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The Student Voice of Statesville High School

The Greyhound Howl

The Greyhound Howl

The Greyhound Howl

Media Procedures

Content of SHS Media

All content decisions will be made in occurrence to the following provisions while keeping in mind that the overall purpose, role, and goal of all SHS Media is to:

  1. Inform, interpret, and entertain their viewers through accurate and factual reports, where information has been thoroughly gathered and information has been completely verified;
  2. Serve as an educational laboratory experience for those on staff;
  3. Be accurate, fair, and impartial in its coverage of issues that affect the school community;
  4. SHS Media will not avoid publishing a story solely on the basis of possible dissent or controversy;
  5. Cover the total school population as effectively and accurately as possible;
  6. The staff of SHS Media will strive to report all issues in a legal, objective, accurate and ethical manner, according to the Canons of Professional Journalism developed by the Society for Professional Journalists. The Canons of Professional Journalism include a code of ethics concerning accuracy, responsibility, integrity, conflict of interest, impartiality, fair play, freedom of the press, independence, sensationalism, personal privacy, obstruction of justice, creditability, and advertising.

Prior Review

  1. Sources will be able to have quotes read back at the time of the interview or at the reporter’s initiative.
  2. Sources will not be able to arbitrarily demand to read the reporter’s completed story and then perform editing tasks on that story.
  3. The media reporters will endeavor to include the name and identity of all sources if the reporter believes that doing so will not result in endangerment, harassment, or any other form of undue physical, mental, emotional anguish for the source.
  4. The media reporters will not, within all boundaries of the law, reveal a source who asks to remain nameless.
  5. All media interviewers will respect the interviewees rights to have information remain “off the record” if the fact is known before giving the information to the interviewer.
  6. The media will not be reviewed by anyone outside of the editorial board aside from the adviser prior to its release to the public, the adviser is allowed to review the publication, but not required to, for the sole purpose of acting as legal consultant and educator in terms of unprotected speech; the adviser reading content is not considered prior review unless he/she makes changes or directs changes.

Conflict of Interest

  1. Student reporters and editors will not be quoted or photographed in stories published in the print or online edition of The Greyhound Howl, unless they are legitimate newsmakers.
  2. In a case where a student reporter or editor is a legitimate newsmaker in a story, that student will have no influence on the coverage in any way, nor will they be allowed to edit or preview the story before it is published.
  3. Student reporters and editors will not report on any events, school clubs or organizations, or school sports in which they are a direct participant, as it represents a significant conflict of interest.

Anonymous Sources

  1. The Greyhound Howl discourages the use of anonymous sources except when the story cannot otherwise be done.
  2. Certain circumstances may call for the use of anonymous sources, like when naming the source will cause him/her to suffer retribution from an employer, or family, friends, or acquaintances or when the source may face physical harm if named.
  3. All efforts will be made to have every source be “on the record.”
  4. Student reporters will consider a source’s motives and consult with editors before promising anonymity.
  5. Student reporters will protect a source’s anonymity and will not reveal their identity to other students, faculty, administration, or community members.

Printing Profanity

  1. The media will not print unnecessary profanity.
  2. The editorial board will make the decision on whether the content is considered profane or whether it is a cultural or non-vulgar slang term.
  3. The editorial board reserves the right to edit quotes for unnecessary profanity or unnecessarily offensive words, quotes that have been edited will be noted accordingly when published.
  4. Any edited quote will be read back to the source prior to publishing and sources will have a chance to make changes.
  5. Staff interviewers have the right to ask a source when necessary to repeat a quote without the use of profane language.

Staff Writing

  1. All writing in the media, other than letters to the editor and guest editorials, will be written by students of the journalism program and will not be accepted otherwise.
  2. SHS students outside of the media staff will have the opportunity to submit writing to the media.
  3. Any writing submitted from an outside source for use will be accepted upon request of the editorial board or when open opportunities arise and will be viewed by EICs and the adviser for verification.
  4. Any material submitted from an outside source can be edited by the editorial board and must comply with this policy.
  5. Writing must be the original work of the writer and not previously published in any publication unless otherwise specified by the adviser and EICs.


  1. All editorials printed will be bylined as: “Editorial by The Greyhound Howl Editorial Board.”
  2. Editorial ideas may be submitted to the editorial board by all members of the appropriate staff.
  3. All printed editorial subject matter will be determined by the editorial board.
  4. The media will not publish any material for which there is evidence that the author is using the paper for inappropriate personal gain.
  5. The media will endeavor to provide a chance for comment on all sides of a critical issue in the same edition.
  6. 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. Signed columns or reviews represent only the opinion of the author.

