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Vidette Policies

  

GUIDING PRINCIPLES FOR THE VIDETTE

A STUDENT NEWS ORGANIZATION AT ILLINOIS STATE UNIVERSITY

THE VIDETTE MISSION

The Vidette is a not-for-profit organization. Its mission is to be a source and a resource: A source for credible information and a resource for student to learn valuable journalism skills.

More specifically, The Vidette strives to:

1. Provide Illinois State University and the Bloomington-Normal communities with a source for origi­nal news, sports, feature and opinion content.

2. Stimulate and facilitate civic engagement in these communities.

3. Support equity, diversity and inclusion in both content-related decisions and in ongoing staff re­cruitment efforts.

4. Afford students an environment to develop and sharpen a wide range of marketable skills in the areas of writing, photography, videography, audio production, design, copy editing, social media, mar­keting, digital content development and management, and deadline-driven time management. 


THE ROLE OF STUDENT JOURNALISTS

Vidette reporters, photographers, videographers, podcasters, artists, social media or copy editor in­terns strive to cover the news happening every day clearly, accurately and concisely on the ISU cam­pus as well as community news that affects students. Reporters, photographers, videographer, artists, podcasters and social media interns find the stories and then use their skills to bring those stories to the rest of the campus.

Student journalists at The Vidette strive to cover the entire campus, leaving out no group of students or important happenings while copy editors work to ensure all information is accurate and easy to un­derstand and the digital content is presented in an easy-to-use format with enhanced reader utility. A Vidette student journalist’s first responsibility is to the ISU campus – to bring them the news every day. More than anything, a Vidette journalist is expected to know the ISU campus.

Concepts for editorial content (stories, photos, videos, podcasts and graphics) are generated by the student staff of The Vidette. Content ideas are evaluated and assigned by student editors, who are then responsible for working directly with reporters and photographers/videographers in developing that con­tent to fruition. It is the responsibility of student editors to then publish and manage that content on the Vidette’s website, Videtteonline.com. Content ideas are driven by relevance to the ISU community, first and foremost. In the case of a story involving public debate, it is the obligation of student journal­ists and editors to represent both sides of the issue to the best of their abilities.

Content ideas can be suggested by outside voices, but those same outside voices, including that of the editorial adviser, do not have dictatorial power over what stories get done or do not get done. It is ultimately, the decision of the editor in chief working in concert with staff editors for News/Features, Sports, Viewpoint and Photo.


CONFLICT OF INTEREST

Conflict of interest arises when something personal gets in the way of writing an unbiased story in your intern role. If Vidette journalists hold an office in a group or club or are already a member, they may not write the story. Reporters and photographer should maintain a strictly professional relationship with sources. Intern reporters and photographers will be required to read and sign the Conflict of Inter­est Disclosure Form.


CORRECTIONS POLICY

Significant mistakes must be corrected with reasonable prominence. Known errors in all stories on the website will be corrected as soon as reasonably possibly. Significant errors that have been correct­ed on the website will include a brief note within the story indicating that the original story has been updated with corrected information. This does not apply to typographical, style, grammatical or other relatively minor errors that may have been corrected.


ETHICS CODE

Being a Vidette intern means more than getting information and releasing it to the public. It means telling the truth, being objective, and making every reasonable effort to be fair. The Vidette prides itself on strong ethics, so the newsroom ethics you learn are not taken lightly.

The Vidette is a professional atmosphere. Reporters must never use The Vidette for their own or oth­ers’ personal agendas or gains. This means no helping friends promote an event that would otherwise not be newsworthy. However, if a student journalist’s organization or one with which they might be in­directly associated through a friend or relative, has an event or activity that is believed to have genuine news value of interest to ISU readership, the journalist should bring the core information to the atten­tion of their immediate supervisor for evaluation.

All editorial and opinion content must remain on the Viewpoint section of Videtteonline.com, and it must be contributed by the chosen editorial staff, columnists or other sources approved by the Editor in Chief.

The Vidette strives to be a professional organization and therefore students at The Vidette are expect­ed to present themselves in a professional manner inside and outside the building.

Each new intern must read the Vidette Code of Ethics included in the Vidette Intern Handbook and sign it before returning it to their editor.


VIDETTE CODE OF ETHICS

The following guidelines are based upon the canons practiced by the professional staff of the State of Illinois. This Code of Ethics provides broad and flexible guidance for the student press as it informs its audience.

The student press, like the professional press, is obliged to know its own audience, the academic com­munity, and to interpret these guidelines based upon that knowledged.

1.A clear distinction must be made between news accounts and editorial comment, or any kind of writer opinion.

2.The press’ opportunities as a chronicle are indissolubly linked to its obligations as teacher and interpreter.

3.A journalist must never use power for any purpose except the public interest. A journalist must never use power for any selfish or otherwise unworthy purpose.

4.The newspaper’s coverage of its community must be full and fair, catering to no special interest or cause.

5.Sincerity, truthfulness, accuracy and objectivity are paramount. Objectivity must be the goal of every journalist, even though the complete lack of bias is difficult to achieve.

6.All sides of any significant issue must be covered faithfully.

7.The readership must be offered an opportunity to answer editorial opinions.

8.Significant mistakes must be corrected with reasonable prominence. Known errors in all stories on the website will be corrected as soon as reasonably possibly. Significant errors that have been correct­ed on the website will include a brief note within the story indicating that the original story has been updated with corrected information. This does not apply to typographical, style, grammatical or other relatively minor errors that may have been corrected.

9.In fairness, charges affecting the character or reputation of a person or institution should not be published without informing the target. If the person or institution does not choose to respond, the choice of silence should be reported. If the target chooses to respond later, space should be afforded.

10.Ideas can be conveyed, and news can be reported accurately and honestly without the use of pic­tures, videos, words or descriptions that a significant portion of the readership find offensive.

Tastefulness is part of a trust a journalist holds and applies to all the contents of a publication, in­cluding advertising and reader contributions.