The Charter of The Spectator
(Approved January 11, 2011 by The Editorial Board)
I. Statement of Purpose
A. The goal of The Spectator, the official school newspaper of Stuyvesant High School, is to inform the Stuyvesant community, including students, teachers, administrators and parents, of the significant events and issues pertaining to the school.
B. The Spectator is established as a forum for expression and as a voice in the free and open discussion of issues for all parties. The Spectator provides a full opportunity for all groups to inquire, question and exchange ideas. Content should reflect areas of school interest, including topics about which there may be dissent or controversy. The Editor in Chief, with the counsel of the Faculty Advisor, will make the final content decisions for The Spectator.
C. All student journalists, including Editors and staff members, must follow professional standards of journalism in reporting and writing.
D. The Spectator is committed to remaining independent from the influence of the administration and other groups who may wish to use the newspaper to pursue their interests. This commitment chiefly includes independence from prior review by any and all groups except those with whom the Editors make an agreement to review the content in order to advise Editors on matters of style and content; these individuals will review the content of the newspaper before printing under the promise of confidentiality. Additionally, we choose to remain financially independent from the administration and Student Union in order to preserve our journalistic integrity.
II. The Spectator Staff
A. Editor in Chief
The Editor in Chief runs the newspaper in concert with the Managing Editor and with counsel from the Faculty Advisor, though he/she is the one who makes the final decisions on all aspects of the paper except the filling of and removal from positions. The Editor in Chief is held responsible for all content in the newspaper and coordinates the printing of the paper. The Editor in Chief and Managing Editor are in charge of running the Spectator class, and teach the class in concert with the Faculty Advisor (see Section II.H).
B. Managing Editor
The Managing Editor oversees the production of the paper, oversees Department Editors and works in cooperative effort with the Editor in Chief to run the newspaper. The Managing Editor is responsible for running the Spectator class with the Editor in Chief, and teaches the class in concert with the Editor in Chief and Faculty Advisor (see Section II.H).
C. Managing Board
The Managing Board consists of six members, including the Editor in Chief, Managing Editor and four Department Editors of their choice. The Managing Board advises the Editor in Chief and Managing Editor on all issues involving the newspaper. In cases where the Managing Board votes, at least five members must be present, including the Editor in Chief and Managing Editor. All votes are decided by a simple majority with the exception of removal from position (see Section III.C). The Editor in Chief decides in cases of a tie. The Managing Board can vote to ask the administration to propose candidates to be considered for the position of Faculty Advisor. The outgoing Managing Board is encouraged to advise the incoming Editor in Chief and Managing Editor on selecting Editors for a new Managing Board. Additionally, the Managing Board must approve all incoming Editors. It is recommended that there be some diversity in the Managing Board with respect to the type of departments from which the chosen Editors come; both writing and non-writing departments should be represented. There are no limits on or guarantees of the term of a Managing Board member; Managing Board members will be chosen at the discretion of the Editor in Chief and Managing Editor.
D. Editorial Board
The Editorial Board is comprised of all the Department Editors, along with the Editor in Chief and Managing Editor. The Editorial Board votes by a simple majority, except for the amendment of the Charter and the approval of selections of Editor in Chief and Managing Editor (see Section III.B). The Editor in Chief and/or Managing Editor can call for a vote by the Editorial Board to decide on issues at his/her/their discretion.
E. Department Editors
Each department has at least two Editors, who are recommended for the position by outgoing Department Editors (barring those who are removed from their position) and then approved by the Managing Board. Department Editors are responsible for managing their respective staffs, editing all content of their departments and recruiting staff members. Outgoing department editors are responsible for training their successors.
F. Editors in Training
At the discretion of the Editorial Board, Editors in Training may join the Spectator class in the Fall in order to facilitate the transition to the new Editorial Board in the Spring. These Editors in Training are chosen by the current respective Department Editors as prospective Editors, but they must be approved by the Managing Board in order to become Editors.
The Spectator holds a staff recruitment each Fall and Spring, when applicants can apply to be a member of each department of the paper. However, potential members can apply to a department at any time during the year. Department membership will be regulated by the respective Department Editors. As student journalists, every member of The Spectator must abide by the same journalistic standards to which the paper’s Editors are held; it is the Editors’ responsibility to inform their staff members of these relevant standards.
