Because journalists look to hold people of power accountable, they must also hold themselves to industry ethics and guidelines. Before becoming editor-in-chief of The Forum, Westminster College’s student-run news organization, I noticed that our student reporters were constantly running afoul of these standards — submitting photos they didn’t have the copyright for, turning in stories with only one source or disregarding conflicts of interest. Part of this stemmed from the fact that all ethical expectations were communicated verbally.
When I took over as editor-in-chief, I decided to craft a policy book from scratch to address all these issues and more. The resulting Forum Student Journalist Handbook is now a living five-page Google document that has been used to establish expectations with dozens of Forum reporters and contributing writers.
View the whole document here.