Staff/Policy Manual

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Vol. 11  2021

 

Policy
The name of the Legacy High School student newspaper is The Rider
The name of the Legacy High School yearbook is The Arena
The name of the Legacy High School online newspaper is The Rider Online
The name of the Legacy High School video production is LBTV

 
Location
The Legacy High School Journalism Department is located on the main campus of Legacy High School in room E-O102.

The Legacy High School website can be accessed at www.legacystudentmedia.com

The online newspaper’s website is www.therideronline.com

 
Contact
The journalism department may be contacted by mail at
1263 North Main Street
Mansfield, TX 76063

The department’s phone number is (682) 314-0717

To reach the journalism staff by email, contact an adviser at  mallett@therideronline.com or dearinger@therideronline.com

 
Purpose

  • The Rider, TheRiderOnline and The Arena any LBTV are laboratories for journalism students designed to serve the total school community. As a laboratory, publications and videos provide staff members with independent writing opportunities with hands-on/real-life experiences. Writing is based on a wide variety of research for a broad and often critical audience. The experience often demands responsibility, cooperation and a great deal of professionalism. Business skills are also learned through selling advertising.
  • The Arena, LBTV, TheRiderOnline and The Rider serve their audience with accurate and factual reporting on significant aspects of school life and subjects of concern to its readers. As an independent observer, the publications should use their unique access to news and a broad perspective to lead the school community toward constructive accomplishments. The Arena and The Rider and videos entertain audiences through clever, creative approaches to writing, photography, design and coverage of the human spirit.
  • Legacy High School publications have a goal to successfully reach the high school community with interesting, timely articles that will enhance the surroundings and purpose of the educational experience.
  • The overall Legacy High School Journalism experience should encourage students to become more creative and strive to master skills of the trade while entertaining and enlightening the LHS student audience.
  • Legacy High School publications provide readers with a public forum. Students, faculty, administrators, parents and others in the school community are encouraged to react to printed material through signed letters to the editor. Letters must be signed by the author and accompanied by a phone number and address. The letter will be published without alteration.

 

Coverage

  • It is the responsibility of these publications to cover school, city, state, national and international events and issues that affect or concern the campus, its students or its readers in a nonbias method.
  • School publications will attempt to cover all aspects of the school; however, coverage will depend greatly upon an item’s news value (how important or interesting it would be to the majority of the school population). Publication editors determine the news value of all material.
  • School publications will clearly identify sources of news, except when it is necessary to uphold the journalist’s privilege of protecting the identity of sources. When in such case, the journalist must reveal the source to the editor or adviser, who will determine if the source is creditable.
  • School publications will avoid sensationalizing news and events. Publications do not invade personal privacy or print material that might be embarrassing or degrading to any individual or group.
  • All editorial or opinion content must be backed up by three sources of facts. At no time will an editorial attack a person. Only policy-related material may be published.
  • Online stories must have two sources

 

Frequency & Format

  • The Rider is the responsibility of the advanced journalism-newspaper class offered by Legacy High School – Mansfield ISD
  • The Rider Online is published daily.
  • The Arena is published once a year and distributed in May
  • The Arena is the responsibility of the advanced journalism-yearbook class offered by Mansfield ISD
  • The Arena is published by Walsworth’s Publishing’s Kansas City plant
  • Videos are published by all journalism classes

 

Audience

School publications are written primarily for the 2,000+ students who attend Legacy High School. Secondary audiences which receive the newspaper and/or yearbook, include:

  • Feeding Middle Schools
  • Faculty, Staff, Administration of Legacy High School
  • Advertisers
  • Parents
  • School Board Members
  • Other school journalism programs
  • ILPC, JEA, NSPA, TAJE, CSPA and other professional organizations

 