Controversial Issues

  1. All coverage of controversial issues should occur in a timely subject.
  2. All sides of the issue should be presented and reviewed so as to refrain from any bias, with exception of opinions.
  3. In news, all sides of a school, community, city, state, national, or international political issue should be presented factually so as to inform rather than promote or endorse.
  4. The media should not publish material that is unnecessarily obscene, libelous, unwarranted invasive of privacy.
  5. The media should not attack.
  6. If a question on the veracity of publication persists, the issue should be brought to the editorial board who must consider the following questions before publication of the piece:
    • Why is it a concern?
    • What is its journalistic purpose?
    • Is the information accurate and complete?
    • Are any important POVs omitted?
    • How would we feel if the story was about ourselves or someone we know?
    • What are the consequences of the publication?
    • Is there a logical explanation to anyone who challenges the issue?
    • Is it worth risking our credibility?
    • What are the alternatives?


  1. All articles, graphics, photos, art, columns, pages, reviews, and other material creatively conceived, with the exception of staff editorials, portraits, and cut-outs will be bylined with the producer’s name.
  2. All bylined writers will be held accountable for their work.
  3. 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.

News & Features

  1. The media will specialize in and emphasize informing their readers of school news and unique students of the Statesville High School community.
  2. The media will cover community, state, national, and international news if it is directly relevant to the school community, and includes a local angle.
  3. The media will strive to provide coverage to all school organizations and functions.
  4. When faced with undesirable news such as student or staff or faculty crimes, the publications will endeavor to publish the facts correctly, explain the issue, and put a stop to any speculative stories that inevitably develop.
  5. Major district issues and news will be a priority over school news (these major issues will be decided by the editorial board).


  1. Any current student, staff member, faculty member, or building administrator that dies during the year will be recognized in the school media.
  2. The media will publish factual information (date of birth, date of death, survivors, organizations, hobbies, interests) in a 300-word obituary including one mug shot if possible in The Greyhound Howl.
  3. The school media will work to obtain permission from the deceased’s family before publishing any information regarding the cause of death, if permission is not granted, the editorial board reserves the final say in the publication of the cause of death. Suicide will not be listed as a cause of death.
  4. The school media will treat all deaths in a tasteful, respectful way.
  5. An issue, or portion of an issue, should not be dedicated to or in memory of the deceased.

Illustrations, Photos, and Graphics

  1. All captions will record the who and other necessary information in the photo.
  2. All photographs must be captioned and bylined, with the exception of mugs and cutouts.
  3. Bylines are required on all online photos and galleries.
  4. Any photographs that contain any inappropriate attire or actions must be reshot.
  5. Artwork represents the interpretations of the artist, not necessarily of the staff or SHS.
  6. The publications will not publish any photos, illustrations, etc. that ridicule, demean, or misleadingly represent any individual or group.
  7. Electronic manipulations changing the essential truth of the photo or illustration will be clearly labeled if used.
  8. Labels are: Photo by John Smith (candid photo), Portrait by John Smith (for portraits), Photo courtesy of John Smith (photos provided by a student or an outside individual), Photo courtesy of John Smith/PublicationName, Photo illustration by John Smith (for photos that are posed to illustrate something), Graphic by John Smith (for created graphics), Editorial Cartoon by John Smith (for editorial cartoons drawn or created digitally), Design by John Smith (for layouts), Story by John Smith (for stories), Editorial by The Greyhound Howl Editorial Board (staff editorials), Editorial by John Smith (for signed editorials by an individual), Guest Editorial by John Smith (for an invited individual to write a guest editorial) and Additional reporting by John Smith (for staffers or editors that contribute or assist in a story but are not the main reporter).


  1. Concerns about errors in the school media may be submitted via email, phone, or website form. The phone number to the publication room is 704-873-3491 ext. 1432. A form to report errors is located on our website at greyhoundhowl.com/report-an-error.
  2. The editorial board retains the right to determine whether, in fact, an error has been made.
  3. Known and or found errors that are brought to the attention of the school media will be addressed regardless if realized by the author, audience, or staff member.
  4. Staff members will strive to correct errors prior to publication; however, if the editorial board determines a significant error is printed, the editorial board will determine the manner and timeliness of a correction.
  5. Major corrections are determined by the editors and adviser.
  6. If changes are made to a web story once a story has been posted, the change will be noted along with the date and time the change was made.


