By students, for students.

Ray-Pec NOW

By students, for students.

Ray-Pec NOW

By students, for students.

Ray-Pec NOW

Publication Policies

Editorial Policy
Each publication of the RayPecNOW media department will contain an unsigned editorial, whose topic is decided by the Editorial Board, which is comprised of all those in a student leadership position. The editorial reflects the opinion of the entire staff, including writers.

Signed opinions in the publications of the RayPecNOW media department reflect the view of the author. A signed cartoon reflects the view of the cartoonist.

The Editorial Board is charged with ensuring the publications of the Ray-Pec Now media department are responsible media outlets, pursuing important stories but following appropriate journalistic guidelines and traditions. Other staff members must abide by the decisions of the editorial board. Student editors make all editorial decision for RayPecNOW; though such decision must not violate the tenets of “English and journalism” that must be upheld by the adviser. The adviser maintains such standards, but does so in a collegial, educationally appropriate way.

Letters to the Editors
RayPecNOW welcomes letters to the editor. They should be 300 words or less and may be edited for length. Letters with profanity or obscenity will not be printed. Unsigned or anonymous letters will not be published. The Editorial Board reserves the right to withhold a letter or column and return it for more information if it determines the piece contains items of unprotected speech as defined by this policy. Letters will be edited for spelling and grammar and checked for verification. Letters may be submitted to room 811 or emailed to [email protected]

Controversial Issues
A controversial issue is defined as a public dispute usually over public opinion. RayPecNOW media department is responsible to research the topic thoroughly enough to become aware of the complexity of the issue and to cover the issue comprehensively, avoiding one-sidedness.
The Editorial Board and advisor will discuss the proposed content to assure that coverage meets legal, ethical, and policy standards. Content which could be viewed as controversial will be reviewed by the section editor and at least one other source.
When individuals are criticized in a story, RayPecNOW will provide a chance for the individual criticized to comment within the same story as the criticism directed at the individual.

Opinion Columns
The views of the reporter are not necessarily those of the rest of the staff. RayPecNOW strives to provide a variety of different views.

Bylines, photo credits, and captions
Excluding editorials, all other stories must have bylines. Photos and illustrations must also give credit. Bylines and captions should not be cut for spacing. If more than one reporter contributed, names should be listed alphabetically by last name.

All photographers are expected to write captions and get correct spellings of the names. This should include who, what, when, where, why, and how if possible, and use ABCD format. Also, the caption should include the first and last names of each person in the photo whose face is seen. Grade or job position of the person if applicable. Photos with 5 or more people do not need to identify individuals by name.

If any current student, teacher or faculty member dies over the course of the school year (if an adult staff member dies during summer break, it will be covered on return in August) it will be covered as a news story with no more than 250 words. It should include factual information ( date of birth, hobbies, participation in organizations, interests etc.) and the most recent yearbook photo if possible. RayPecNOW does not need permission from the deceased family before running the story. When possible, seek an interview with the family of the deceased.

The Panther yearbook will design a 1 page memorial in the yearbook if time and space are available to stay within the confines of the Plant deadlines. The staff will make every effort possible to meet with family members to review content and design prior to publication.

If a student or faculty member commits a criminal act that is newsworthy, it may be published provided it is reported on appropriately. IF A PERSON IS ARRESTED, WE WILL GET A COPY OF THE POLICE REPORT OR ANY ADDITIONAL COURT DOCUMENTS AS SOURCES. Names of underaged students who are charged with crimes will not be published, unless they are charged as adults.

Anonymous Sources
Anonymous sources may only be used if protecting a person or victim’s privacy. For example, an undocumented person may be used as an anonymous source in an article pertaining to the subject. In most cases this will only happen in the news section or in a special report.

Conflict of Interest
Reporters should not quote themselves, nor friends in a story they are writing. Reporters should not write a story about an organization or activity they participate in. They should also avoid interviewing a teacher they have that year. If necessary, ask a fellow staff member to conduct the interview for you and this person should get credit in a byline.

Accuracy Checks
All reporters should perform an accuracy check on all stories. The purpose is to catch errors and misunderstandings before publications. Take these checks seriously because errors can erode the public’s trust in the program.
Be sure to check spelling of names, the clarity of figures and the accuracy of quotes. The should be done in all cases after a story is edited by the editor.

The purpose of an accuracy check is fact-checking and clarification. It is not designed to let sources edit or put spin on a story. The point is accuracy, not a happy source. Check with your editor before changing any quote.
Every interview should have a source sign off sheet and filed with the interview and story. This is a hoop to jump through only to protect the reporter and the publication.

In the event that RayPecNOW has made a factual error in print, a standard correction stating the error and the correct fact will be published in the next issue or available time to publish. In the print issue it will run on page 1 or 2. A standard typography error will not be publically corrected. The responsibility for writing and corrections lies with the editor on whose page or story it occurred.

No photo or illustration will be used which demeans an individual or organization or holds him up to ridicule. The photo editor and the editorial board will decide the use of photos depicting strong emotion or grief. Photos should also not be edited to remove or add items not in the original photograph.

RayPecNOW does not publish language that would be considered inappropriate.

School Photos
Pearce Photography is the contracted photographer for the district. The yearbook will only publish photos for students 9-12 in the student section as provided by Pearce Photography from school portrait day. All students should be photographed regardless of purchasing photos. Students must follow school dress code, including no hats. Students that violate the dress code may be withheld in the student portrait section of the yearbook if deemed necessary by the adviser and administration.

Staff Dress Code
You have earned the right to work for Ray-Pec Now. Show it. Staffers, editors, and anyone representing the program should dress appropriately and professionally. You should prepare to dress Business Casual not Student Casual when on stories. Dress appropriately and accordingly.

Hoodies, sweats, graphic tee’s, jeans with holes should not be worn on duty. If you are working in the newsroom feel free to be more casual. Flip flops should not be worn. Jewelry worn should be tasteful and unobtrusive. Nose rings, and other facial piercings are inappropriate. Exposed stomach and shoulders are inappropriate.

Staff members who violate the dress code will be asked to change their attire. Multiple violations will be addressed by the editorial board and adviser with possible consequences including loss of press pass.

Represent the department’s professionality.

Advertising Content
RayPecNOW accepts paid advertising and will accept ads from all sources except those promoting activities/products that are illegal for those under the age of 18. No ads will be accepted for alcohol, drugs, cigarettes, or other adult content. Advertising will also not be accepted that promotes violence, weapons, or other violations of the Missouri Safe Schools Act. The Editorial Board screens ads for obscene, libelous, or educationally disruptive content, which is grounds for the ad not being accepted.