The student news site of Londonderry High School

Lancer Spirit Online

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The student news site of Londonderry High School

Lancer Spirit Online

The student news site of Londonderry High School

Lancer Spirit Online

The Lancer Spirit Editorial Policy

“Our liberty depends on freedom of the press.”

Thomas Jefferson

The Lancer Spirit is the official student-produced media of news and information published/produced by LHS students. 

The Lancer Spirit website and news magazine will not be reviewed or restrained by school officials prior to publication or distribution.  Advisers may–and should–coach and discuss content during the writing and production process.

The following Editorial Policy pertains to the news magazine as well as Lancer Spirit Online (LSO) and all content therein, including all written, visual and multimedia elements.  The duly appointed editor-in-chief and co-editors shall interpret and enforce this editorial policy.


The Lancer Spirit strives to inform, entertain and be a limited-open forum for the exchange of ideas regarding issues relevant to our primary audience of Londonderry High School community members. The staff of The Lancer Spirit will strive to report all issues in a legal, objective, accurate and ethical manner, according to the Code of Ethics developed by the Society for Professional Journalists (SPJ).

Lancer Spirit Staff

  • The editorial board is made up of those students who have passed Journalism 1 (or the equivalent), successfully completed the editor application process and have been approved by the current staff members and adviser.
  • Reporters are students in the journalism 1 class. 
  • “FreeLancers” are students who do not take the class, but contribute to the publication.


  • The Lancer Spirit is considered a limited-open forum for the responsible expression of information and opinion, which according to the Journalism Education Association means the following:

-Students have an expectation of freedom of expression

-Students should expect to learn news or objective journalism

-Students should expect to create original material

-Students should expect to make decisions regarding Lancer Spirit business

  • The editorial board members make primary decisions on content, coverage, scope, and treatment of news, features, sports and opinion articles as they interest our primary audience of Londonderry High School community members.
  • All Lancer Spirit staff members strive to adhere to ethical journalistic standards by remaining balanced and objective in the selection, reporting and production of content to be included on the website and in the newsmagazine.
  • The editorial board reserves the right to edit all content for grammar and clarity. All content is subject to laws governing obscenity, libel, privacy and disruption of the school process.
  • The student editors and staff who want appropriate outside legal advice – regarding proposed content – should seek attorneys knowledgeable in media law such as those of the Student Press  Law Center. Final content decisions and responsibilities shall remain with the student editorial board.

Sensitive content

  • The student staff members of The Lancer Spirit will practice high journalistic standards in dealing with timely issues and relevant, sensitive topics.
  • The staff will refrain from publishing material that is considered libelous, obscene, an invasion of privacy or anything that calls for the disruption of the school day.
  • The staff will refrain from publishing anything that could harm the emotional and physical safety of students and staff.

Coverage of Death

  • If a student or staff member passes away, The Lancer Spirit editorial board will consult the adviser and/or principal before publishing an article or memorial page on this person.  
  • The editorial board will contact the parent or caregiver before publishing any article about the death of a student.  
  • The editorial board will use discretion and shall seek the advice of the adviser and/or principal if the circumstances of the death are sensitive or controversial in nature.

Multimedia Content

  • All videos, podcasts and other multimedia content produced will adhere to the same journalistic standards listed above.
  • All video and audio will abide by the appropriate copyright laws.
  • To read the Londonderry School District Digital Technical/Electronic Media Acceptable Use Policy, click here.


  • Lancer Spirit staff members will seek out sources who are knowledgeable about the issue to obtain reliable quotes and information.
  • Staff members will make every effort to interview sources in person rather than emailing or texting them. 
  • Staff members will make every attempt to contact all relevant sources in a timely manner before a story is published. However, if a source is unwilling or unable to be interviewed, the staff member may indicate this in the story.
  • Staff members will always ask for a source’s permission before recording an interview.
  • The Lancer Spirit does not allow sources to preview content before it is published, except in rare circumstances.
  • Sources shall be named except in rare circumstances when it may be necessary to protect the source. In this case, The Lancer Spirit may change or omit the source’s name in the story with the expectation that this source’s name will not be revealed to anyone other than the person writing the story.
  • The Editorial Board should understand that parental permission regarding minors may be necessary if the situation has legal ramifications.

