Student-Operated Media

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[The following was approved on April 16, 1990, in accordance with provisions set forth in SIU Board of Trustees 3 Policies E.1.]

The Board of Trustees is responsible for student-operated media to which it provides funding for the express purpose of publishing and cable-casting. In furtherance of the Board's responsibilities for these student-operated media and in accordance with 3Policies E of the Board of Trustees of Southern Illinois University, this policy is enacted to establish fundamental principles governing student-operated media at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

I. Scope of Application of Policy

This policy shall apply to any student newspaper, magazine, publication, and cable-cast operation at SIUC which is supported in whole or in part by university monies when the university monies are provided for the express purpose of publication and cable-casting. Such publications or operations subject to this policy shall herein be referred to as student-operated media. This policy shall exclude the SIUC Broadcasting Services, which is governed under separate policies.

II. Responsibility for Student-Operated Media

Student-operated media subject to this policy are responsible in legal and financial matters ultimately to the Board of Trustees. That responsibility shall be structured through the office of the chancellor of SIUC. Direct responsibility under the chancellor shall reside in the appropriate vice chancellor, a faculty or staff adviser/general manager, the fiscal officer of the student-operated medium, and its student manager-in-chief. Each of these parties of direct responsibility shall be identified annually by October 1 of each year to the office of the chancellor or the vice chancellor with operating responsibility by the faculty or staff adviser/general manager.

In the case of registered student organizations, the names of the parties of direct responsibility shall be placed on file with the office of Student Development by no later than October 1 of each year.

Initial responsibility for monies generated by student fees which are allocated to student-operated media shall rest with the appropriate student constituency body and shall be structured through the office of the vice chancellor for Student Affairs and the office of the chancellor.

Initial responsibility for monies generated from sources other than student fees which are allocated to student-operated media shall rest with the appropriate advisory committees and shall be structured through the office of the vice chancellor with operating responsibility and the office of the chancellor.

III. Operating Principles

  1. Authority to Publish and Cable-Cast 
    No university monies may be provided to student-operated media or expended by student-operated media subject to this policy (see section I above) until such media are operative by the terms of section III.B of this policy.
  2. Operative Requirements 
    Student-operated media subject to this policy shall become operative upon proof of fiscal responsibility, establishment of workable staff organization, and approval of final working papers of the publication or cable-cast service by the chancellor or his/her designee. Such final working papers shall be developed in consultation with and pursuant to recommendations of appropriate university representative bodies, and the recommendations of such appropriate advisory bodies must accompany a request to the chancellor or his/her designee for approval of working papers.

    Revisions and amendments to working papers shall be effective upon approval of such by the chancellor or his/her designee. Such revisions and amendments shall be developed according to the procedures set forth and in effect in the working papers of the student-operated media at the time of revisions or amendment.

    The office of record for student-operated media, final working papers, and subsequent revisions and amendments to working papers of registered student organizations shall be the office of Student Development, as designated by the office of the vice chancellor for Student Affairs. Further, the working papers and any subsequent revisions and amendments to the working papers of registered student organizations shall be subject to the review and approval of the appropriate student constituency body and in accordance with the recognition/registration procedures for student organizations.

    Student-operated media in existence prior to, or at the time of, the enactment of this policy and which possess working papers currently approved by the chancellor or his/her designee shall be deemed operative and shall not be subject to section III.A of this policy.

    Registered student organizations with publications or cable-casting services in existence prior to, or at the time of, the enactment of this policy and which possess working papers currently approved by the appropriate student constituency bodies and the office of Student Development shall be deemed operative and shall not be subject to the first provision of this section. All student-operated media, however, shall be subject to the revision and amendment provision of this section. Student-operated media in existence prior to, or at the time of, enactment of this policy without approved working papers shall be deemed operative, but such publications and cable-casting services shall, in good faith and in a reasonable amount of time, file final working papers for approval with the office of the chancellor or his/her designee. Registered student organizations shall file final working papers for approval with the office of Student Development, as designated by the vice chancellor for Student Affairs, and in accordance with the recognition/registration procedures for student organizations.

