This policy will outline the manner in which content is published and the roles and responsibilities of those within The Gazette.

Roles

Editor-in-Chief

1.1 The Editor-in-Chief is responsible for the coordination of the Editorial Board and staff in the production of the newspaper. He or she makes the final decision on all content published by The Gazette in print and online. He or she ensures all copy is properly edited and free of libel. He or she also makes decisions on the quantity of pages in each edition and the placement of advertising.

1.2 The Editor-in-Chief, with or without the consultation or consensus of the Editorial Board, shall have the final authority and responsibility for all editorial content published by The Gazette.

1.3 For sensitive issues or where there is doubt or disagreement, the Editor-in-Chief’s decision is final.

 

Front Office

1.1 Front Office, consisting of the Editor-in-Chief, Print Managing Editor and Digital Managing Editor, are collectively responsible for approving and editing all content published by The Gazette.

 

Section Editor

1.1 Section Editors assign, create and edit content for their respective section, with the oversight and guidance of a member of Front Office.

 

Volunteer Staff and Contributors

1.1 All members of the Western community are able to contribute to The Gazette.

1.2 Students can become staff members if they have five published pieces, including writing, photos, graphics or videos, within the current academic year or the preceding six months.

1.3 Contributors are students who have not yet completed five published pieces.

1.4 All staff and contributors must have an orientation session before contributing.

1.5 Members of the broader Western community can submit or be solicited for submissions, typically for, but not limited to, opinions pieces.

1.6 The titles of those who submit work will be noted either in the byline or at the end of an article, e.g. “Gazette Staff,” “Contributor,” “Op-Ed Contributor” for bylines or “Political science professor at Western” at the end of an article.

 

Process

Principles

1.1 All content published by The Gazette must adhere to the Code of Ethics and applicable Ontario laws governing libel.

1.2 The principles guiding all of The Gazette’s published material are: fairness, balance, impartiality and independence.

1.3 The Gazette follows professional journalistic standards and practices as closely as possible and is cognizant of the evolving nature of the journalism industry.

1.4 Content can be delivered to readers in a multitude of ways but good journalistic caution and responsibility still holds above all else, no matter the platform.

1.5 More detailed procedures for each section will be available to editors and writers.

Publication Schedule

1.1 The Gazette shall publish in print twice a week during the academic year (fall/winter semesters), outside of holidays and the exam period.

1.2 Print publications include special issues when appropriate and magazines.

1.3 The Gazette shall publish daily online during the academic year.

1.4 The Gazette may publish special online editions when appropriate.

 

Content Ideas

1.1 Each section holds pitch meetings on at least a weekly basis during the academic year.

1.2 Any Editor, Staff or Contributor can pitch a story idea at pitch meetings, or to an Editor or member of Front Office throughout the week.

1.3 Members of the Western community can submit story tips and ideas by coming into the office, via email or through a submission form on the website.

1.4 Content ideas are judged on their timeliness, relevance and interest level.

1.5 The Gazette is under no responsibility to pursue or publish any particular story idea.

Content Creation

1.1 All content is almost exclusively written or created by Gazette Contributors, Staff or Editors, exceptions being opinions submissions, submitted photos and stock photos.

1.2 Reporters from The Gazette may ask for information, comments and quotes from anyone, but they must always identify themselves as representing The Gazette and make it clear that the information being provided may be used for publication. No one is required to answer questions posed by a reporter from The Gazette. However, when pertinent to a story, The Gazette has the right to report that an individual declined to be interviewed, or could not be reached for comment at press time.

1.3 When preparing a story, particularly a news story, it is the writer’s responsibility to get comments from all sides of a debate. Each story in The Gazette must have at least three (3) sources representing all sides of the story.

1.4 The Gazette uses a modified Canadian Press style. The CP Stylebook, along with Caps and Spelling is the guide for capitalization, abbreviation, punctuation, use of titles, neutral language, and other style matters.

1.5 The Concise Oxford Dictionary is the authority for spelling, with some specific exceptions noted in the two volumes above.

1.6 The Gazette also uses a style guide prepared for writers based on The CP Stylebook incorporating Western’s terms and preferences.

1.7 Writers routinely verify copy for accuracy with their sources. If a serious dispute over content arises between a writer and a source, the writer consults the Editor-in-Chief. If all subsequent attempts at agreement between the source and the writer fail, the story will not run in the publication, or, in the case of a news story, may run but with all references to the source removed.

1.8 The Gazette makes every effort to ensure objectivity, balance and fairness in its reporting. Thus, it does not permit itself to be used as a propaganda vehicle for any individual, group or entity, nor does it single out any individual, group or entity for malicious or unfair attack.

