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GUIDELINES FOR THE STUDENT PRINTZ INCLUDING THE SOUTHERNER’S EDITOR-APPOINTMENT AND OBJECTIVES I. GENERAL ORGANIZATION -- The Board of Publications of the University of Southern Mississippi and the Director of the University of Southern Mississippi School of Mass Communication and Journalism receive their authority from the university’s President who is appointed by the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning. The University of Southern Mississippi, acting through the President, is the legal publisher of The Student Printz, which shall be directed by the Board of Publications and the Director of the School of Mass Communication and Journalism, with the understanding that the authority has been delegated by the President to the Board of Publications and the Director. The President shall delegate authority along two channels: Budgetary and Editorial/Advertising Content. Budgetary authority shall rest with the School of Mass Communication and Journalism Director who may designate that authority to the publications manager. Editorial and advertising content authority shall rest with the Board of Publications. A. BUDGETARY CONTROL: The Director of the School of Mass Communication and Journalism shall exercise control over all budgetary and fiscal operations of The Student Printz, subject to direction by the President of the university as required by the laws of the state of Mississippi. The Director of the School of Mass Communication and Journalism shall appoint a publications manager who may also be designated as a budgetary authority. The publications manager also shall oversee daily operations of The Student Printz. The publications manager shall be a full-time employee of the University of Southern Mississippi. The publications manager will serve as an ex-officio, non-voting member of the Board of Publications.


B. EDITORIAL/ADVERTISING CONTROL: The Board of Publications shall oversee the editorial and advertising operations of The Student Printz and select its executive editor. The Board will also select the editor of The Southerner. All student executives will be chosen through an application procedure. The Student Printz application will spell out the requirements for the position such as grade-point average and course-load restrictions, types of offices the candidate may not hold (such as SGA office), and other pertinent stipulations. The procedure and requirements will be announced at least one month before positions are to be filled. In selecting the executives, the Board of Publications will ensure that those selected meet requirements stipulated in this document, and are qualified for the position. A simple majority vote by a quorum of the members of the Board is needed to select. The executive editor, with guidance from the publications manager, will select the staff, who must also meet pertinent stipulations adhered to by the editor. Once hired, staff members must continue to meet all conditions required for their employment. The Board shall make decisions concerning policy of the publication; and shall consider changes in major operational policy guidelines. Policy revisions shall be considered for approval by the publisher only after recommendations are made by the Board. The Board will hear recommendations for policy change only after the Director of the School of Mass Communication and Journalism has approved the policy-change requests. The recommendations will be heard in open meetings. Those meetings will be announced in The Student Printz at least two weeks prior to their occurrence. An amplified interpretation of these guidelines will be prepared by the publications manager. The guidebook will be available for reference by the staff of The Student Printz. Modifications to the guidebook will be the sole responsibility of the publications manager. Sole authority for discharging the editor rests with the Board, which may dismiss by a majority vote, when it finds the editor has violated these guidelines, and/or when he/she has demonstrated manifest incompetency to perform his/her duties. The Board will meet in special session to consider charges against an editor on the call of its Chair, the adviser, or on petition of three of the seven members. The editor must be notified in writing of the complaint against him/her, and of its


nature. The Board must grant the editor the right to testify in his/her own behalf and to call supporting witnesses. The Board must take its actions in public session unless the person charged requests otherwise. 1. MEMBERSHIP: The Board of Publications shall consist of seven (7) voting and three (3) non-voting members representing the varied constituencies of the campus community. Five (5) members of the Board of Publications will constitute a quorum. All members will serve for one year, subject to renewal, except the Director of the School of Mass Communication and Journalism, the publications manager and the Dean of the College of Arts and Letters, who will serve as long as they hold their respective offices. The members shall be selected as follows: a. The Dean of the College of Arts and Letters, who shall serve as chair; b. Two (2) School of Mass Communication and Journalism graduate or undergraduate students, who shall be appointed by the publications manager. Neither representative may hold a student body office; c. One (1) non-journalism graduate or undergraduate student not serving as a student body officer, who shall be appointed by the president of the Student Government Association; d. One (1) School of Mass Communication and Journalism faculty member, other than the publications manager, to be appointed by the School of Mass Communication and Journalism Director. e. One (1) non Arts and Letters faculty member who shall be appointed from the elected membership of the Faculty Senate. f. One (1) professional journalist who shall be appointed by the School of Mass Communication and Journalism Director; g. The publications manager for The Student Printz, the adviser to The Southerner and the Director of the School of Mass Communication and Journalism will be non-voting members.