  3. Faculty/Staff Adviser 
    Each student-operated medium subject to this policy shall have a faculty/staff adviser. The role of the faculty/staff adviser shall be to assist the student staff's transfer of the staff's theories of publication and cable-casting and content to successful, effective practice. The faculty/staff adviser is a principal party to the chancellor or the appropriate vice chancellor as set forth in section II above. Details in respect to this operating role and functions shall be delineated in the working papers of the student-operated medium in a manner consistent with provisions of this policy statement.
  4. Student-Oriented Operations: Campus Relevance 
    As a general principle, student-operated media subject to this policy shall be as student-oriented in organization as practicable. As a guiding principle for general content, such student-operated media shall strive to maintain relevance to SIUC, its purposes and goals as a university, and the customs, attitudes, and goals of the student body, student staff, and faculty/staff.
  5. Fiscal Responsibility 
    Student-operated media subject to this policy must maintain continuing fiscal responsibility and, as required by university regulations, have a faculty/staff member as fiscal officer.
  6. Editors and Advisers 
    Principal editors/student managers-in-chief and advisers for student-operated media subject to this policy shall be selected in a prudent manner to be specified in the working papers of the publication and cable-casting service. Such procedures shall assure, however, that each principal editor/student manager-in-chief and adviser so selected is conversant with prevailing laws of libel, obscenity, privacy, and any other laws and ordinances affecting the student-operated media. Where circumstances reasonably suggest a review of specific materials or practice involving student-operated medium, decisions concerning content and publication and cable-casting practices shall in every case be made by the principal student manager- in-chief and the publication's and cable-casting service's advisers in consultation with appropriate advisory bodies, in full accord with applicable legal principles. The chief advisers for such problems shall be the student-operated medium's faculty/staff adviser and the office of University General Counsel, or such successors to such offices.
  7. Ethical Standards 
    Student-operated media subject to this policy shall operate in accordance with the following code of ethics statement of Sigma Delta Chi (adopted by that organization's national convention on November 16, 1973):
    1. Responsibility: The public's right to know of events of public importance and interest is the overriding mission of the mass media. The purpose of distributing news and enlightened opinion is to serve the general welfare. Journalists who use their professional status as representatives of the public for selfish or other unworthy motives violate a high trust.
    2. Freedom of the Press: Freedom of the press is to be guarded as an inalienable right of people in a free society. It carries with it the freedom and the responsibility to discuss, question, and challenge actions and utterances of our government and of our public and private institutions. Journalists uphold the right to speak unpopular opinions and the privilege to agree with the majority.
    3. Ethics: Journalists must be free of obligation to any interest other than the public's right to know.
      1. Gifts, favors, free travel, special treatment, or privileges can compromise the integrity of journalists and their employers. Nothing of value should be accepted.
      2. Secondary employment, political involvement, holding public office, and service in community organizations should be avoided if it compromises the integrity of journalists and their employers. Journalists and their employers should conduct their personal lives in a manner which protects them from conflict of interest, real or apparent. Their responsibilities to the public are paramount. This is the nature of their profession.
      3. So-called news communications from private sources should not be published or broadcast without substantiation of their claims to news values.
      4. Journalists will seek news that serves the public interest, despite the obstacles. They will make constant efforts to assure that the public's business is conducted in public and that public records are open to public inspection.
      5. Journalists acknowledge the newsman's ethic of protecting confidential sources of information.
    4. Accuracy and Objectivity: Good faith with the public is the foundation of all worthy journalism.
      1. Truth is our ultimate goal.
      2. Objectivity in reporting news is another goal which serves as the mark of an experienced professional. It is a standard of performance toward which we strive. We honor those who achieve it.
      3. There is no excuse for inaccuracies or lack of thoroughness.
      4. Newspaper headlines should be fully warranted by the contents of the articles they accompany. Photographs and telecasts should give an accurate picture of an event and not highlight a minor incidence out of context.
      5. Sound practice makes clear distinction between news reports and expressions of opinion. News reports should be free of opinion or bias and represent all sides of an issue.
      6. Partisanship in editorial comment which knowingly departs from the truth violates the spirit of American journalists.
      7. Journalists recognize their responsibility for offering informed analysis, comment, and editorial opinion on public events and issues. They accept the obligation to present such material by individuals whose competence, experience, and judgment qualify them for it.
      8. Special articles or presentations devoted to advocacy or the writer's own conclusions and interpretations should be labeled as such.
    5. Fair Play: Journalists at all times will show respect for the dignity, privacy, rights, and well-being of people encountered in the course of gathering and presenting the news.
      1. The news media should not communicate unofficial charges affecting reputation or moral character without giving the accused a chance to reply.
      2. The news media must guard against invading a person's right to privacy.
      3. The media should not pander to morbid curiosity about details of vice and crime.
      4. It is the duty of news media to make prompt and complete correction of their errors.
      5. Journalists should be accountable to the public for their reports and the public should be encouraged to voice its grievances against the media. Open dialogue with our readers, viewers, and listeners should be fostered.
    6. Pledge: Journalists should actively censure and try to prevent violations of these standards, and they should encourage their observance by all news-people. Adherence to this code of ethics is intended to preserve the bond of mutual trust and respect between American journalists and the American people.

IV. Complaints Against Student-Operated Media

The working papers of each student-operated medium subject to this policy shall set forth orderly procedures for the filing and disposition of complaints and actions against the student-operated medium and its personnel. Such procedures shall comport with and shall be conducted with careful regard to prevailing applicable standards of due process.

V. Constitutional Standards

Specific provisions of this policy notwithstanding, the constitutional principles of freedom of the press and expression shall be respected with regard to all student-operated media at SIUC for which the chancellor and Board of Trustees are responsible. Accordingly, the policy shall be interpreted and applied at all times in a manner consistent with prevailing judicial interpretations of the meaning and substance of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and such other constitutional provisions or laws pertinent to the freedom of press and expression.