The student news site of Londonderry High School

Lancer Spirit Online

The Lancer Spirit Editorial Policy

Purpose of Publication:

The Lancer Spirit is the official school publication of Londonderry High School, including both a news magazine and online forum, created by a staff of student journalists who strive to accurately report news events in and out of the high school setting on topics that are relevant and interesting to the community of Londonderry High School.

This “hybrid” publication provides students with opportunities to develop skills in the coverage and writing of news, features and sports, while offering a forum for the exchange of ideas on the opinion/editorial pages.

 


Mission Statement:

The Lancer Spirit hybrid publication of Londonderry High School has adopted the following as its mission:

  1. To publish news, information and opinion articles for and about student, faculty and administration activities, interests and policies.
  2. To maintain high ethical standards with regard to fairness, personal and legal rights, responsibility and accuracy.
  3. To provide a limited forum for free and responsible expression of student opinion.
  4. To present well-balanced, researched coverage of issues of broader student interest.
  5. To strive for a high level of competency in the technical aspects of writing, including grammar, spelling, clarity and precision as directed by the Columbia Scholastic Press Stylebook and the Associated Press Stylebook.
  6. To welcome diversity and increase the scope and depth of our coverage in order to heighten understanding and awareness among our entire school community members.

Editorial Board:

Student editors make up the newspaper’s editorial board, which makes decisions on content, coverage, scope, and treatment of news, features, sports and opinion articles as they interest the community of Londonderry High School, which is our primary audience.


Content:

  • The Lancer Spirit is not a public forum, but it will serve as a limited forum for student opinion and ideas.
  • The student staff members of The Lancer Spirit strive to maintain high editorial and journalistic standards in the selection and reporting of material to be included in each issue.
  • A staff meeting will be conducted several times per week to determine the content of the current magazine and website.
  • Attention will be given to stories of interest and importance to the primary audience of high school students, with consideration given to the secondary audience of teachers, administrators, parents and community members.
  • The members of the editorial board will make the primary decisions as to whether or not a particular article will run using responsible news judgment.
  • The newspaper reserves the right to edit articles and letters from our readership for grammar and clarity, content, and all articles are subject to laws governing obscenity, libel, privacy and disruption of the school process.
  • Since The Lancer Spirit carries with it the implicit endorsement of the Londonderry School District, the administration reserves the right to exercise additional editorial control, if necessary and appropriate. Under the Hazelwood ruling, the administration can censor only if the content is “reasonably related to legitimate pedagogical concerns.”

Opinion:

Opinion pieces will state clear opinions about issues relating to LHS students or the LHS community.

These articles will be well-researched and include sources and ideas from all sides of the opinion.

If the writer is going to critique a policy or situation, he or she needs to speak to key persons who are involved.

Unsigned editorials express the views of the editorial board.  Editorials should show leadership on issues of great importance to the school.

Letters to the Editor

  • Letters to the editor are welcomed and will be published as space allows.
  • Letters should be sent to [email protected] gmail.com or [email protected]
  • Letters should not exceed 250 words in length.
  • Letters must be signed, although the staff may choose to withhold the name on request.
  • The newspaper reserves the right to edit letters for grammar, clarity, and content. Letters to the Editor 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 letter writer prior to deadline if questions on content and credibility arise.
  • There is no charge for a letter to the editor.
  • Since The Lancer Spirit carries with it the implicit endorsement of the Londonderry School District, the administration reserves the right to exercise additional editorial control, if necessary and appropriate under the Hazelwood ruling.

Controversial Issues:

  • The student staff members of The Lancer Spirit will practice high journalistic standards in dealing with the reporting of timely issues and controversial topics.
  • The staff will strive to remain objective and balanced, and to only use facts and information that are verified to be true.
  • 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.
  • Profanity may appear in the newspaper, but only in cases of a direct quote and if the profanity is imperative to the content of the story. In these instances, the editorial board shall make the primary decision.
  • The publication should observe restrictions concerning anonymity and the need for parental permission by minors under conditions having legal ramifications.
  • The editorial board may seek the advice of the administration on any issue that is controversial in nature.

Correction of Errors:

  • 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.
  • Minor spelling errors in names will not be considered worthy of the correction space unless clarification is needed for understanding.

Coverage of Deaths:

If a student or staff member passes away, The Lancer Spirit may publish an article or memorial page on this person.  The editorial board will always contact the parent or guardian before publishing any article about the death of a student.  The editorial board will use discretion and may seek the advice of administration if the circumstances of the death are controversial in nature.


Stylebook:

The newspaper staff will follow the Associated Press (AP) Stylebook and the Columbia Scholastic Press Association Stylebook in the preparation of all copy, captions and headlines.


Byline and Attribution Policy:

All stories, with the exception of the staff editorial, will contain the name of the reporter in the byline, and all photographs, with the exception of headshots, will contain photo credits.  Attribution will be given to any article or photograph that is provided by an outside source for the newspaper’s use, and photo illustrations will be labeled as such.


Advertising Policy:

Since The Lancer Spirit is not a public forum, we reserve 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.

Any business that advertises will receive a complimentary copy of The Lancer Spirit in which his or her advertisement appears.


Online Policy:

The online publication of The Lancer Spirit will provide a timely and prominent source of news, opinions pieces, sports coverage, and local features, all of which are relevant to the Londonderry High School community.

While timeliness will be a priority for the newspaper staff, good reporting will always be the primary concern.  We strive to maintain journalistic standards at all times and with each post.

Online content will avoid all forms of plagiarism, cyber-bullying and libel.

The online newspaper will be updated on a continuous basis to maintain relevance and timeliness.

Comments made on individual articles are monitored and need to be approved by staff members and adviser before being published.

The Lancer Spirit reserves the right to edit or not publish any letter or comment that is offensive, not on-topic, libelous and/or filled with grammar and spelling errors.


Broadcasting Online:

All videos produced for online will adhere to the same journalistic standards listed previously.

All videos will abide by the appropriate copyright laws.


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

 

The student news site of Londonderry High School
The Lancer Spirit Editorial Policy