Delta Paw Print: Open forum for student expression

Student Media Policy (Adopted from and based on the SPLC model editorial policy)

 Policy 2019-2020


Mission: Delta Paw Print is the official student press and social media outlet for Delta High School and is produced by the Delta High School student media staff. Delta Paw Print has been established as a designated public forum for students and the public through the student magazine. All forms of media produced by the Paw Print staff are not reviewed or restrained by school officials prior to publication or distribution. Advisers may and should coach and discuss content during the writing process. 

Because school officials don’t engage in prior review, and the content decisions are made by the student staff of Delta Paw Print and not school officials or the school itself, its student editorial board and  its responsible student staff members assume complete legal and financial liability for the content produced.

Publication/ Distribution: Delta Paw Print is a student magazine produced by the staff. The magazine will be distributed in locations throughout the school and when new issues come out.  The staff will use morning announcements and social media to notify students when a new magazine comes out. Approximately 400 magazines will stay in circulation at the high school distributed throughout the community. 


Online content:The web site, social media, and videos or podcasts are entitled to the same protections- and subjected to the same freedoms and responsibilities- as media produced for the publication.  As such, it will not be subjected to prior review or restraint.  


Research:  Student journalists may use print and electronic media, including social media, to report news and information, to communicate with other students and individuals, to ask questions of and consult with experts, and gather material to meet their news gathering and research needs.  Any images or data taken from the internet will only be used with permission. All information that did not primarily come from the Paw Print staff will be credited in the article.

Law: Delta Paw Print and its staff are protected by and bound to the principles of the First Amendment and other protections and limitations afforded by the Constitution and the various Colorado laws and court decisions implementing those principles. Delta Paw Print will follow all censorship laws under the Tinker standard in accordance with Colorado Student Free Press Law. Delta Paw Print will also honor copyright law and understands that any work of authorship that is put in tangible form is protected by the creator and that one must have written consent to use it.  If a copyright owner is being reviewed or critiqued, using a picture is considered fair use (an album cover, for example). All articles and videos produced by the Paw Print staff is copyrighted to the article authors/video producers of Delta Paw Print.

Editorial Decisions: Paw Print will not publish any material determined by student editors or the student editorial board to be unprotected, that is material that is libelous/slanderous, obscene, verifiably disruptive of the school process, an unwarranted invasion of privacy, a violation of copyright or a promotion of products or services illegal as defined by state or federal law.  More definitions of above instances are referred to using SPLC cases and rules.


Editorial Staff:  The editorial board, which consists of the staff’s student editors, will determine the content, including all unsigned editorials.  The views stated in editorials represent that of a majority of the editorial board. Columns or reviews with bylines by one author represent the opinion of the author and the author only. .

Editors/ Job Descriptions: All staff is expected to have employability skills such as problem solving, maturity, relations with other people, communication skills, task related skills, personal values, health and safety habits, and commitment to the job at hand.


Editor-in-chief: This person oversees the entire staff and makes sure things are managed properly.  The EIC may also be responsible for delegating grades to members of staff.

Ad Manager: This person is responsible for assigning ad sale deadlines.  The ad manager will organize and collect all artwork for ads and keep track of page space and revenue generated from ads.  When all ads sales have reached deadline, the ad manager will work with editors to ensure space in the magazine for all ads sold.  The ad manager will also bill people/ businesses for ads and invoice all businesses that purchase ads. The ad manager will keep track of ads that have been paid.


Copy Editor: The copy editor is responsible for ensuring that all copy written for the magazine or web is in AP style and is grammatically correct and error-free  as can be. The copy editor reserves the right to make changes and send copy back to writers until is is fit for print.


Web Editor: The web editor is responsible for assigning content, setting and managing deadlines, and ensuring that professional quality stories are posted on the web.  This editor will work closely with the Editor in Chief and copy editor and will reserve the right to actively grade student work.


