The Interrobang recognizes the following principles in order that the newspaper constitutes a reliable forum for the coverage of events and issues and for the expression of ideas and opinions.
General Guidelines Mission Statement
The Interrobang is a student-funded, student-run newspaper at Fanshawe College published by the Fanshawe College Student Union. It serves the student readership by reporting news involving the Fanshawe campus community, surrounding areas and student activities across Canada. The Interrobang strives to be impartial in its reporting and believes in the public’s right to know.
The Interrobang is a testament to the right of free speech and freedom of the press.
The Interrobang strives to reflect the diverse student community it serves and inform the Fanshawe community with pertinent and interesting news.
The Interrobang strives to be fair, accurate, honest, responsible, reliable and of independent voice.
The Interrobang will strongly defend the public’s right to know, particularly when applied to the Fanshawe College Student Union and Fanshawe College.
The newspaper will guard against inaccuracies, carelessness, bias, distortion, omission, or technological manipulation.
Editors, Reporters and Photographers are responsible for the accuracy of their work and will confirm information, quotes and material when left unclear. Headlines, at the discretion of the Editor, must accurately reflect the tone and content of a story.
The Interrobang will strive to be viewed as impartial to the issues it covers.
The Interrobang will provide a forum for the exchange of diverse viewpoints and criticism, especially when such criticism is levelled at the newspaper.
Editorials and columns expressing opinion will be clearly identified as opinion. It will be made clear that opinion pieces reflect those of the Writer(s) of such piece(s) and not the paper itself.
The newspaper will deal honestly with readers and newsmakers.
The newspaper and its staff will be free of obligations to its news sources and newsmakers.
The newspaper will be free of obligations to the Publisher and will be free to report the news in a fair and unbiased manner. For example, the Publisher will not instruct staff members of the newspaper to write a story with a particular focus, angle or slant. In addition, the Publisher will not edit news stories to change the focus, angle or slant. The newspaper will follow this editorial policy.
Journalists are encouraged to be involved in their communities; however, they will be mindful of their activities so they do not create a conflict of interest. For example, if a journalist becomes involved with a club at the school, they will not report on the activities of that club.
The newspaper will treat the people it covers with courtesy. It will respect the rights of others. The inevitable conflict between privacy and the public good will be judged in the light of common sense and will be considered on an issue-by-issue basis.
As a responsible newspaper, the Interrobang will print all sides of any controversy or dispute.
When an individual, company or organization is criticized in a news story, the Interrobang must contact all parties concerned and afford them an opportunity to reply. If they do not wish to comment, the newspaper’s story must provide this information in order to advise its readers of the attempt for a reply. The Interrobang must report objectively, taking into consideration both sides of the story, especially with those stories dealing with conflict.
Corrections will be printed in a position of equal prominence. All corrections will be approved by the Editor.
Corrections should not be mistaken for accommodating readers who are simply unhappy about a story that has been published.
Reporters will identify themselves to news sources for ethical and legal reasons. There may be times when a Reporter may go undercover, but this will be in rare cases when the public interest justifies it as a last resort. If a Journalist reports undercover, the deception will be reported to the Reader. The Journalist will also reveal the undercover nature to the Source before the story is published and give the Source a chance to reply.
Letters To The Editor/Opinion/Editorials sections
Letters to the Editor/Opinion/Editorial section is intended to be a public forum and therefore to represent as many diverse opinions as possible. Libelous statements will not be published. Letters will be edited for spelling, grammar length, clarity, and content when appropriate. They will not be published without the Submitter’s identification including proper name. The identity of the Submitter may be withheld from the publication upon reasonable request. Letters must be accompanied by the person’s full name and phone number to verify the content of the letter and the sender. The newspaper will not include tag lines after a letter and Columnists may not attack Letter Writers. An exception may be made if the newspaper is correcting factual errors/omissions of the Letter Writer, or if the Letter Writer is a prominent public figure or an elected member of the federal, provincial, municipal, or student government.
Every effort must be made to get all information and comments on the record and with attribution. If this is not possible, the Editor shall approve or reject the publication from unnamed sources. Reporters will identify sources by their name and position. If a sources’ name is withheld, the Journalist will give a reason why. The newspaper believes in the right to face accusers. Therefore, sources cannot hide behind anonymity when criticizing an individual or organization. Sources must be made aware that the newspaper staff could be forced by the courts to reveal their identity. If information is accepted “off the record”, the source must be advised that effort will be made to corroborate information with another source. Under no circumstances shall staff pay a source for information.
Contact With Other Media
Only the Publications and Communications Manager, Editor, and Publisher may speak on behalf of the newspaper. If a Journalist employed by the newspaper is asked for comment, they must make it clear they are speaking on their behalf only and not that of the publication.