 

Editing Process

1.1 Section Editors and Front Office edit all written copy.

1.2 Every story should go through six rounds of edits: the writer, a Section Editor, Copy Editor and all of Front Office.

1.3 Editing is done for accuracy, fairness, grammar, spelling and Canadian Press Style.

1.4 For print editions, Front Office will be responsible for ensuring accuracy, particularly with regards to dates, and length. Further editing will take place by Front Office on proofs for story length and design.

1.5 For online publishing, every effort will be made to keep standard editing procedures. However, exceptions can and will be made in breaking news situations and for after hours content.

1.6 In a breaking news situation, there must be at least one member of Front Office, ideally the Editor-in-Chief, editing copy before publishing online or on social media. Accuracy and verification are paramount and the desire to be first does not trump being accurate.

1.7 The Gazette shall not publish material considered to be libelous, racist, sexist, or otherwise contrary to law or The Gazette’s own policies by a qualified member of the Ontario Bar (as agreed upon by both the USC and The Gazette) or by the Editor-in-Chief.

1.8 Once an article has been published, the writer will send a link to sources in the article to verify its accuracy.

Professional Feedback

1.1 An Editorial Adviser is hired by the Editor-in-Chief annually to edit and provide critiques of print editions and online content.

1.2 The Editorial Adviser shall be a current or former journalism professional or academic familiar with journalism standards, particularly print standards.

1.3 Edited issues and feedback will be given to Front Office to review and pass on to editors and writers at The Gazette so that they can improve the quality of their work.

 

Opinions Content

1.1 The Gazette is a forum for debate and discussion on a wide variety of issues and strives for a multitude of views.

1.2 A clear distinction for the reader between news and opinion is essential. Articles that contain explicit opinion or personal interpretation are printed in The Gazette’s Opinions section or clearly identified as opinion.

1.3 All opinions published are strictly those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of The Gazette, its editors or staff, or the USC.

 

Signed Editorials

1.4 Signed editorials, or columns, are restricted to editors. However, Op-Ed submissions are accepted, see X.X.

1.5 Columns are held to the same journalistic standard as all other reporting in The Gazette and must be sourced, fact checked and verified before publication.

 

Unsigned Editorials

1.6 The Gazette Editorial Board is the institutional voice of the newspaper. It is composed of ten members of the editorial staff.

1.7 Ex-officio members of the Editorial Board are: Editor-in-Chief, Print Managing Editor, Digital Managing Editor, Opinions Editor and one News Editor, who is decided amongst the News Editors each semester.

1.8 The remaining five editors are chosen via application to make up the rest of the Editorial Board.

1.9 The Gazette editorial board meets regularly to discuss and debate issues important to the Western community. The results of these discussions will be published in the form of an unsigned editorial appearing in The Gazette. Editorials may be written by any member of The Gazette editorial board. Editorials do not reflect the opinion of any one editor, every single editor, The Gazette or the USC.

1.10 The Editorial Board will hold at least two editorial meetings in a public space per semester where they will debate a topic of wider importance to the Western community.

1.11 The Gazette’s Editorial Board may decide to endorse a candidate for USC president. If they choose to, all candidates will be offered a one hour period to explain their platform, answer a set of predetermined questions from the Editorial Board and then individual questions from Editorial Board members. The Editorial Board will then debate the candidates’ platforms and vote on a candidate to endorse or choose to endorse no candidate. Decisions will be made by a two-thirds majority of the Editorial Board. Editors not on the Editorial Board may be allowed to participate in endorsements at the discretion of the Editor-in-Chief.

 

Letters to the Editor

1.12 The Gazette publishes letters to the editor, subject to limitations of space and the law governing libel. The opinions editor will judge letters by their relevance to university issues and to stories published in the paper.

1.13 Letters must include the contributor’s name and identification (ie. Economics II, Dean of Arts). They must be typed, double-spaced and then delivered to The Gazette office or emailed to opinions@westerngazette.ca or editor@westerngazette.ca.

1.14 The Gazette reserves the right to edit letters and submissions and makes no guarantees that a letter will be published.

 

Op-Eds

1.15 The Gazette publishes op-eds pieces, subject to limitations of space and the law governing libel. Op-eds may discuss a variety of topics and issues, though priority will be given to those addressing timely issues and that affect Western undergraduate students and campus life.

1.16 All submissions must be original to The Gazette and must not have been published elsewhere, including personal blogs.