C. REVIEW COMMITTEE: This committee shall act as an appeals board to consider publication of items withheld from publication by the executive editor of The Student Printz. The Committee will meet within 24 hours of receipt of a written complaint that has been deemed legitimate by the Director of the School of Mass Communication and Journalism. The vote by the Review Committee shall be final. 1. MEMBERSHIP: The Review Committee shall consist of five (5) voting members representing appropriate Constituencies of the campus community. Four (4) Members will constitute a quorum when the Committee meets. The membership shall be as follows: a. The Director of the School of Mass Communication and Journalism who shall serve as a non-voting chair of the committee (except when a tie-breaking vote is required). b. Two (2) School of Mass Communication and Journalism graduate or undergraduate students who serve as the elected members of the Board of Publications. c. The professional journalist who is a member of the Board of Publications. d. One (1) non-journalism faculty member who shall have expertise in publication law or business applications and shall be chosen by the Director of the School of Mass Communication and Journalism. e. The Chair of the Board of Publications. II. GUIDELINES: The Student Printz of the School of Mass Communication and Journalism at The University of Southern Mississippi is controlled by these guidelines which are a framework of principles and practices as approved by the Board of Publication and the President, within which editorial, advertising and budgetary decisions are made. Two basic principles must be maintained. First, the university press shall be free of censorship and/or advance approval of copy and its editors shall be free to develop policies for news and opinion coverage (with the exception of libel, obscenity and the right of privacy).


Secondly, editors and managers of The Student Printz shall be protected from arbitrary suspension and removal because of student, faculty, administrative or public disapproval of editorial policy or content. Only for proper stated causes will editors and managers be subject to removal, and then by orderly and prescribed procedures. The University of Southern Mississippi provides a publications manager as adviser to The Student Printz and an adviser to The Southerner but does not employ those persons to act as censors for student publications. No person who advises a student publication should be expected to exercise editorial control over student media or to otherwise suppress the protected free expression of student journalists. The university and advisers to student publications assume no liability for content of either student publication. A. EDITORIAL GUIDELINES: The purpose of The Student Printz shall be to publish news and comment of interest and/or importance to the university campus and community, with primary emphasis upon that news which most directly and immediately concerns students. The Student Printz also will serve as a forum of opinion for the exchange of ideas from all its constituent groups. To this end, it must be permitted to operate without undue influence or control by any of its constituent groups. The Southerner, the university’s yearbook, and its staff maintain a mission of providing a pictorial and editorial account of an academic year for all constituents of the university. The adviser, staff and students should provide an accurate account of a year’s events so they become a chapter in the history of the university community. The Southerner represents the students, faculty and staff. Its mission is not to be a forum for public expression of bias, preference or individual thought, rather it is to effectively portray a year in the life of the university through pictures and copy. One of the necessary conditions in the functioning of a free and responsible press is implicit in a university’s devotion to truth. This fact will lend a certain courage to The Student Printz editors and with it an obligation to seek and print the truth. Since The Student Printz is the only student newspaper published on the campus, the editors and staff have an obligation and a responsibility to discuss state, national and international issues. That obligation and responsibility shall


be upheld as one of the basic principles. The paper shall present, therefore, an unbiased, non-partisan and accurate coverage of the news -- a coverage as complete as the limitations of space and circulation permit. The Student Printz executive editor and other staff members will be encouraged to exercise freedom of judgment in reporting and in commenting on news and events which concern the publication’s readers. To maintain a high standard of responsibility, the editors will abide by the following guidelines: 1. The Student Printz shall endeavor to cover the campus thoroughly, reporting news of all divisions according to news value without favoritism to any division. 2. Libelous statements and material prohibited by law from being published shall not appear in The Student Printz. Libelous material or obscene material or material that invades one’s privacy shall be defined according to the laws of the state of Mississippi and judicial interpretations of the U.S. Constitution. 3. The style book for The Student Printz shall be the one prepared by the Associated Press. The staff of The Student Printz shall follow rules set forth in the style book. 4. Each issue of The Student Printz shall carry in a prominent position on the editorial page the following statement “Opinions expressed in The Student Printz are those of the writer and not necessarily those of The Student Printz staff, publications manager, the University of Southern Mississippi administration, the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning, or the Board of Student Publications. 5. A letter-to-the-editor forum will be open to the expression of fact or opinion that will be of interest or importance to The Student Printz readers. Letters which fit within the scope of First Amendment protection, and that meet other stipulations spelled out in this document will be published on a space-available basis as explained below. Each edition of the paper will include a letters column if letters are available. Letter writers may expect prompt publication of their letters in the paper’s opinion section, as space is available. Letters of up to 350 words will be allowed. Published letters must be free of libel, since the publication