  1. The publications will not accept advertising for products that are illegal for minors to purchase and/or use.
  2. Students not of legal age whose photographs appear in an advertisement of the publications are required to sign a model release form, as well as their legal guardian.
  3. Students of legal age whose photographs appear in an advertisement of the publications are required to sign a model release form.
  4. The publications will not run advertising without a proper signature on the advertising contract which explains terms of payment, content, size, publishing dates, includes attached layout which explains the terms of payment, content, size.
  5. The publications will not accept personal or classified advertising.
  6. All ads need to be approved by the editorial board; any ad not deemed appropriate by the board will not run.
  7. The publications will cease to publish the advertising of any advertiser that does not meet payment obligations specified in school contact.
  8. Web ads appear in a specified section of the website.
  9. Advertising that appears in the media is not necessarily endorsed by the media or its staff members, editorial board, or adviser.

Distribution & Circulation

  1. Daily updates will be made to the website throughout the week during the school year. Less frequent updates will be made to the site during breaks.
  2. While there may be an occasional printed newsletter, The Greyhound Howl is currently an online-only publication.
  3. Advertising revenues and fundraising are to be used to pay for the school media printing costs, supplies, and other media expenses.
  4. All budget surpluses are to be used for future production of the school media.

Letters to the Editor & Online Comments

  1. Letters to the editor will be printed in the Letters to the Editor section on the website.
  2. Guidelines to write letters to the editor can be found in the Letters to the Editor section of The Greyhound Howl online.
  3. Letters to the editor can be emailed to this address: [email protected] or submitted using the online form located at greyhoundhowl.com, under Contact Us, or hand-delivered to Room B210.
  4. Letters to the editor should not exceed 300 words, must be signed, and must include the writer’s address and phone number for verification.
  5. Letters to the editor will be verified by a member of the editorial board to determine the authenticity of the writer.
  6. No material will be printed where content is obscene, invasive of others’ privacy, encouraging physical disruption of school activities, and/or implies libel.
  7. The SHS Media 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. Deadlines for letters and columns will be determined by each year’s student staff, allowing sufficient time for verification of authorship prior to publication.
  8. All letters to the editor become the property of the school newspaper upon receipt and will not be returned to the author.
  9. Online comments will require a name and email address submitted that are verifiable.
  10. Alerts will be sent to staff editors each time a comment is posted to the site.
  11. Online comments that are found in violation of the editorial policy will not be approved.
  12. Personal attacks are not allowed.


  1. The reviewer must have experience in the area in which they are reviewing.
  2. All reviews will be bylined and all reviews will be expressed opinions of authors, the editorial board and newspaper staff does not express opinions on the subject matter.
  3. All reviews will be to evaluate and inform, not to promote.
  4. Evaluative criteria used will be determined by the editorial board depending on whether the event or item being reviewed is professional or amateur in nature.
  5. Review ideas may be submitted to the editorial board by all members of the SHS media.
  6. All reviews must first be reviewed by the opinions editor prior to publishing.
  7. All reviews need to be reviewed and printed in a current and timely manner.

Social Media

  1. Social media will be used to promote SHS media, promote published content, and engage the SHS community.
  2. The editorial board reserves the right to remove comments that violate any provisions hitherto outlined by this policy.
  3. The information posted on social media platforms should be held to the same standard as all other reporting in terms of information gathering and fact-checking.
  4. The official social media accounts should avoid the promotion of events and remain objective, reporting what is fact. Reporters using personal social media to cover events should do the same.
  5. The information gained through social media channels should be verified through multiple channels before passing it along to others.
  6. Audience engagement through social media should be done in a professional manner.
  7. Staff members using applications to post updates to social media accounts should have separate applications for their personal account and for the school media accounts. This will limit the chance of a post being sent from the wrong account.
  8. Transparency is important. Mistakes made on social media posts should be corrected as soon as possible and any deleted posts should be acknowledged in subsequent postings.

Queries (Questions/Complaints)

  1. Questions, complaints, or suggestions concerning material published in the media should be made in writing to the editor in chief(s), delivered to Room B210, emailed to [email protected], or submitted on the form located on our website under About/Contact Us.
  2. Resolutions will be made within the limits of deadlines.


