tjTODAY

TJ Media Editorial Policy

Mission Statement

TJ Media is the official media outlet of Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology. tjTODAY refers to both the print edition, which is published monthly by the journalism staff, and the online news website tjTODAY.org. Techniques is the student yearbook. TJTV is the school’s broadcast program. All serve as vehicles for student expression and are open forums of issues of interest and concern to the school community. 

Role of the tjTODAY Editorial Board

Membership

The Editorial Board is composed of the Online Editors-in-Chief, Print Editors-in-Chief, Social Media Manager, Design Manager, and Photography Manager.

Prerequisites for Leadership Positions

Successful completion of Journalism 1 or at least one year of productive contributions to TJ Media followed by enrollment in Journalism 2.

All editorial board members must be members of curricular journalism.

Responsibilities

  1. Print Editor-in-Chief
    • To produce the monthly lead editorial of the opinion section in tjTODAY in a timely manner
    • To edit and approve all pages prior to final export
    • To teach and recruit new eighth period staffers for tjTODAY.org
    • To participate in the monthly press conference with the Jefferson principal
    • To lead monthly issue article brainstorms
    • To complete online production requirements
  2. Online Editor-in-Chief
    • To manage the online website, tjTODAY.org (showcase, special features, etc.)
    • To teach and recruit new eighth period staffers for tjTODAY.org
    • To learn and promote new multimedia efforts on tjTODAY.org
    • To participate in editing articles prior to publication on tjTODAY.org
    • To complete online production requirements
  3. Social Media Manager
    • To produce regular social media content that furthers the goal of all TJ Media publications and communicates reporting done by the staffs of tjTODAY, TJ Yearbook, TJTV, and the TJTV Podcast Network to the rest of the student body and faculty
  4. Design Manager
    • To create and manage a team of staff designers
    • To assign graphic design tasks for online and print to staff designers
    • To serve as a liaison between staff designers and editors-in-chief
    • To participate in the print cycle
    • To complete online production requirements
  5. Team Leader
    • To manage a team of multiple staff writers, which includes:
    • Approving and, when necessary, assigning articles to staffers
    • Checking in regularly with staffers to assist with research, interviews, writing, etc.
    • Setting and enforcing deadlines and standards of quality where appropriate
    • To serve as a liaison between staff writers and editors-in-chief 
    • To ensure that tjTODAY coverage is diverse (covers all grade levels, interests, etc.)
    • To enforce online production requirements for team
  6. Consequences for not meeting expectations are determined by the adviser.

Role of the TJHSST Yearbook Editorial Board

Membership

The Editorial Board is composed of the editors-in-chief and team leaders.

Prerequisites for Leadership Positions

Successful completion of Photojournalism 1 or at least one year of productive contributions to TJ Media followed by enrollment in Photojournalism 2.

All editorial board members must be members of curricular photojournalism.

Responsibilities

  1. Editor-in-Chief
    • Makes final call on thematic decisions.
    • Oversees the content pages of the publication, including writing, photography, design and content of non-reference pages.
    • Should have experience in all three areas. In addition, this person must take on leadership of meetings, classroom activity and deadlines.
    • Oversees team leaders and photography editor.
    • Ideal candidates are comfortable leading their peers and are ambassadors of Techniques.
    • Must be enrolled in the photojournalism class for the 2022-2023 school year.
    • Must have successfully completed at least one year of Photojournalism prior to 2022-2023.
  2. Team Leader
    • Oversees production of content pages of the publication, including writing,
      photography, design and content.
    • Should have experience in all three.
    • This person must take on leadership of team meetings, classroom activity and
      deadlines.
    • Ideal candidates are comfortable leading their peers.
    • Pre-requisite: Photojournalism 1 OR successful completion of one year of 8th
      period staff work.
    • Must be enrolled in the photojournalism class for the 2022-2023 school year.
  3. Consequences for not meeting expectations are determined by the adviser.

Role of the TJTV Broadcast Editorial Board

Membership

The Editorial Board is composed of the executive producers and producers.

Prerequisites for Leadership Positions

Successful completion of Broadcast Journalism 1 or at least one year of productive contributions to TJ Media followed by enrollment in Broadcast Journalism 2.

All editorial board members must be members of curricular broadcast journalism.