Board of Education and Administrative Policy

  • The Board of Education and the Central Administration of Mansfield provides the publications with a partial subsidy to cover basic supplies, just as it does for other classes in the school curriculum.
  • The student body of Legacy High School does not provide the publications with a partial subsidy. The student body does, however purchase the yearbook for a set price during the school year and senior ads in the yearbook.
  • Additional funds are generated through the sale of advertising by the publications staff and deposited into the high school’s activity fund – commission sales from school day portraits are also collected.
  • While school publications are responsible to the board for the funds they receive and subject to state and federal laws, content reflecting student’s thinking and is not necessarily in agreement with the administration of Mansfield Independent School District.
  • Editorials represent the staff majority of agreeance along with the story. Opinions are not generally those of the adviser, its editors, student body, faculty or administration
  • All content is a designated public forum for student expression without prior review by school officials.

 

Responsibility for Accuracy and Objectivity

  • School publications endeavor to correctly spell names and make accurate class and position identifications. Names of students, faculty, administration and other sources must be checked for accuracy by the writer.
  • The editor or adviser is not responsible for inaccuracy in presenting names within a story.
  • All facts must be verifiable by at least two sources. All quotes are subject to verification by the editors and/or adviser. Any story containing factious quotes will be discarded in its entirety and the writer will be placed on disciplinary probation.
  • Each staff member is responsible for quote collections in a notebook/spiral which will be collected at the end of each year and placed on file for four years.
  • Most of what is published is the work of individual’s. The staff and adviser are responsible for all material that appears in school publications. Administrators have a non-review role: they may, according to the Hazelwood court decision, control content prior to publication, and may offer advice on sensitive issues and will offer criticisms that are warranted following publication.
  • School publications strive for the highest standards of accuracy, integrity, completeness and careful research in its presentation of material that time allows. Since there are deadlines to meet, however, school publications will go to press with the facts as they stand on deadline. The staff therefore assumes responsibility for the accuracy of these facts.
  • Rumor, gossip or innuendo are not, nor will they ever be, the basis for any story appearing in school publications.
  • No member of the publications staff will accept any free gifts, considerations or passes that might compromise the integrity of the school’s publications or the objectivity of its reporters. The Legacy High School Journalism Department receives three season passes to sporting events free of charge. The purpose of these passes is to properly produce an active, accurate account of the event and should not be used for personal reasons.
  • All copy must conform to the department’s Stylebook, contained within this Staff Manual. When the publications’ stylebook does not have the answer, consult the AP Stylebook.
  • When an error merits a proper correction, as determined by the editor or adviser, it will be promptly published in the next publication.
  • School publications are a member of the UIL-ILPC, TAJE, NSPA, CSPA Quill and Scroll, and JEA professional organizations and receive critiques from some of these sources and adhere to these organizations guidelines.
  • Website sources used must be accredited and approved by the editor and/or adviser. Any source used must be cited within the story and proper permission must be obtained from the source.

 

Academic and Behavior Expectations for Legacy Journalism Students

  • Student journalists are expected to maintain high standards in academic performance and behavior and to serve as positive role models for the student body.
  • Staff members who do not meet these standards are subject to school disciplinary consequences and staff consequences including probation and dismissal.
  • Any student member of an extracurricular organization or campus club (e.g. journalism/band/dance team/cheerleader/athlete/student council, etc.) representing themselves, or their organization, through electronic media (i.e. websites, personal home pages, blogs, text messages, chat rooms or similar websites/files accessible through a server or internet), or using electronic communication devices (i.e. camera phones, digital photos, electronic descriptions) in such a way as to cause school officials to reasonably anticipate substantial disruption of or material interference with the activities of the organization or school will be subject to the disciplinary actions determined by appropriate school officials and/or organization sponsors/directors/coaches, including probation or dismissal from the organization.