Crediting Content Creators 

  • All stories, with the exception of the staff editorial, will contain the name of the writer in the byline. 
  •  All photographs, with the exception of headshots, will contain photo credits.  
  • Lancer Spirit staff members will get permission before using any article, photograph, infographic, etc. produced by individuals not on staff.  
  • Any reproduction of content needs the permission of the editorial board and adviser. 


  • Opinion articles written by an individual or group of individuals are the opinion of those persons and are not necessarily the opinion of the Lancer Spirit staff and/or the Londonderry School District.
  • Unsigned editorials express the views of the Lancer Spirit Editorial Board on issues and topics relevant to the school community and are not necessarily the opinion of the Londonderry School District.
  • If there are dissenting opinions among board members, those individuals may write an additional editorial voicing that dissenting opinion.


  • The Lancer Spirit staff will make every effort to be accurate and credible for its readers.
  • In the instance of a factual error, a correction may be made for the readers’ clarification in the next issue of the magazine, or as soon as possible on the website.
  • If online content has been corrected, this will be indicated at the bottom of the page.
  • Minor grammar or spelling errors will not be considered worthy of the correction space in the magazine unless clarification is needed for understanding.

Online Comments and Letters to the Editor

  • Comments made on individual articles are monitored and need to be approved by an editorial board member and/or adviser before being published.
  • Comments and Letters to the Editor should be signed, although the staff may choose to withhold names if necessary or appropriate to do so.
  • The editorial board reserves the right to edit comments and letters for grammar, clarity and content.
  • Letters and comments are subject to laws governing obscenity, libel, privacy and disruption of the school process, as are all contents of the paper.
  • Every effort will be made to contact the writer prior to deadline if questions on content and credibility arise.

Role of the Adviser

The adviser has the following roles in the journalism classroom and regarding The Lancer Spirit news online and print publications:

  •  is a professional teaching staff member and is in charge of the class just as in a conventional classroom situation.
  • serves as a professional role model, motivator, catalyst for ideas and professionalism and an educational resource.
  • provides a journalistic, professional learning atmosphere for students by allowing them to make the decision of content for the media.
  • guides the staff to adhere to the approved editorial policy and aids the educational process related to producing content for the publication.
  • may caution, but has no power over censorship or veto except for the provisions as outlined under Hazelwood  v. Kuhlmeier
  • will keep up-to-date on the latest journalism trends and resources and share these with students.
  • will submit content produced by the students to rating services and contests for the staff to receive feedback.
  • will forward any received correspondence and/or information to the appropriate editors.
  • will provide information to the staff about journalism scholarships and other financial aid, and make available information and contacts concerning journalism as a career.
  • will work with the faculty and administration to help them understand the freedoms accorded to the students and the professional goals of the school publications.

The adviser will not act as a censor or determine the content of the paper. The adviser will offer advice and instruction, following the Code of  Ethics for Advisers established by the Journalism Education  Association as well as the Code of Ethics developed by the Society for Professional Journalists

Academic dishonesty

Plagiarism, quote fabrication and academic dishonesty will not be tolerated. Any staff member who engages in this behavior may be removed from the journalism program and may be subject to consequences stated in the LHS Student Handbook.

Social Media Policy

  • The Lancer Spirit social media accounts will be maintained by the current business/social media editors along with other members of the editorial board.
  • Social media will be used to promote Lancer Spirit content and events, to promote published content and to engage the LHS community.
  • The editorial board reserves the right to remove comments that violate any provisions hitherto outlined by this policy.
  • Information posted on social media platforms should be held to the same journalistic standard as all other reporting in terms of information gathering and fact-checking.
  • Information gained through social media channels should be verified through multiple channels before passing it along to others.
  • Audience engagement through social media should be done in a professional manner.
  • Mistakes made on social media posts should be corrected as soon as possible and any deleted posts should be acknowledged in subsequent postings.


  • The Lancer Spirit reserves the right to reject any advertisement that, in the opinion of the editorial board, is false, misleading, harmful or not in the best interests of Londonderry High School students.
  • All advertisements must promote products or services that are legal and safe for the majority of high school students to use or acquire and must conform to the School District’s policy for advertisements published in school yearbooks.
  • Pricing of ads will be determined by the editorial board and will be comparable to other magazines and websites in the area.

Questions regarding The Lancer Spirit‘s editorial policy should be directed to a member of the editorial board or Mrs. DeWinkeleer in room 411. 


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The Lancer Spirit Editorial Policy