Responsibilities

  1. Executive Producer, TJTV
    • Produces weekly morning announcements.
    • Produces additional weekly broadcast videos and features.
    • Decides anchors and anchoring production for each week’s morning announcements.
    • Works alongside producers in planning, filming, and editing broadcast pieces.
    • Reviews and provides feedback for each video prior to publication.
    • Teaches staffers Broadcast techniques and procedures.
    • Uploads final pieces onto Youtube and the tjtoday.org website.
    • Must be enrolled in the Broadcast class for the 2022-2023 school year.
    • Pre-requisite: Broadcast 1 OR successful completion of one year of 8th period staff work.
  2. Producer
    • Produces additional weekly broadcast videos and features.
    • Plans, films and edits broadcast pieces.
    • Teaches staffers on Broadcast techniques and procedures.
    • Must be enrolled in the Broadcast class for the 2022-2023 school year.
    • Pre-requisite: Journalism 1 OR successful completion of one year of 8th period staff work.
  3. Consequences for not meeting expectations are determined by the adviser.

Role of the TJTV Podcast Network Editorial Board

Membership

The Editorial Board is composed of the executive producers and producers.

Prerequisites for Leadership Positions

At least one year of productive contributions to TJ Media and the TJTV Podcast Network.

Responsibilities

  1. Executive Producer, TJTV
    • Oversees weekly production of podcast episodes.
    • Works alongside producers in planning, recording, and editing podcasts.
    • Reviews and provides feedback for each podcast prior to publication.
    • Teaches staffers podcast techniques and procedures.
    • Uploads final pieces on SoundCloud.
    • Pre-requisite: Broadcast 1 OR successful completion of one year of 8th period staff work.
  2. Producer
    • Produces weekly podcast episodes.
    • Plans, records and edits podcast episodes.
    • Teaches staffers podcast techniques and procedures.
    • Pre-requisite: Broadcast 1 OR successful completion of one year of 8th period staff work.
  3. Consequences for not meeting expectations are determined by the adviser.

Content

Decisions

The staff is deeply committed to a code of journalistic ethics that demands the exercise of accuracy, good judgment and impartiality. The content of tjTODAY is determined by the editorial board. Final decisions regarding controversial issues are determined by the Editors-in-Chief with advice and guidance from the adviser.

Goals of tjTODAY

To produce a timely monthly print publication for the benefit of the student body and faculty of TJHSST that includes news on the student body and coverage on student activities, as well as relevant student-produced creative opinion, feature and entertainment pieces.

Goals of tjTODAY Online

To produce a timely online newspaper that informs students of current news and use multimedia tools from SNO and other sources to maintain a creative multimedia convergence zone between all aspects of Jefferson’s Journalism program.

Reasonable Expectation of Privacy

Communal spaces on school grounds, such as commons areas, the cafeteria and sports facilities, are considered public areas where students may expect that members of TJ Media will take photographs or shoot video footage for use in our various publications.

Anonymous Sources

In order to preserve the integrity and transparency of tjTODAY publications, we reserve the use of anonymous sources for cases in which the source provides necessary perspective to the article, but revelation of their identity would put them at risk of harm.

Letters to the Editor

All members of the Jefferson community are encouraged to write an appropriate and focused letter to tjTODAY, which may be included in a print edition, online, or neither at the discretion of the editorial board. Letters should be no more than 300 words and should refer to a specific article. Inappropriate comments including, but not limited to derogatory language, swearing, or inappropriate references, will not be printed.

Guest Writing

Any member of the Jefferson community may contact the editorial board to write an article about their perspective on or experience with a topic of interest to the community. The editorial board may request a change to the subject of the article, revise the article, and/or decide not to publish the article at its discretion.

