Mission Statement for Student Media
It is our mission that in all production courses students will create in a variety of media, communications for students, about students and by students. These will be produced to a standard at or above state standards for curriculum with a target of professional quality work.
Further, the core values of the department are:
Integrity | Collaboration | Excellence | Service
SFHS Media Editorial Policy
The SFHS Media Editorial Policy pertains to all SFHS media, including the newsmagazine, the Navigator; and the yearbook, the Log; The full editorial policy is available on sfhsmariners.org.
As preservers of democracy, our schools shall protect, encourage and enhance free speech and the exchange of ideas as a means of protecting our American way of life.
SFHS Media are the official student-produced media of news and information published/produced by SFHS Creative Publishing students. SFHS Media have been established as designated public forums for student editors to inform and educate their readers as well as for the discussion of issues of concern to their audience. It will not be reviewed or restrained by school officials prior to publication or distribution. Advisers may – and should coach and discuss content – during the writing process.
Because school officials do not engage in prior review, and the content of the SFHS Media is determined by and reflects only the views of the student staff and not school officials or the school itself, its student editorial board and responsible student staff members assume complete legal and financial liability for the content of the publication.
I. FREEDOM OF THE PRESS
As it is essential to preserve the freedom of the press in order to preserve a free society,
- The media will serve the best interest of the students and faculty of St. Francis High School, keeping itself free from any commercial obligations distracting from this purpose; this is defined by the media itself;
- Any decisions affecting the publications on all levels will be made by the editorial board, the adviser is allowed to give legal advice and his/her opinion, but the final decision rests in the hands of the editorial board;
- Only the editorial board may prevent material it judges to be in violation of the media editorial policy, from being printed;
- All media will vigorously resist all attempts at censorship, particularly pre-publication censorship;
- All media retain the right to publish any and all material attained through an interview by a staff member of the publications staff, holding that the interviewee was made aware that the information could be published in any form at any time;
- All student media referenced in this editorial policy are designated public forums;
- Student journalists may use print and electronic media to report news and information, to communicate with other students and individuals, to ask questions of and consult with experts and to gather material to meet their newsgathering and research needs;
- SFHS Media and its staff are protected by and bound to the principles of the First Amendment and other protections and limitations afforded by the Constitution and the various laws and court decisions implementing those principles;
- SFHS Media will not publish any material determined by student editors or the student editorial board to be unprotected, that is, material that is libelous, obscene, materially disruptive of the school process, an unwarranted invasion of privacy, a violation of copyright or a promotion of products or services unlawful (illegal) as to minors as defined by state or federal law;
- Definitions and examples for the above instances of unprotected speech can be found in Law of the Student Press published by the Student Press Law Center.
II. THE EDITORIAL BOARD
- The editorial board will consist of all student staff editors.
- The editorial board decides on all decisions that pertain directly the SFHS media and their interests.
- No member of the editorial board shall have more than one vote on the board.
- All members of the editorial board and the adviser will elect a replacement for board members who have been dismissed.
- All members of the editorial board are expected to know their duties and jobs in the room and must understand the consequences of not fulfilling said jobs.
- The student editor and staff who want appropriate outside legal advice regarding proposed content – should seek attorneys knowledgeable in media law such as those of the Student Press Law Center. Final content decisions and responsibility shall remain with the student editorial board.
- The duly appointed editor or co-editors shall interpret and enforce this editorial policy.
III. THE ADVISER
- The adviser is a professional teaching staff member and is in charge of the class just as in a conventional classroom situation.
- Provides a journalistic, professional learning atmosphere for students by allowing them to make the decision of content for the media and ensuring the media will remain an open forum.
- Guides the newspaper staff in accordance with approved editorial policy and aids the educational process related to producing the newspaper.
- May caution, act as legal consultant and educator terms of unprotected speech, but has no power over censorship or veto except for constitutionally valid reasons.
- Will keep abreast of the latest trends on journalism and share these with students.
- Will submit the school newspaper, yearbook, podcast, and online content produced by the students to rating services and contests in order for the school publications staff to receive feedback.
- Will forward any received correspondence and/or information to the appropriate editors.
- Will provide information to the staff about journalism scholarships and other financial aid, and make available information and contacts concerning journalism as a career.
- Will work with the faculty and administration to help them understand the freedoms accorded to the students and the professional goals of the school publications.
- The adviser will not act as a censor or determine the content of the paper or yearbook. The adviser will offer advice and instruction, following the Code of Ethics for Advisers established by the Journalism Education Association as well as the Canons of Professional Journalism. School officials shall not fire or otherwise discipline advisers for content in student media that is determined and published by the student staff.
IV. THE BUILDING ADMINISTRATION
- The St. Francis High School administration will provide the students of SFHS with a professional teaching staff member to serve as a professional role model, adequate classroom equipment, and space for a sound journalism program.
- SFHS administration will offer equal opportunity to minority and/or marginalized students to participate in journalism programs.
- SFHS administration is not required to view and approve publication content before publishing.