 

Time Commitment for Legacy Journalism Students

Journalism is a time-consuming activity and it is the responsibility of each journalist to be present at each activity and perform to the best of his/her ability. Because of the many hours involved in researching, reporting, shooting, and covering events, other school and non­school activities may have to be limited. It may not be feasible, nor in the best interest of the student, the staff, or the school for a student to be a journalist (especially editors and aspiring editors) and hold another major position which requires major time expenditure. The adviser will review school participation conflicts in an attempt to solve the problem while considering the best interests of the individual, as well as the interests of the journalism staff and other school organization. Everyone must share equally in the behind the scenes work, as well as the covering all school events. It is sometimes difficult for staff members (particularly editors) to have after-school jobs because of the time required outside of class. If a student does have a job, missing a deadline or work night because of work will be considered an unexcused absence. The responsibilities of being on the Legacy Advanced Journalism staff and consequences for not meeting responsibilities are assumed at the time the selected staff is announced.

 

Attendance/Work Nights

  • Be here physically and mentally every day. If you are absent, see an adviser for missed work, ESPECIALLY IF YOU ARE ON DEADLINE.
  • Contact the school office and teacher if you will be out for an extended period of time. The adviser may need to send assignments home to you.
  • Because all deadlines and assignments are announced ahead of time, an absence does not excuse a student from meeting a deadline.​
  • Work should be emailed to the adviser or dropped off to class on time.
  • Attendance at work night sessions is required unless you are excused by an adviser  (not when you think you’re done).
  • All editors must attend all work nights. work night attendance is a test grade.
  • Work nights are usually once a six weeks before a major yearbook deadline

 

Bylines, Ownership, Copyright

  • Any full-length story that includes original reporting will carry a proper byline including title
  • Any art or photo will carry a credit line
  • Any story which expresses an author’s opinion or analysis will carry a byline and a standing column head to indicate the story represents an individual opinion
  • Staff editorials will not carry a byline
  • Bylines should not be cut for space reasons
  • Any story written or photo taken for the Legacy Student Media Department cannot be reproduced in any fashion without consent from the writer and the adviser
  • All content (written, photos) published belong to the author and cannot be reproduced without permission
  • Legacy Student Media encourages and assists students to build an online portfolio to showcase learned skills
  • Advisers and Administration request students not to sell or distribute owned materials until after graduation to avoid competition of yearbook sales and readership
  • Photos and stories published in Legacy Student Media publications will not break any copyright laws
  • The Area submits annually to the US Library of Congress for legal copyright

 

Letters to the Editor for The Rider

  • All letters to the editor must include the writer’s name and classification and will be printed with both
  • Letters should be limited to 300 words.
  • Letters to the editor will not be edited, except in cases to prevent legal liability (invasion of privacy, profanity, etc. . .)
  • Letters to the editor should be placed in a sealed envelope and mailed to the high school’s address or placed in the adviser’s box.

 

Advertising in Legacy’s Student Publications

  • The purpose of advertising is to raise money for the department by bringing the buyer and seller together, thus making it a vital part of school publications
  • School publications reserves the right to refuse any advertisement that makes reference to products, services, substances or paraphernalia that are illegal to minors or deemed inappropriate to the Mansfield community
  • All ads are subject to review by the adviser and editor staff
  • All staff members are required to solicit ads
  • Staff members selling a set quota (set by the business manager) will receive a free yearbook or free advertisement
  • When soliciting advertising, staff members will dress and act in a professional manner
  • The business manager and editors will set advertising prices at the beginning of a school year during a budget workshop
  • Prices can be found on the department’s website

 

Distribution

  • Approximately 1,500 copies of The Rider are published two times a year and The Arena’s copy count is determined by the numbered purchased.
  • The Rider is distributed at the end of newspaper class by staff members and is free to all students, faculty and staff.
  • The Arena is distributed during the last few weeks of the school year
  • All advertisers will receive a complimentary copy of each The Rider but must purchase a yearbook at full price
  • As of current date, therideronline.com receives a weekly average of 2,200 unique visitors

 

Scholarship funds

Money collected may be used for a scholarship to graduating students entering the study of journalism at a four-year college. Applicants must have completed the following to apply scholarship money.

