Adviser Update Adviser Update Fall 2017 - Page 19

en on the way to your forum public forum.” It conveys the intent behind the public forum phrase anyone unfamiliar with the relevant Supreme Court rulings should understand. School officials actually practice this policy by exercising a “hands-off” role and empowering student editors to lead. Advisers teach and offer students advice, but they neither control nor make final decisions regarding content. This forum, and thus policy statement, is best because it places journalistic responsibility in student hands as they face issues, demonstrate what they have learned in multiple classes and practice civic engagement through content leadership and establishing an unfettered voice. • FORUMS BY PRACTICE A school policy may or may not exist regarding student media, but administrators have a “hands-off” approach and have empowered students to control content decisions. Advisers teach and offer students advice, but they neither control nor make final decisions regarding Closed and limited forums offer the specter of prior review and restraint, potentially creating fake news and inviting censorship. Establishing the forum choice early in the decision- making process sets the table for other crucial choices: To help schools, students and communities understand what we consider public forums, please note these definitions: • FORUMS BY POLICY An official school policy exists that designates student editors as the ultimate authority regarding content. content. • Developing a mission state for your student media • Revising or creating an editorial policy • Crafting separate ethical guidelines that show why your editorial policy choices work • Building from ethical guidelines to staff manual procedures that show how students will carry out the guidelines. For example, if the publication staff has an ethical guideline saying it will use unnamed sources only in rare cases, the procedures would be the steps the editorial board takes to decide if this is one of those cases – the unnamed source could be in danger, for instance. Information about developing these four steps is available at the SPRC’s Foundation package. Creating a successful Foundation package for your student media is among the most important choices advisers and students can make. A good choice aids all involved, from students to community. A wrong choice, well, is very, very bad, also for all involved. Resources: When your publication is a public forum and when it is not, Mark Goodman, Knight chair in Scholastic Journalism, Kent State University. Candace Perkins Bowen Candace Perkins Bowen, MJE, is an associate professor in Kent State’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication and director of both the Center for Scholastic Journalism and the Ohio Scholastic Media Association. A former Dow Jones News Fund Journalism Teacher of the Year, she has served as the president of the Journalism Education Association. She is part of the Student Press Law Center’s Steering Committee for its Advisory Council and past head of the Scholastic Journalism Division of AEJMC