Verde Magazine follows the NSPA’s Code of Ethics for High School Journalists. Below are the key elements of this policy, an abridged version for the understanding of our readers. The full policy and more information can be found here.
1) Be responsible.
- Keep yourself and your biases separate from your coverage.
- Understand your rights as a student journalist as guaranteed by state and federal law.
- Make informed decisions about the use of your power as a journalist.
- Demonstrate credibility and integrity outside of journalistic work.
2) Be fair.
- Approach news and events without predisposed notions regarding the events and phenomena occurring.
- Explore controversial topics with a neutral agenda.
- Do not use your position as a journalist to favor certain sources or opinions.
- Welcome diverse perspectives and viewpoints.
- Disclose any potential conflicts of interest.
3) Be honest.
- Never plagiarize work.
- Avoid using imaginary or hypothetical scenarios.
- Do not assume all sources are correct and corroborate any questionable assertions posed by sources.
- Ensure all sources grant permission to record video or audio before proceeding.
4) Be accurate.
- Report based on firsthand experience whenever possible.
- Fact-check all articles.
- Ensure all quotes and facts are put together in a truthful and unbiased narrative with appropriate and accurate context.
5) Be independent.
- Accept no gifts or favors that could compromise your journalistic independence.
- Hold school officials and other persons in power accountable when student control of student media is threatened.
- Learn state laws regarding freedom of information.
6) Minimize harm.
- Think through the possible implications of all stories and prepare accordingly.
- Be careful when covering issues involving sources who endured traumatic or distressing experiences.
- Balance the public’s right to information with an individual’s right to privacy.
- Avoid naming people involved in illegal activities.
7) Be accountable.
- Publicize mistakes or corrections made to any stories.
- Highlight unethical practices and remedy them.
- Use anonymous sources sparingly.
- Provide opportunities for criticism from readers and viewers.