♦Completed three years in journalism at Legacy High School

♦Contributed to the success and constant operations of the department

♦Attended seminars and workshops to enrich journalism skills

♦Show a proficiency in the use of computers

♦Be accepted to a four-year college and majoring in journalism-related field

♦Complete a portfolio of high school accomplishments with included resume

  • Scholarships will be awarded to individuals who complete the above qualifications. If two or more students qualify, the funds will be distributed equally
  • Scholarship fund awardees are determined by a board of the principal and two other faculty members
  • Funds are awarded through surplus advertising money
  • The adviser will also actively solicit funds from colleges and universities for journalism students

Letter Jackets

Point System = 50 Points earns a letter in journalism

In order to receive a letter jacket, staff members must communicate to the adviser the status of points and desire to obtain a jacket.

1/2 point – ILPC certificates of superiority/TAJE clip contests (per certificate).
1 point – competing but not placing in UIL.
1 point – each day attending a local journalism activity/workshop.
1 point – every $100 in advertising revenue.
1 point – each grading period with a final grade of C in publications.
1 point – every two hours extra spent working on publications.
1 point – every pod cast posted on website
1 point – supporting jour by wearing your jour shirt to school on shirt day.
2 points – placing at an invitational UIL meet.
2 points – each grading period with a final grade of B in publications.
2 points – honorable mention ILPC IAA
2 points – honorable mention CSPA Gold Circle Awards IAA/Quill and Scroll.
2 points – awards presented at summer workshops (per award).
3 points – each day attending a national journalism convention/activity/workshop.
3 points – each grading period with a final grade of A in publications.
3 points – honorable mention TAJE/NSPA on-site writing competitions.
4 points – placing 4, 5, 6 at UIL district meet.
4 points – editor-in-chief of staff publications (per year)
5 points – placing 1 at UIL invitational meet.
5 points – placing in top three at UIL district
5 points – placing 3 in CSPA Gold Circle Awards IAA/Quill and Scroll.
5 points – receiving excellent at TAJE/NSPA on-site writing competitions.
5 points – working on ILPC Star winning staff
7 points – placing 2 in ILPC IAA.
7 points – placing 2 in CSPA Gold Circle Awards IAA/Quill and Scroll.
7 points – receiving superior at TAJE/NSPA on-site writing competitions.
10 points – Advancing to State UIL Meet per event
15 points – placing 4 at state meet.
10 points – placing 1 in ILPC IAA.
20 points – Tops in Texas
20 points – placing 3 at state meet.
25 points – Texas journalist of the year
30 points – placing 2 at state meet.
30 points – Tops in Texas in ILPC IAA.
50 points – any editor of a national award-winning staff
50 points – placing 1 at state meet.
50 points – receiving national journalist of the year

A student must accumulate 50 points to earn a letter jacket. Points will be tallied at the beginning of each semester to determine who is eligible to earn a letter jacket that semester. If a student has at least 40 points by Dec. 31, they may place an order for a jacket to receive at the banquet in May provided they earn 10 points second semester. If a student does not receive a jacket at the banquet in May but earn 50 points by the end of the year, they may order a jacket to receive when school starts in Aug./Sept. Journalism “Letters” will be given to students who already have a jacket from another organization. These will be awarded at the discretion of the department head. Students are responsible for their own “extras” like names and other additions. The department will only purchase one jacket and one letter. Points will carry over to the next year. If you earn 50 points in your second or third year in journalism, the department cannot purchase another jacket for you. UIL rules dictate that only one jacket may be purchased by the school for anyone student during their high school career.