Obituary Policy

    1. Extent of Coverage: In the event of death, current students, alumni from the past five years (about whose deaths the school community was notified of), current faculty and former faculty from within the last three years will be covered.
    2. Location of Coverage: Within two days of a student or alumni’s death, an obituary will be included on tjTODAY.org and assigned to the Showcase category of the site. 
    3. Amount of Coverage: Articles will have a minimum word count of 300 words and a maximum word count of 600 words. All articles will be focused on the deceased’s life. Multimedia pieces will be avoided in the case of online coverage. Portraits of the student may be included in standard size. Any remembrance activities by the current student body for the deceased in question will be covered separately and may include articles, photo galleries, broadcast productions and/or multimedia pieces with an emphasis on the individual’s life. More extensive photo coverage is permissible. Details that may be covered include information about the deceased from their time as a member of the student body or faculty at Jefferson, date of death, date of birth, cause of death (if released to the public) and information about memorial services. Statements from parents, if voluntary, are appropriate for current members of the student body or alumni from the past five years.
    4. Suicide: In the event of suicide, amount of coverage and policies remain the same; however, details of coverage will be conducted at the discretion of the editorial board. Permissible details remain the same as in any other case of death, except in “cause of death.” “Suicide” may only be included in the coverage if publicly announced as cause of death, and will be phrased as “took their/her/his own life,” without inclusion of specific details of death. Additionally, any/all opportunities for death/grief counseling or other resources will be included in the coverage. If it is stated that the person took their own life, suicide hotline information should also be included.

Prior Review Policy

    1. Prior Review/Restraint: There is no one who has prior review/restraint over any publications from the online or print staff of tjTODAY. This includes attempts at review on writing, photos, graphic design, or social media.
    2. Final Approval
      • Print: Final approval of articles and/or other pieces lies in the hands of the editorial board, which support and guidance from the adviser. As part of the export process, all pages must pass through multiple layers of the editorial structure before being sent to press.
      • Online: Final approval of articles and/or other pieces typically lies in the hands of the two editors who view before it goes online, one of which is required to be an Editor-in-Chief.
      • In the case of opinion articles or news articles on controversial issues, staff members will seek the advice and guidance of the adviser as well as the editors-in-chief.

Quote Verification

    1. In the event that an interviewee would like to confirm their quotes from an interview, writers should send them the final quotes that will be used in the article for them to view. Interviewees may not request to see the article before publication. This violates tjTODAY’s policy of journalistic integrity. A quote confirmation is an alternative to this.
    2. Context: Individuals may be given quotes for confirmation; however, they will not not be given the text of the article surrounding those quotes. Partial excerpts for the sake of context are decided at the discretion of the editorial board, specifically for controversial or news related issues.
    3. Action: If a quote is found incorrect by the interviewee and the audio recording does not corroborate their claim, the audio recording and timestamp should be sent to the interviewee. If a quote is found incorrect by the interviewee and the audio recording corroborates their claim, the interviewee can explain the correct version of the quote. Following this, the writer must either use the verified quote or use another correct quote based on the context of the quote.

Correction Policy

    1. When errors are printed, the errors should be submitted to a relevant editor-in-chief (print or online) with the context in which the error occurred.
    2. Print Edition: If the errors misrepresent a key fact in the piece in question or misprint a student’s name or grade level, they should be considered major and will be included in the corrections box of the next print edition of tjTODAY. 
    3. Online: If the errors misrepresent a key fact in the piece in question or misprint a student’s name or grade level, they should be considered major and will be included in an editor’s note at the bottom of the original article online.
    4. All other errors are considered minor and will only be corrected as outlined above at the discretion of the editorial board.

Take Down Policy

The purpose of tjTODAY is to serve as an accurate record of events and issues from students’ perspectives. Writers and editors read and edit every article before publication to ensure its adherence to journalistic values including validity, newsworthiness and ethics. For these reasons, the editorial board will not take down published articles except in extraordinary circumstances.

If someone requests a takedown of an online article, the board will consider the following questions:

    1. Does the article contain libel, inaccurate information, unwarranted invasion of privacy, obscenity, or copyright infringement? If so, the board will remove this unprotected speech and add a corrections statement at the end of the article per the “Correction” policy with verification. If the editorial board determines that this unprotected speech permeates too much of the article to maintain, the board may decide to take down the entire article. The board must come to a consensus to make this decision.
    2. Does the article harm the requester so significantly that it outweighs all other factors? The editorial board will investigate this claim and weigh it against the value of an unaltered historical record. The board must come to a consensus before taking down an article for this reason.

If the content does not meet such extraordinary circumstances as detailed above, it will remain posted. Any and all takedown requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis. It is worth noting that if the information is factual, it will likely remain posted except in extreme circumstances as determined by the editorial board. 

Regardless of the outcome, the Online Editors-in-Chief will respond in writing to the takedown request, explaining the board’s action(s) and rationale for the final decision.

