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Editorial Policy

Description of Publication and Website

The Eagle Quill is an entirely student-run magazine and web news source for the student body of Eaglecrest High School and surrounding community. The categories displayed on the Eagle Quill’s website include News, Sports, Opinions, A&E (Arts and Entertainment), Features, Blogs, which include externally student-run sites, and 2500+, which is intended to capture the many faces of Eaglecrest. Students enrolled in the Journalism 1 class are also able to contribute to the 2500+ section.

The Eagle Quill’s magazine (which is typically 20 – 48 pages) is mainly oriented towards in-depth stories and features, while its online counterpart addresses mostly school news.

The combination of publications strives to reach the nearly 2,650 students, 200 faculty members, and surrounding community with its varied content and storytelling styles.

 

Student Freedom of  Expression

In accordance with the Colorado law (based on the Tinker v. Des Moines Independent School ruling), no material, opinionated or otherwise, will be printed which is obscene, libelous, slanderous, defamatory, false as to any person who is not a public figure or involved in a matter of public concern, creates a clear and present danger of the commission of unlawful acts, the violation of school regulations, the material and substantial disruption of the orderly operation of the school, violates the rights of privacy to others, is irresponsible, or which the editor-in-chief and/or the adviser deems in poor taste.

The views in The Eagle Quill magazine and online do not necessarily represent the views of the entire staff, adviser, school administration, nor district administration. Unsigned editorials represent the views of the staff majority. All bylined columns, commentaries, reviews, and blogs represent the views of the author(s) only. All news, features, and sports stories, as well as art (photos, illustrations, and graphics) will receive bylines.

In accordance with the Colorado law, no school district, school district employee, school district official, parent, or legal guardian shall be held liable in any civil or criminal action for any expression (opinion or “fact”) made or published by the students in The Eagle Quill.

 

Content/Coverage

Student journalists, with direction from the adviser(s), determine the content (editorial and advertising) of the magazine and online news. Story ideas may be generated through staff meetings, suggestions, and a beat system.

The regular school beats (if the staff elects to use this system) may be divided among some staff members and students in the Journalism 1 classes. Students assigned beats will check their beats at least once per month and may be required to return with beat record sheets after each visit including notes and quotes taken during the interview.

Students may publish material they feel will serve in the best interest of their readers. Colorado student journalists possess the right to exercise freedom of speech and of the press and no expression contained in a student publication shall be subject to prior restraint except for those types of illegal expression outlined on the previous page. All expression contained in The Eagle Quill and found on www.eaglequill.org will be consistent with high standards of English and journalism.

 

News and Opinion

Although the staff writes the majority of articles appearing in the paper, guest commentaries and stories may be included if the staff feels it enhances coverage of a unique topic. Trivia, such as gossip columns, song dedications, Dear Abby, and superlatives, as well as April Fool’s issues and/or articles will be avoided due to the narrow audience they tend to serve, the possible lack of professionalism, and the probability of legal problems.

 

Letters to the Editor

The newspaper staff encourages letters to the editor as they constitute a constructive open forum avenue for student opinion, but the writer must sign the letter and include contact information to be considered for publication. The newspaper staff reserves the right to edit all letters for space and legal considerations, but not inaccuracies, spelling, or grammar.

 

Photography

The Eagle Quill staff prefers a variety of illustrations including photographs, cartoons, art, and infographics. We will not print a “gag” photo or caption or any illustration considered tasteless by the editor-in-chief, photography editor, and/or adviser.

 

Accuracy and Errors

Accuracy is the core of good journalism and vital to the credibility and success of this newspaper. To achieve and maintain a high standard of accuracy, The Eagle Quill examines the cause of all significant errors and seeks to prevent them from recurring. For the purpose of this policy, significant errors include but are not limited to:

  • Any error (spelling, grammatical, typographical, factual, or other) in a headline, caption, byline, credit line, or other display type anywhere in the magazine or online
  • Any error in the lead of any story in any section of the magazine or online news
  • Any error in a graphic
  • Any erroneous page refer or jump line
  • Any missing first reference to a person
  • Any misspelled name
  • Any wrong phone number, address, or web address
  • Any error in fact, including mathematical errors, mistaken attribution or information erroneously provided by a source, such as the wrong time or date of an event
  • Any story, caption, or other text with its ending cut off in mid-sentence
  • Any gross design error such as a page produced without a standing feature, header, or other standard design element
  • Any gross production error such as a page out of order or incorrect photo, art, or advertisement insertion.

Accuracy is first of all the responsibility of each individual writer, photographer, editor, artist, and designer. A staff member vouches for the accuracy of any copy or other information that is passed to another for publication. The assumption should never be made that an error will be caught or fact checked by someone (including the adviser) further down the line.

 

Corrections

If the staff discovers, from any source, that a mistake bypassed the editors in the printed magazine, a correction of major errors will be printed in the next issue of the magazine. If an error is discovered in an online story, headline, caption, or other published material, the error will be corrected and the published date will be updated showing the corrected version.

 

Obituary Policy

In the event of a current student or a faculty member’s death, student publications must adhere to an obituary policy. The Eagle Quill will cover all deaths with an obituary of up to 250 words. People close to the deceased will be offered the chance to write the obituary, but if they abstain, a reporter will be given the job of accurately reporting on the deceased’s life. The editorial board will determine if the cause of death warrants more coverage or the need to answer questions for the student body, faculty, and surrounding community.

 

Advertising

To help finance the magazine and online news, the staff sells advertising for a minimal price. The Eagle Quill will not accept advertising for any goods or services which are illegal for those under 21 to own, consume, or purchase. Advertising follows the same scrutiny as all other material published in print and/or online.

 

Adviser

The main function of the adviser(s) is to supervise the production of the newspaper and to teach and encourage free and responsible expression and professional standards for English and journalism. The adviser(s) has/have the authority and power to establish or limit assignments for the students working with the publication and to otherwise direct and control the learning experience that the publication is intended to provide. The adviser(s) is/are much more educated in journalism than the students; therefore, the students need to respect and honor the adviser’s knowledge, experience, and role as a professional employee of the school district.

 

Editor(s)-in-Chief

The Editor(s)-in-Chief shall interpret and enforce the administrative and editorial policies of The Eagle Quill and must demonstrate expertise in all areas of the journalistic process.