The Paly Voice, an online publication maintained by and whose content is updated by students in Palo Alto High School’s Web Journalism class, is a designated public forum for student expression and the discussion of issues of concern to its readership. The following editorial guidelines apply to work produced by The Paly Voice staff but may not always apply to the work of its client publications, which nonetheless will appear on the site.
The Editorial Board, which consists of the editors of The Paly Voice, will determine the content of the website and all unsigned editorials, except those that come from its client publications (Verde, The Campanile, and InFocus); therefore, the material (including material from client publications) may not necessarily reflect the opinions or policies of Palo Alto High School or Palo Alto Unified School District faculty, administrators or the Board of Education. Signed columns or reviews represent only the opinions of individual authors.
Student journalists on The Paly Voice staff will publish only legally protected speech, following the legal definitions of libel, obscenity and invasion of privacy. Consistent with California Education Code section 48907, the staff also will refrain from material (including submissions from the community) which so incite students as to create a clear and present danger of the commission of unlawful acts on school premises or the violation of lawful school regulations, or the substantial disruption of the orderly operation of the school.
The adviser of The Paly Voice will supervise production and offer advice to help the staff maintain professional standards of English and journalism The adviser will also maintain the other provisions as required by California Education Code section 48907. The adviser will not determine the content of the site. Student editors make all final content decisions.
School officials are not responsible for the content of the publication; consequently The Paly Voice will not be reviewed, restrained or withheld by school officials prior to publication. Because the staff will control the content of the publication, it will therefore also take financial and legal responsibility for what is published, with one significant exception: In the case of material that appears on The Paly Voice but originates from one of the client publications, the client publication and individual authors will assume financial and legal responsibility for what is published.
The Paly Voice staff will work to meet the standards set by the National Scholastic Press Association’s Model Code of Ethics for High School Journalists.
The Paly Voice staff will not alter the content of news photos through technological or other means. Image enhancements for technical clarity is always permissible. Photo illustrations are acceptable, but should be clearly labelled. Likewise, the staff will not stage or re-create news events for photographs. The Paly Voice staff will not publish images or other work without properly crediting the creators of that work and obtaining reprint/rebroadcast permissions of copyrighted work. Copyright permission for student work is implied in the relationship between The Paly Voice and its client publications.
The Paly Voice will not engage in plagiarism in any form.
In the interest of representing a broad range of views, The Paly Voice staff will make efforts to avoid having a staff member interviewing his or her friends or classmates whenever possible and instead will seek out a broad range of sources for any story.
Staff members will strive to correct any error before publication – and will correct errors after posting when necessary; if the editorial board determines a significant error has been published, a formal correction will appear on the site and remain as a part of the site’s permanent archive. To submit a correction, email firstname.lastname@example.org.