Print articles can be removed from the online version of the print edition in question, which is located in the Issuu archive. The procedure for removal of print articles is the same as the procedure for online articles outlined above.

Advertising

    1. Types of Advertising: Advertisements accepted will be at the discretion of the editorial board. Advertisements include, but are not limited to, local restaurants, stores and private companies. The editorial board has the final say over advertising content.
    2. Advertising Errors: In the case of poor quality print reproductions, a reprint in the print edition of tjTODAY or a month’s inclusion in the online tjTODAY advertising section will be offered as compensation. If vital information is printed incorrectly, a reprint of the advertisement in the print edition of tjTODAY is mandatory.
    3. Inappropriate Advertising Content: Inappropriate advertising content in the print or online editions of tjTODAY includes any obscene, racist, sexist or other blatantly disruptive or libelous content. Other inappropriate advertising content is left up to the discretion of the editorial board at the time, but should include any material the editorial board of tjTODAY would not feel comfortable including in any article or package in the online or print editions of the newspaper. In the case that an inappropriate advertising content situation arises, and has not been paid for, the advertiser should be informed of the situation and the managing editor should request a new advertisement be submitted, with a note that publication will be withheld until such a submission. In the case that an inappropriate advertising content situation arises, and has already been paid for, the check should not be deposited until the managing editor has contacted the advertiser and confirmed that a new advertisement is being submitted. If no new advertisement is submitted within a month, the check should be returned. If the advertiser wishes to enter a new submission at any time, they must send a new payment with the submission.
    4. Advertising without Submission: If an advertisement contract is submitted with payment and without submission, and the advertiser requests a creation of the advertisement by the staff of tjTODAY, the staff member who brings in the advertisement is responsible for the creation of the advertisement, making use of any materials provided (website, business card, etc). Created submissions must be approved with advertiser, then stored for additional use in the Jefferson R-drive folder of tjTODAY’s advertisements.
    5. Advertising Locations
      • Online
        • Online Advertising has room for up to five advertisements per month, all of uniform size.
        • Advertisements brought in by staff members will be placed in the advertising bar in the sidebar on the tjTODAY website. Each advertisement will run for one month.
        • Other advertisements will have their positions determined on the front page on a case by case basis.
      • Print
        • One B-size advertisement, two C-size or four D-size..
        • One Full Page advertisement

Sales and Distribution

  1. In-School Distribution: tjTODAY magazines are distributed throughout the school 
  2. Mailing Subscription: A full year subscription can be purchased through the Thomas Jefferson Publications Package or by sending a check or money order for $30 to tjTODAY.

Social Media Policy

Purpose

The purpose of tjTODAY’s usage of social media is to further engage the student body on the internet and promote tjTODAY reporting to the community through timely and relevant content.

Information Usage

With the permission of original content creators, information gathered via social media can be used in multimedia, articles or other packages on both the print and online editions of tjTODAY.

When a user participates in a statistics-gathering ventures online through a poll on the tjTODAY website, a poll on Ion, or an editor-approved Google Form, they grant automatic permission for their response to be used as tjTODAY sees fit.

Approval of any sensitive information is up to the discretion of the editorial board.

Comment Policy

    1. Inappropriate Comments: Inappropriate comments posted at tjTODAY.org or any social media handles will be removed at the discretion of the editorial board. Inappropriate comments include but are not limited to: derogatory language, swearing, or inappropriate references. 
    2. Identification: Names and email addresses are required for comments to tjTODAY.org, in addition to a CAPTCHA code for human identification. Users will not be routinely contacted using email addresses, nor added to any sort of email list.

Marketing and Publicity

    1. The goal of marketing contests among the student body of Jefferson and conducting social media releases on upcoming pieces is to help increase the role tjTODAY plays within the student body and faculty of Jefferson.
    2. Contest Regulations: Contest rules and regulations will vary from situation to situation. All rules, however, will be included on any social media handles through which they are advertised, on the tjTODAY.org website and in any other capacities through which they appear.

Board of Education Student Media Policy

The Fairfax County Public Schools student media policies under which tjTODAY operates are available here: https://www.boarddocs.com/vsba/fairfax/Board.nsf/files/ACPR446BBB9E/$file/R2612.pdf