is held legally accountable for all content. Although personal controversy will be tolerated, it is the responsibility of the editor to check statements purporting the facts. The editor is also responsible for making decisions as to the pertinence of the letter to the campus community. An editor’s note may be used to add necessary explanations to a letter, but notes or headlines should not be flippant or unfair in a manner that will discourage letter writers. Letter writers must sign all contributions and the editor must verify the signer and the writer are one in the same through personal conference. Letters will not be published without the contributor’s name. The originals of all published letters will be retained in the editor’s files for one year from the date of publication. B. ADVERTISING GUIDELINES: It shall be the advertising policy of The Student Printz to print all advertisements consistent with the ethical responsibilities of this newspaper to its readers. Advertising in The Student Printz can be classified into three distinct types: Commercial, Editorial and Internet advertising. Each type will be regulated by distinct guidelines, although some guidelines apply equally to both. 1. Over a period of one (1) month, only 50 percent of the publication’s total space shall be devoted to advertising material, although the editor, in consultation with the publications manager, may vary from the 50 percent requirement for a particular issue, but by no more than 20 percent. 2. Local and national advertising rates shall be set upon the recommendation of the publications manager for the publication. 3. Advertisers will not receive special editorial consideration. That is, frequent advertisers will not receive extraordinary treatment in the newspaper’s editorial columns. This does not preclude the editor’s right to publish news or commentary in response to editorial advertisements which are published in The Student Printz. 4. Advertising shall be located in the paper at the discretion of the publications manager, excluding page 1. Only in situations when the editor requires exclusive use of the


editorial page, a section front, the middle two-pages spread of a section (or any combination of the three) and receives clearance from the publications manager prior to the design of a stated edition of the newspaper shall the advertiser not be given preference to space on advertising pages of the publication. 5. Advertisers can guarantee placement of their advertisements. They shall be guaranteed page placement of their choice (excluding those mentioned in #4 above), if they pay up to an additional 25 percent of the per-column-inch contract price and submit ads of at least one-eighth page in size. 6. No advertising which evades or attempts to encourage the evasion or violation of any law, regulation or ordinance -municipal, state or federal -- will be accepted. C. COMMERCIAL ADVERTISING: The Student Printz will print commercial advertisements which fall within the guidelines above. Although the courts have upheld the theory that a newspaper does not have to accept any commercial advertising that is offered to it, the publication will print commercial advertising promoting any merchandise or service which may legally be sold to or ethically used by students. D. EDITORIAL ADVERTISING: In recognition of the public’s right of access, The Student Printz will accept editorial advertisements which are not libelous, obscene, an invasion of privacy or factually inaccurate, as stipulated by the laws of the State of Mississippi, or by interpretation of the U.S. Constitution. If accepted for publication, the ads are not subject to editing by The Student Printz staff. When an opinion in an advertisement is purported to be based on fact, such information must be substantiated by the advertiser. All editorial advertisements must be paid in advance, unless a signed contract based upon frequency and guaranteed space is in effect. E. INTERNET ADVERTISING: The Student Printz Online has been in existence since 1996 as an editorial-only publication. Its popularity has grown and advertisers have begun to ask about the possibility of advertising in The Student Printz Online.


Advertising for The Student Printz Online will be governed by the same guidelines for advertising in the print publication, however, all financial records, sales and service of ads will be kept separate from print publication ads. Advertising in The Student Printz Online will fall into one of the following forms: Button, banner or classified. Rates for Internet Advertising will be included on The Student Printz Online website. Approved: Date:

________________________________ Chair, Board of Publications

Date:

________________________________ Provost

Date:

________________________________ President

These guidelines are approved subject to the authority of the President to supercede or amend these guidelines when necessary to ensure compliance with the laws of the State of Mississippi and the United States of America and with all regulations and policies of the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning, including all laws governing the expenditure of public funds in the State of Mississippi, and further to ensure maintenance of freedom of the press.

The Student Printz Publication Board Guidelines  

The Student Printz Publication Board Guidelines