Lamplighter Media Productions


The Lamplighter student media productions abides by set guidelines and principles in ethics, writing, and business.

Advertising policy The editor-in-chief, with guidance from the business manager and adviser, shall determine if any advertisement is not acceptable. Ads for non-school appropriate products or services will be rejected.

Anonymous source policy At the discretion of the editor-in-chief, anonymous sources may be used. When anonymous sources are used, only the reporter and editor-in-chief should know the identity of the source. Of course, it is preferred to use sources who will go on the record, however the publications department understands there are instances when the use of an anonymous source is appropriate.

Byline & photo credit policy All stories written by an individual will receive a byline with the exception of an editorial. Any photos that appear in the publication will receive a photo credit. Photographers are expected to write their own captions. If more than two people contributed to a story the byline will read Staff Report

Class interruptions policy Every effort should be taken to complete publications business in a manner which is not disruptive to another classroom. If a class must be interrupted, the staff member should introduce himself or herself to the teacher, mention why you are there and ask permission to conduct your business. As a general rule there are several classes we always try to avoid interrupting. In addition, we attempt to make interruptions only toward the end of a class period. The best bet is to always plan ahead and take care of business during a passing period, lunch or before or after school.

Class time policy It is expected you will stay active and engaged each class period. Do not work on assignments from other classes without the permission of the editor-in-chief or adviser.

Conflict of interest policy There are several occasions when, as a student journalist, a conflict of interest might arise. For starters, a reporter should never quote him or herself, nor use his or her friends as sources. This is unprofessional. Reporters should also avoid writing stories about activities they participate in.

Conduct policy It is expected that when you are conducting publication business you act professionally and courteously. You are not only representing yourself, but the staff, adviser and school. You should always do your best to leave a positive impression.

Content-decision policy Content of student publications is determined by student editors. The adviser does not determine content. Student publications do not engage in prior review before publication.

Contributing writer policy The use of guest writers is at the discretion of the editor-in-chief.

Controversial topics policy Student publications may from time-to-time cover controversial topics. Student journalists should be responsible when covering such topics. While not under prior review, student editors may decide to give the principal a “head’s up” on the controversial topic before the paper is distributed.

Crime policy If a student or faculty member commits a criminal act, or is alleged to have committed a criminal act, it is considered newsworthy and will be reported on appropriately.

Editorial policy Editorials (which reflect the viewpoint of the majority of the editors) may be written from time to time. Final decisions regarding the editorial will be made by the editor-in-chief, though the actual editorial can be written by anyone.

Faculty & staff name policy In accordance with AP Style, faculty and staff will be referred to by full name on first reference and by last name on future references. Courtesy titles (Mr., Ms., Mrs., Dr., etc.) are always used.

Interviewing policy Every attempt should be made to conduct in-person at a neutral location or location comfortable for the interview subject. Should an in-person interview not be possible, a phone interview is an appropriate back-up solution. Texting is not considered acceptable interviewing, and E-mail interviews are discouraged and should only be done at the approval of the editor-in-chief. If an interview is done via e-mail, it should be documented in the story. It is legal to record a conversation as long as one person involved knows the recording is taking place.

Letter to the editor/Comments policy Letters to the editor and comments are welcomed and encouraged, but will only be published if they are signed. Editors reserve the right to edit letters for length and grammar. E-mails, posts and calls will be shared with staff members. Exceptions to this are unsigned letters or comments

intended to cause harm which we will not publish.

No harm policy It is possible that in the act of reporting a story, a reporter will come upon on a troubled source who may need outside help. In addition to being a reporter, you are a human being. Adhering to the Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics edict to “do no harm,” a reporter should notify an adult if they believe a source is going to injure themselves or others.

Obituary policy In the occurrence of the death of a faculty member or student The Lamplighter will print a recent photo of the deceased with his or her name, a list of survivors, school activities and possibly, an article. All obituaries will be handled in the same, fair manner.

Opinion policy Unlike editorials, the views of staff columnists are not necessarily those of the rest of the staff. The publication strives to present a variety of diverse views.

Photo manipulation policy Electronic manipulations changing the essential truth of a photo or illustration will be clearly labeled as a “photo illustration.”

Plagiarism & lying policy Plagiarism and/or the use of writer-created quotes or information in any form will result in the immediate dismissal from the class. We do not tolerate or condone plagiarism, misquoting or misinformation of any kind.

Pre-publication policy Stories, interviews or photographs will not be shared with non-staff members before publication unless the reporter and/or editor-in-chief determine the need to confirm information for clarification. Interviewed subjects do not have the right to approve a story they appear in if they have signed the media release form.

Press pass policy Having a press pass is a privilege. Passes should be used responsibly at all times. Any time you leave the room you should have your press pass out and visible. Press passes can get you into events that you are covering, however you should plan ahead when using your press pass at a school event. Students who abuse their press pass will be (a) required to surrender their pass and/or (b) be removed from staff. You are only allowed free of charge to a school event IF you are covering that event for our publications.

Profanity policy Profanity may appear in a publication, but only in cases of direct quotes or if the profanity is necessary to the content of the story. In questionable cases, the editor-in-chief will determine whether the use of profanity is vital to the story.

Staff conflict policy occasionally, staff members will have disagreements. You should always try to remain calm and respectful and deal with issues before they become large-scale problems. Should a conflict arise, the editor-in-chief will devise a resolution plan. Should further assistance be needed, the adviser will determine the appropriate course of action to end any conflicts.

Outside class/school behavior policy It is important to understand how you conduct yourself outside of school or in other classes will reflect upon all of us. It is strongly encouraged that you always behave appropriately, being mindful of how you conduct yourself in public and on social media.

Use of minors’ names policy There is no law regarding the use of the name of a minor involved with a criminal activity in the media. The editor-in-chief will determine if and when any names should be printed or withheld. Students sign Media Opt-Out forms which we will adhere to in terms of using in-school photos; however, any students can be photographed at public events like games.