Use of Equipment

  • All Equipment is strictly for Journalism use only (computers, cameras, lenses, batteries, etc) Students must obtain special permission from the adviser for other purposes.
  • No outside organization may use Legacy Student Media equipment unless approved by the adviser
  • No food or drinks are allowed around computer or camera equipment.
  • All equipment used must be properly checked out through the adviser
  • Students are responsible for the condition of equipment and must pay for any damage in full

Prohibited Materials

Students cannot publish or distribute libelous material. Libelous statements are provable false and unprivileged statements that injure an individual’s or business’s reputation in the community including the following

♦ A public official who holds an elected office or appointed office

♦ A person who is known for personal achievements

♦ School employees

♦ Students, staff or faculty members

Under the “fair comment rule,” a student may express an opinion on a matter of public interest as long as it is in good taste and approved by the editor and the adviser – in some cases the principal

Students are prohibited from publishing materials that are obscene including without special permission from the adviser

♦ sex

♦drugs and alcohol

♦ gang activities

♦foul language

Students are prohibited to publish or distribute materials that will cause a material and substantial disruption of school activities that include

♦strikes

♦seizures of personal property

♦school boycotting or walk-out

♦fights

Students are also prohibited from distributing or publishing any of the following materials

♦racial/ethnic slurs

♦slander/libel

♦racial remarks or undertones

♦violence or threat there of

♦anything that lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value

 

 

Death Policy

Publications often times have to report on a student’s death. The following are guidelines in handling such stories. In general, deaths are not covered in the yearbook because of deadline timing and constrictions. Generalized stories can run in the newspaper.

A death ruled “suicide”, illegal activities, drug/alcohol will not be reported on nor will a tribute of any kind run in any publication.

Suicide or drug related deaths may be generalized and show the compass of the situation, but the story cannot name of the student of whom has committed the act.

Students of which die of “natural” causes can be spotlighted in The Rider and can have a memorial bookmark created at the parent’s cost or donated funds. The story or tribute must be approved by

  • The adviser
  • The principal
  • The parents or guardians (at which a letter of story release must be signed and kept on file)

 

Social Media/Web Policy

  • Any student work cannot be posted to personal social media sites, blogs or websites
  • Students may retweet/like from the Legacy Student Media Account
  • Media students are to refrain from posting comments on other people’s personal sites, blogs, social media pages concerning any item about the journalism program
  • Students given passwords to the department’s social media sites, web sites, blogs can only use these outlets for journalism reasons (social media sites are to used for headline and information only – no editorializing or promoting of personal items or agenda)
  • Students are expected to be professional and refrain from inappropriate comments, materials, photos when posting on personal social media profiles while on publication staff, class functions, trips, class time and other times when representing Legacy Student Media
  • Text messages services within the online newspaper can only be used for official journalistic reasons
  • Students are responsible to know the full “social media policies” manual.

 

Returns/Refunds

  • No refunds can be given for a yearbook purchase
  • A proof of a senior ad will be mailed and/or emailed to the buyer
    • The buyer has two weeks to call/email for corrections
  • Refunds for a senior ad may be given if
    •  there is a mistake made by Legacy Student Media staff and
    • a proof was NOT sent to the buyer
  • An option of a “crack and peal” (stickers) for errors in senior ads may be an option. If Legacy Student Media staff is at fault, the department will pay for the correction. If a proof was sent, the buyer has an option to purchase a correction sticker
  • Any yearbook not retrieved by the buyer with in six months of the distribution date will be resold or donated.

 

Online Take Down

  • Only the writer/photographer, editor, adviser or principal has the right to remove a story from the online edition
  • Stories will only be pulled for fact errors or violations of this policy
  • A letter of “request of removal” for a story can be submitted to the adviser (info@therideronline.com) and will be considered on an individual basis

 

POPS (Parents of Publication Students)

  • The purpose of POPS is to have a relationship between publication students and parents and the adviser and parents.  The adviser will produce newsletters informing parents of upcoming events and recent successes. Also in the newsletter will be information on journalism scholarships and advertising/budget information.
  • POPS members are encouraged to volunteer time working with journalism students. Rather it be to stuff envelopes for a mailout, help with school day photos or to feed staff members during deadlines, parent involvement is a must for success.  POPS are also welcome to attend any journalism trip as a chaperone/sponsor.
  • Although it is not a formal organized booster club, parents are suggested to elect a leader to be the communicator for the group. Parents can set up meals for worknights or success parties when students win awards.
  • For more info and suggestions contact the adviser.