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St. Olaf Student Media Policy

Taken from the St. Olaf Student Handbook

Student media organizations are valuable aids in establishing and maintaining an atmosphere of free, responsible discussion and intellectual exploration on the campus. They are a means of reporting news, bringing student concerns to the attention of the faculty and administration and formulating student opinion on various issues on campus and in the world at large.

St. Olaf College funds a portion of student media expenses. The college delegates editorial and managerial responsibility to students and ensures sufficient editorial and managerial responsibility to students and ensures sufficient editorial freedom and financial autonomy for the student media organizations to maintain their integrity of purpose as vehicles for free inquiry and free expression in an academic community.

St. Olaf College, acting through the Board of Student Media, is responsible for the appointment of editors and managers is to be governed by the canons of responsible journalism, such as the avoidance of indecency, undocumented allegations, libel, attacks on personal integrity, and the techniques of harassment and innuendo. Within this context, and in order to safeguard the editorial freedom of student media, the following provisions are in effect:

  • The student press is not subject to censorship or advance approval of copy. Its editors are free to develop their own editorial policies and news coverage.
  • Editors of student media organizations are protected from arbitrary suspension and removal; they are subject to removal only for proper and stated causes. They have the right to receive a written statement of the charges, hear and question those who have made them, be given sufficient time for preparation of a defense and have a public hearing. Removal will require a two-thirds vote of the Board of Student Media.
  • Student publications must explicitly state that the opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the student body, faculty and/or administration.

Guidelines and Limitations

Each editor must select a faculty adviser who serves as a consultant and critical analyst. Editors are expected to make reasoned application of the following:

  • Respect for the rights of individuals and avoidance of flagrant, repeated and/or deliberate, of those rights and sensitivities.
  • News content free from flagrant distortion, inaccuracy, bias or misrepresentation.
  • Advertising policies consistent with the aims and objectives of the college and with cannons of responsible journalism. The college may require that paid advertising not be accepted for certain products or services. The editors/managers may also exercise advertising restrictions, taking care that such restrictions are applied with consistency.
  • Contractual responsibility to fulfill the operational plans submitted with their applications for editorship.
  • Fiscal responsibility in contractual arrangements and the allocation of salaries.

The Board of Student Media is the governing board for St. Olaf student media and its expected to make reasoned judgment of an editor’s application of the above.

Advertising in St. Olaf College Media

The St. Olaf College Board of Student Media, aware of the significance of revenue generated by paid advertising in the financ- ing of St. Olaf print and audio media, offers the following guidelines for editors and managers:

  • That all advertising for publication of broadcast reflect standards of good taste in general content, language, illustrativematerial, design and placement
  • That the subject matter and treatment of all advertising be consistent with the established mission and policy of the col-lege as specified in St. Olaf catalogs and handbooks or understood according to St. Olaf traditions.
  • That all advertising maintain the integrity of St. Olaf College, the publication of broadcast and the members of the staffs.