The Lion's Roar

Ethical Journalism

Our Ethical Guidelines, Values, and Practices

The editors and reporters working for Student Publications, The Lion’s Roar, Le Souvenir, and their related media platforms at Southeastern Louisiana University are governed in their journalistic activities, operations, and decisions by the Associated Collegiate Press Model Code of Ethics and the Society for Professional Journalists Code of Ethics.

The goal of The Lion’s Roar is to cover the news as impartially as possible and to treat readers, news sources, advertisers and others fairly and openly, and to be seen to be doing so. The reputation of The Lion’s Roar rests upon such perceptions, and so does the credibility of its staff members. Thus The Lion’s Roar and members of its staff share an interest in avoiding conflicts of interest or an appearance of a conflict while providing accurate news media to our community.

For nearly a century, editors and reporters of The Lion’s Roar have vigorously guarded the paper’s integrity. The first duty of the current staff is to make sure the integrity, credibility, and accuracy of The Lion’s Roar is not diminished during our stewardship.

Conflicts of interest, real or apparent, may come up in many areas. They may involve the relationships of staff members with readers, news sources, advocacy groups, advertisers, or competitors; with one another, or with the newspaper or the university.

In keeping with its solemn responsibilities under the First Amendment, The Lion’s Roar strives to maintain the highest standards of journalistic ethics. We expect all our staff members share that goal. The Lion’s Roar also recognizes that staff members are students and should be free to do creative, civic, and personal work and to earn extra income in ways separate from their work at The Lion’s Roar. Before engaging in such outside activities, though, staff members should exercise mature judgment and consider the potential conflicts that could arise with their position as a working journalist on our staff.

Three core values guide our work: truth, independence, and fairness. All staff members are responsible for ensuring our work lives up to these ideals. We do our best to make sure that everything we publish is accurate and true to the facts. We maintain high standards of reporting, writing and editing to produce work that is as error-free as possible. While we value timeliness, particularly in service to our constituents on deadline, we value accuracy more. We encourage others by example to seek the truth and report it. It is our belief that information should be presented honestly and unvarnished to the community with accuracy being paramount in the gathering, reporting, and interpretation of such information. Student editors have the authority to make all content decisions without prior consent or approval from the university. Our staff should work free of obligation to any interests other than the public’s right to know. We recognize the special obligation to ensuring that public business is conducted in the open and government records are open to inspection. In our work, we seek to ensure that all members of the community are treated ethically and as individuals deserving of respect. Information, content, and images should never be distorted to reflect one viewpoint over another. All members of the staff should avoid any bias or obligation in their work, whether real or perceived.

The advisers and editors maintain a comprehensive staff manual that details all duties and responsibilities governing the actions of the editors and reporters working with Student Publications. It is updated regularly and incorporated into staff training continuously.

No single document can address all the questions we will encounter about ethics, sources, and funding, especially in an educational setting such as ours with multiple partnerships and relationships. These guidelines describe the basic values, standards, and practices we pursue in our journalism. It is a living document that we expect will mature and evolve with our work.

 

 

Revised August 2020

 

 

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