Social Media/ Engagement Editor:  This editor is responsible for working with other editors and magazine staff to engage the DHS student body and public audience through social media.  This editor my choose to create deadlines and assign social media tasks to the staff and will work closely with other editors to post updates and share student media with the student body on a regular basis.

Letters to the Editor: Delta Paw Print may accept letters to the editor, guest columns, and news releases from students, faculty, administrators, community residents, and the general public. All submissions will be verified. The editorial board reserves the right to withhold a letter or column or other submission and/or return it for revision if it contains unprotected speech or grammatical errors that could hamper its meaning.  Submissions should be typed. The issue’s editorial staff will determine deadlines for letters or columns.

Creative writing submissions will be accepted based on the content of the issue, but must not exceed 350 words. The staff reserves the right to choose which submissions will be published, and how many are published per issue.

The staff will accept art submissions and publish the ones approved by the Delta Paw Print staff.

Corrections:  The web editor will make corrections to any web stories that would need them in a timely manner. The editor-in-chief will be responsible for making corrections in the next issue of the magazine. The social media editor will make corrections with any social media with errors.


Fairness: Delta Paw Print will strive to report all issues in a legal, objective, accurate and ethical manner in accordance with the SPLC and Society for Professional Journalists.  The Canons of professional journalism include a code of ethics. Delta Paw Print is tested on its code of ethics and is expected to adhere to the student-made code.

Delta Paw Print will not avoid publishing a story solely on the basis of possible dissent or controversy.

Role of Adviser: The Delta Paw Print adviser will not act as a censor or determine the content of the magazine, social media, or web.  All content produced under the Paw Print banner is the view of the student staff and not the adviser. The adviser will offer advice and instruction following the Code of Ethics for Advisers established by the Journalism Education Association as well as the Canons of Professional Journalism. School officials shall not fire or otherwise discipline advisers for content in student media that is determined and published by a student staff.

Quotations: Paw Print will quote individuals interviewed in a fair and accurate manner.  Any inflammatory quotes will be either witnessed by two reporters, signed off on, or tape recorded for accuracy.  Any inaccurate quotations will be corrected in the following issue or posted on the web. The same applies for online content, individuals will sign off on all video interviews.

Electronic Photo Manipulation:  Electronic manipulations of photos or illustrations will be labeled if used.

Trivia: Delta Paw Print takes pride in reporting real news that directly affects the magazine readers/online audience. Trivial stories that promote popularity contests or have little direct relevance to the reading/viewing audience will be avoided unless there is redeeming news quality included in some way. Special theme editions must have redeeming news quality and may be periodically published throughout the year.  The Paw Print Staff will do occasional viewer polls in order to effectively determine interest in stories of trivial nature.

Bylines/ Credits: Delta Paw Print gives credit to all staff members and their respective roles in the magazine. For the magazine, author bylines will appear at the top of each article.  Photography credit will be given beneath each photo. The illustrators will sign illustrations. Any submissions to the DCI are the property of the original authors and credit must be given to the original authors or owners of the work. All videos produced will have lower thirds dedicated to presenting the host’s name and title, as well as a photographer’s name under photos. All production credits will be either at the end of a video, or in the description box. Podcasters will be introduced in the podcast and production credits are given at the end.

Illustrations:  Photographs and artwork will be used either to accompany a story or stand alone to tell a story.  Illustrations and photos will follow libel laws. Student editors will determine the size and placement of illustrations, photos, or student artwork.

Advertisements: Advertisements will be sold to businesses approved by the Paw Print staff. They will be sold for $130 for a full page, $80 for half of a page, $50 for a quarter page, $30 for an eighth page. A receipt will be written for all businesses who purchase an advertisement. An advertisement manager will oversee all duties and responsibilities pertaining to advertisements and advertising revenue.

Obituaries:  In the event that a student, faculty, or staff member dies, Delta Paw Print will include an obituary and print the person’s name, school activities, date of birth and death, and any other significant information. The staff will only publish an obituary with family permission. Cause of death will be published only if the surviving family gives consent.


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