ECHO Editorial Policy

The ECHO is published monthly by the WGHS newspaper staff and serves as a public forum for its readers, providing an accurate, unbiased report of news affecting them and a forum for opinions of students, faculty and parents.

The ECHO staff has established as editorial policy that:

1) Obscene, racist, sexist and libelous material will not appear in the ECHO.

2) The ECHO staff and adviser are the only individuals who have the right to review the content of the ECHO prior to publication.

3) The ECHO will attempt to be fair, impartial, accurate, truthful and responsible when presenting ideas to its readers.

4) The ECHO will make a clear distinction between fact and opinion.

5) All articles and graphics except editorials (which represent the opinion of the majority of the staff), news briefs and clip art will have the authors identified with bylines unless it is written by a contributing writer who, for reasons of privacy, wishes to remain anonymous. Collaborated articles will have bylines of all who participated in the writing and researching of the articles.

6) Subject matter and opinions in signed op-ed articles will be considered those of the signer and not necessarily those of the Echo staff, the WGHS faculty or the Webster Groves School District.

7) Unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of a majority of Echo staff members.

8) Issues considered controversial will be covered with the approval of the editors and the adviser. Staff members will not focus on controversial topics solely for the creation of news or self-publicity.

9) All articles, graphics, photos, art, columns, pages, reviews and other material creatively conceived, with exception to staff editorials, news briefs, mug shots and cut-outs will be bylined with the producer’s or contributor’s name.
For graphic bylines, producers will be signified with “Photo/Graphic by…,” contributors and materials used under Fair Use will be signified with “Photo/Graphic from…” and graphics used with permission of the copyright owner will be signified with “Photo/Graphic courtesy of…”
All bylined writers will be held accountable for their work.
When more than one person has contributed creatively to a piece of work, any person who has contributed to the work must be bylined as a producer.
Content used from Tribune News Service will be credited as directed by the ECHO’s agreement with it:
End of cutline: “© 2018, Chicago Tribune. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency.”
Photo and graphic credits shall include the name of the originating publication followed by a slash, then Tribune News Service. For example: Photo credit: Miami Herald/Tribune News Service

10) Any current student, staff member, faculty member or building administrator who dies during the year will be recognized in the ECHO in the form of a 300-400 obituary with factual information (date of birth, date of death, survivors, organizations, hobbies, interests) and one photo if possible. The ECHO will be sensitive to the feelings of the deceased’s family and will treat all deaths with taste and respect. Cause of death will be included if the majority of the staff feels it is necessary to the story.

11) Letters to the Editor are welcome and will be printed so long as there is room and timing permits. The ECHO reserves the right to edit letters, as long as the intent is unchanged. Letters must be signed; names may be withheld from publication if requested. Letters containing obscenity, racism, sexism, libel or personal attacks will not be printed.

12) Recognizing the value of statistical information to report on cultural and societal norms, the ECHO will conduct periodic polls. The ECHO will always report the scope of the survey (number, timeframe, breakdown), and will not require the names of respondents. Each survey is to have the following reminder: “Participation in all ECHO surveys is voluntary.”

13) Online comments will require a verifiable name and email address. Online comments that are found in violation of the editorial policy and spam will be removed as quickly as possible.

14) When interviewing, ECHO staffers will always ask the source how to spell the name and what pronouns are preferred. The ECHO will then use that spelling and those pronouns in the story.

15) All noteworthy errors in the ECHO will be corrected in the following issue.

16) Proper channels will be followed in order to obtain permission to use copy-righted material.

17) The ECHO is not a public relations vehicle for WGHS nor the Webster Groves School District.

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