Our Ethics

All articles, columns, and photographs are produced and edited by the students of LCC International University.

News Objectives: News stories must be verified to be accurate, balanced, fair and objective. They must be succinct, but complete. News stories must be clear and readable.

 

Accuracy: This is the most important ingredient of any news story. No matter how great the deadline pressure, a reporter must check the accuracy of the information through verification and documentation. Accuracy includes spelling. Quotes must be exactly what was said. Every set of numbers must add up. In addition, the same statement may have widely different meanings, depending on the circumstances in which it was uttered and the tone in which it was spoken and you must be accurate to the context of the facts.

 

Any item published in the student media web site that receives criticism from any member of the LCC community may be addressed in a statement or response from the Editor-in-Chief or another editor designated to respond by the EIC. The criticism itself may be published in the form of a "Letter to the Editor."

 

All layout sessions must be done on LCC International University's campus, in the SM office, on The SM’s computer.

Under NO circumstances may any story be assigned or published if it compromises the journalistic integrity of the SM. This means avoiding any and all:

  • quid pro quos
  • exchanges for covering the story
  • using a story to gain access to an event
  • using a story for something in return

No stories may be sent or shown to anyone outside of the SM staff prior to publication. A writer or reporter needs to say “no” if they are interviewing someone who demands to see the story before it is printed. However, quotes may be sent for verification. For particularly complicated stories, it may be appropriate to send a source a paragraph to ensure its accuracy. This should be done only in consultation with an editor.

Conflict of Interest Although there is a high degree of honesty among the SM staff members, occasions of potential or actual conflict of interest might occur. Potential (or perceived) conflict of interest must be avoided as much as actual conflict of interest; either is equally damaging to a journalist's credibility. These guidelines are established to aid staff members in making the best decisions for the SM’s credibility.

The SM’s writers are responsible for reporting and writing stories with an objective, unbiased perspective of the subject at hand.

Thus, if a staff member is connected to a story in any way other than as a news writer for the SM, an editor must reassign the story to a fellow reporter.

If a staff member is involved in any school activity other than the SM, he or she should not be assigned to cover stories relating to that subject. For example, a student reporter who is a member of a fraternity should not be assigned to a story investigating Greek societies on campus.

At no time should the SM staff members use their positions on the student media for personal gain such as self-promotion or other types of unpaid advertisements.

As a precaution, editors must be keen on identifying such conflict of interests prior to assigning stories.

Only the SM editors can assign or accept stories for publication. Members of the faculty and the administration can NOT dictate assignments for publication. Any reporting done for a class is for the class. The SM welcomes submissions of assignments completed for class and will consider them for publication, but professors should not promise students their assignments will be published in the SM.