  1. The goal of media marketing is to promote and expand the media viewing audience.
  2. The publicity team will work with all aspects of the media.
  3. Every contest must have its own set of rules which will be posted in a place visible to the student body and contest participants.
  4. All contest rules will be posted online.
  5. All contest rules are to be tailored and agreed upon by the editorial board before the start of the contest.
  6. Members of media staff will not be allowed to enter or win contests put on by the publicity team.
  7. The publicity team will work to attend all major events held by the district or school with the intent of promotion.

Naming Minors

The Greyhound Howl will publish the names and photos of students both in print and online. The Greyhound Howl staff is not subject to FERPA laws that apply to the school district.

The Greyhound Howl follows the Associated Press policy on naming minors accused of crimes:

  • Do not identify juveniles (under 18) who are accused of crimes, even if other news media do so or police release names.
  • Also, do not transmit images that would reveal their identity.
  • Do not identify, in text or through images, juveniles (under 18) who are witnesses to crimes.
  • Exceptions may be made in extraordinary cases only with the approval of editors.
  • Issues that may weigh in a decision include the severity of the alleged crime; whether police have formally released the juvenile’s name; and whether the juvenile has been formally charged as an adult.
  • Other considerations might include public safety, such as when the youth is the subject of a manhunt; or widespread publication of the juvenile suspect’s name, making the identity de facto public knowledge.
  • In some situations, state or national laws may determine whether the person can be named.

For guidance on naming minors, including legal and ethical considerations, view the following link: http://www.splc.org/article/2011/01/naming-names-identifying-minors

Student and Staff Publication

  1. All students and staff of Statesville High School are eligible for publication in the SHS student media.
  2. Any student or staff member wishing to ‘opt-out of being published in the student media needs to fill out the appropriate ‘opt-out’ form with the guidance office and alert the student media adviser of plans to ‘opt-out.’
  3. All efforts will be made to keep students and staff who have opted out of coverage from publication in the SHS Media.

Staff Selection & Dismissal

A. Editor and Staff Selection Process

  1. Editor in chief(s) and other editor-level positions are chosen by the faculty adviser.
  2. New and returning staff are judged by application, previous work, potential, teacher recommendations, and prerequisite classwork.
  3. Applicants are not turned down because of age, race, sex, religion, mental or physical handicap that do not impair editorial responsibilities.

B. Regarding Staff Dismissal

  1. All individuals involved with SHS media are considered a team, each member is expected to complete all assigned stories, pages, photos, etc. on or before the assigned deadline. Staff members, including editors, may be dismissed from their positions and/or the publications staff itself if any of the following violations occur:
    1. Continuously missed deadlines (dismissal procedures will take place by choice of adviser and EICs).
    2. Plagiarism.
    3. Quote falsification.
    4. Vandalism or theft of publication equipment.
    5. Continuous negative or pessimistic attitude toward staff member or adviser.
    6. Submitting an advanced page design, story, photo, or other publishable items to anyone outside the media staff without approval by the editorial board.
    7. Two suspensions in one academic year.
    8. Failing to fulfill job as outlined in the job description.
  1. Major infractions will result in immediate dismissal from staff duties and dismissal from class and staff at the end of the semester (major infractions include but are not limited to the following: plagiarism, vandalism, theft).
  2. Minor infractions will be given a written warning for the first one. The second one is immediate dismissal from staff duties and dismissal from class and staff at end of the semester.
  3. Warnings will be written and signed by the adviser and editors-in-chief, as well as the staff member in question.
  4. An editor will be stripped of his/her title if suspended.
  5. The first misdemeanor or arrest will result in the loss of the editor’s title, and the second will result in dismissal from staff.
  6. Each member of the editorial board and adviser will meet with potentially dismissed students to discuss the issue; the adviser will make the final decision.
  7. The academic nature of the school newspaper class allows the removal of editors or staff members when school and or established media policy is violated.
  8. The above list infractions could all result in dismissal however, staff dismissals are not limited to the listed infractions.
  9. A dismissed staff member receiving academic credit may be given a grade of F and will not be allowed to register for any other journalism courses (will not preempt school policy).
  10. Dismissal procedures are reviewed and approved by the editorial board and adviser.
  11. The dismissed staff member may appeal their dismissal in writing to the editorial board within three school days following dismissal.
  12. All dismissal appeals will be directed to the building principal, adviser, and the editorial board.

Professional Affiliations

  1. The SHS media should be a member of the state, national, and/or international organizations.
  2. The SHS media will work to be in contact with local professional media such as the Statesville Record & Landmark and WSIC Radio, as well as other individuals and companies in the communications field ranging from public relations and advertising to promotions and copywriting