
  • Comments are moderated, meaning an editor reviews them for libel, obscenity, trolling, or other verbal behaviors that detract from the spirit of open discussion of issues.  Insults, personal attacks, or attacks on groups based on culture, sexual orientation, religion, etc., will not be published.
  • Be yourself.  We encourage you to post using your name and will confirm identity prior to publishing comments.
  • Respect the privacy of others.
  • Please keep comments under 300 words.  Longer commentary may be submitted as a guest column, publication is at at the discretion of the Editorial Board.
  • Writers submitting from within the BVSD network must follow BVSD acceptable use for technology policies.  The Editorial Board will have the discretion to notify BVSD administrators of violations of acceptable use policies.
  • All threats are taken seriously. If the Editorial Board and advisers are worried for someone’s safety, the comment and related identifying information will be passed along to relevant authorities and/or the school administration.
  • Once submitted, comments become the property of The Howler.

Censorship Statement
Under Colorado state statute, The Howler operates under the Tinker standard and follows BVSD school board policies (Colorado Rev. Stat. 22-1-120, student exercise of free expression and BVSD policy IGDB) and submits pieces for prior review only as prescribed in these state and district policies.

As responsible journalists, reporters will read back quotes for clarification and accuracy when needed. However, sources will not be allowed to read the final text of the story prior to publication. Sources may have follow-up interviews or supplement their initial statements.

Correction of Errors
In the event of an error, the Editorial Board will attempt to mitigate the damage. Every reasonable precaution is made to avoid errors, but some amount of error is inevitable. Each case will be reviewed on its own merit.

Photo and Graphics Use
Staff members will produce all photos and graphics unless the staff has received consent from outside sources or the Editorial Board has approved an image under the “fair use” provision of copyright law. Photos and graphics contributed by outside sources will be identified as “Photo Courtesy of ______________” or “Graphic Courtesy of _________________.”

At times, photographs will be manipulated to add artistic value to enhance a story. However, no photo will be manipulated to change the original message of the photograph. Whenever a photograph has been altered, the photo will be labeled as “Photo Illustration.”

Coverage of Deaths

• any current student, staff member, faculty member, or building administrator who dies during the year will be recognized in the school newspaper.
• the school newspaper will publish factual information (date of birth, date of death, survivors, organizations, hobbies and interests) in a 300-word obituary and include one mug shot if possible
• the school newspaper will first obtain permission from the deceased’s family before publishing any information regarding the cause of death
• the school newspaper will treat all deaths in a tasteful and respectful manner
• an issue should not be dedicated to or in memory of the deceased.

Stylebook
The Howler operates under the Associated Press style rules, and a staff-generated design style guide.

Role of the Advisor
The following is from the BVSD Student Publications Policy
A “publications advisor” shall be assigned to supervise the production of school-sponsored publications and to teach and encourage free and responsible expression and professional standards of English and journalism.

In his or her supervision of the production of school-sponsored student publications, the publications advisor is responsible for reviewing all materials prior to publication.  It is the responsibility of the publications advisor to determine that all expressions for publication are in accordance with this policy and state law.  In the event that any materials shall be brought into question, the materials shall be promptly presented to the principal of the school involved for his or her resolution.

Funding
The Howler is a self-produced paper in all aspects, including funding. The paper may receive some funds from the district, but covers all excess costs through grants, donations, subscriptions and through advertising by local businesses. The funds earned from the ad sales belong to the staff and will be used accordingly to advance the learning, abilities, and opportunities of the staff and to enhance the quality of print and online publications.

Advertising Policy
The Howler reserves the right to refuse advertising not found to be within the publication’s standards, particularly in reference to good taste and to products and/or services that are illegal for the majority of high school readers.

 

  • A signed advertising contract and payment are required prior to publication
  • If errors are made in the advertisement because of student fault, The Howler will fix the advertisement and run it for the purchased amount of time at no additional cost or provide a refund at the patron’s request.
  • If errors are made in the advertisement because of patron fault, The Howler is not obligated to give a refund or re-run the advertisement.
  • The Howler is not obligated to give a refund after a signed contract has been received (unless a student error is made).

 

  • Advertisers who appear in The Howler are not necessarily endorsed by The Howler’s staff members, editorial board, advisers, Monarch School, or anyone affiliated with BVSD.
  • Advertisements published in The Howler have no bearing or influence on the content produced by The Howler.

Distribution

The print newspaper will be distributed to classes during the time in which the staff meets with the least amount of disturbance to the school atmosphere possible.   Parents, students, and community members may purchase subscriptions for home delivery.

Paortions of The Howler Editorial Policy were developed and altered from the Grand Junction High School Orange & Black Editorial Policy, the Eagles Quill at Eagles Crest High School , and Wayland Student Press (http://waylandstudentpress.com/policies/).

School Board Responsibility

Expression made by students in The Howler is not an expression of Boulder Valley School District Board policy and the School District and its employees are immune from any civil or criminal action based on any expression made or published by students in The Howler.

 

The student news site of Monarch High School
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