1.17 Op-eds must include the contributor’s name and identification (ie. Economics II, Dean of Arts), as well as a list of sources used. They must be typed, double-spaced and then delivered to The Gazette office or emailed to opinions@westerngazette.ca or editor@westerngazette.ca.

1.18 The Gazette reserves the right to edit op-eds and makes no guarantees that they will be published.

 

Community Editorials

1.19 Community editorials are like unsigned editorials from the Editorial Board but are generated from discussion and debate of community members on an issue.

1.20 Two community editorials may be held per semester in a public space.

1.21 The community editorial will be representative of campus in terms of race, gender and position (undergrad, grad, professor, administration, staff).

1.22 The editorial will be written by a member of the community editorial board or a Gazette editor.

 

Comments

1.1 The Gazette encourages comments on its stories online. Comments are monitored by The Gazette and its editors. Comments are published as submitted without moderation.

1.2 Comments may be deleted or reported on The Gazette website and official social media accounts if they contain excessive profanity, promote hate of any kind, harass or intimidate other commenters, are posted more than once, use misleading or offensive names, are potentially libelous, contain commercial content, are promotional in nature, or violate The Gazette’s Code of Ethics. Comments should always be relevant to the article and discussion and may be deleted if they do not offer a meaningful contribution.

1.3 The Gazette may close comments on its stories on its website or social media if the discussion becomes unproductive, irrelevant or incendiary.

1.4 Comments on the website — like any content published by The Gazette — are The Gazette‘s property and may be published in the print edition.

1.5 The Gazette may release commenter information to police if required by law.

1.6 The Gazette is not responsible or liable for any libelous, false or harmful comments made by third parties on its website or its stories on social media.

 

Corrections

1.1 Grammar, typos and minor changes in structure do not need to be noted in a correction.

1.2 Significant factual errors and errors of omission need to be corrected. Clarifications should also be noted. Common examples of corrections include: the misspelling of names and organizations, incorrect times or dates, incorrect titles of sources, non-attribution of quotes or paraphrased sections, and unclear phrasing or structure which distorts the facts.

1.3 There will be a weekly summary of all The Gazette’s mistakes posted online.

 

Online

1.4 Corrections are made as they arise online.

1.5 Corrections are noted at the end of an article in italics and include the date, time, original mistake, corrected information and the fact that the article was updated. An asterisk may also be added in the body text where the original mistake was made.

1.6 Mistakes which have made their way into print will also note this fact.

 

In print

1.7 Only mistakes that make their way into the print edition will be noted in print. All corrections will appear on page two of the next issue following the notification of a mistake being made.

 

Social media

1.8 While space might sometimes be very limited sometimes, this does not mean accuracy and corrections standards do not apply. It’s often easier to distort the facts, misquote or make an error when there are short spaces and speed is factored in. Getting something wrong on social media is often very difficult to fix due to the original post getting more attention than the correction.

1.9 On Facebook, where you can edit posts, edit anything which is inaccurate or may need clarification and, if it’s a major correction, note this fact at the bottom of the post.

1.10 On Twitter, since you cannot edit tweets, issue corrections in separate tweets. Begin the tweet with the “Correction:” and state what the error was and the correct information. If the error is egregious, delete the original tweet, but do not do so for regular corrections.

1.11 On other platforms, use common sense and acknowledge and correct mistakes to the best of your ability. Consult front office if you have any questions or need advice.

 

Complaints

1.1 See Complaints Procedure.

 

Archives

1.1 Stories published by The Gazette are archived online. This archive in intended to mimic the function of print archives, which are used as a historical artifact and public record of accurate information. Since content in the archive is often searchable, readers or sources sometimes ask that content be removed from the archive.

1.2 As a newspaper, The Gazette is in the business of publishing and generally avoids unpublishing content. The archive is a historical record and The Gazette never acts in a way that alters the accuracy and completeness of that record. Since information published in The Gazette is vetted by editors and reporters, situations rarely arise when unpublishing content is warranted or justified.

1.3 Among cases that do not qualify are letters, quotes from sources, or other information in published articles, editorials or columns that is accurate or cannot be proved inaccurate. If the information was reported accurately and gathered fairly, it is part of the public record and will not be altered.

1.4 In some cases, articles may deserve an amendment or clarification if details related to the story have since changed. Such examples are usually related to legal matters where information concerning the outcome of the matter was released after the article was published. Altering such stories is intended to improve clarity and add context.

1.5 In most cases, content fit for unpublishing must be verifiably inaccurate, potentially libellous, in contravention of a publication ban or other legal consideration.

1.6 In all cases, editors will note that an article has been altered or removed.

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