H. Faculty Advisor
The Editorial Board consults the Faculty Advisor on matters involving the newspaper. The Faculty Advisor gives guidance to the students on libel and journalistic ethics, balance and objectivity, taste and writing style. The Faculty Advisor must teach the Spectator class in concert with the Editor in Chief and Managing Editor (see Sections II.A and II.B). It is recommended that the Faculty Advisor be from the English Department, but he/she can be from any department.
III. Operating Procedures
A. Production of the Newspaper
Department Editors will first determine Pasteup for each issue, assigning the writing and reporting of articles, the taking of photographs or the soliciting of ads. Department Editors will then edit their respective media (articles and photographs). Next, the Editor in Chief, Managing Editor, Faculty Advisor and those with whom the newspaper has an agreement to review content will edit articles. The Editor in Chief and Managing Editor will review the advertisements. The writing Department Editors will edit the articles again according to these comments and send the final versions of the articles to the Copy Department by their given deadline. Copy will edit the articles for grammar and style but not content, fact-check them and send them, after editing, to the Layout Department. The Layout Department will begin laying out the paper and during Production Week, the Editors will put together the newspaper in The Spectator office and the Editor in Chief and Managing Editor will review photographs and their respective cutlines, as well as content that has already been edited.
B. Procedure for Approving the Incoming Editor in Chief and Managing Editor
All non-outgoing Editors and Editors in Training will have the ability to apply for either or both positions. The outgoing Editor in Chief and Managing Editor will choose two of these applicants, and nominate them to the graduating members of the Editorial Board, who will discuss these nominations and vote on them. A two-thirds majority is needed to pass the vote on to the entire Editorial Board, which makes the final decision. The Editorial Board votes separately on approving the Editor in Chief and Managing Editor decision; during the votes, the Editor on whom they are voting must not be present. A two-thirds majority in the Editorial Board approves the incoming Editor in Chief and Managing Editor. If a two-thirds majority is not achieved for both the Editor in Chief and the Managing Editor, only the graduating members of the Editorial Board will reconvene to nominate a candidate for each respective position (the candidate for Managing Editor may now be the candidate for Editor in Chief and vice versa) bearing the outcome of the votes in mind. The entire Editorial Board will then be reconvened to vote on Editor in Chief and Managing Editor; again, during the votes, the Editor on whom the Editorial Board is voting must not be present.
C. Removal From Position
All concerns regarding Editors not performing their duties adequately should be taken to the Editor in Chief and Managing Editor. If they deem the case worthy of further attention, they can present the case to the Managing Board. If the Managing Board decides that the case should be furthered, it can hold a vote; if a two-thirds majority is obtained there, the matter moves on to the Editorial Board. If a two-thirds majority is obtained there, the removal from position is approved. The Editor in question may not be present during the vote. The removed Editor can appeal to the Faculty Advisor, who will act as a neutral party by presenting the facts of the case to the Editorial Board. The Editor in question will be present during the presentation of the case. If the Editor in question is the Editor in Chief or Managing Editor, concerns can be brought up to the other one of the two, who can convene the Managing Board in absence of the member in question; the previously stated procedures then follow. If the concern is about both the Editor in Chief and Managing Editor, it will be brought to the Faculty Advisor, who can convene the Managing Board without their presence; the previously stated procedures then follow. To remove an Editor who is on the Managing Board, a two-thirds vote of the remaining members of the Managing Board is needed. The Faculty Advisor may not remove any Editor from his/her position and may not select new Editors.
D. Approval and Removal of Faculty Advisor
There are two cases in which The Spectator will consider candidates for the position of Faculty Advisor: if, under extenuating circumstances, that position is vacated, or if the Editorial Board decides that it is dissatisfied with the current holder of that position. In both cases, the Managing Board will consider the candidate(s) proposed by the school administration and vote on them. If a candidate receives a two-thirds majority, he/she will be brought to the Editorial Board for consideration; if a simple majority is obtained there, the candidate is approved as the new Faculty Advisor and replaces any current holder of that position.
E. Approval of a New Editor in Case of Resignation or Removal from Position
If an Editor vacates his/her position for any reason, the other Editor for that department will choose a member from The Spectator staff to replace him/her. The Managing Board must approve this new Editor.
At an appropriate time during the Spring semester but before the semester’s third issue, the incoming Editors will replace the outgoing Editors. First, the incoming Editor in Chief and Managing Editor, chosen under Section III. A, will replace the outgoing holders of those positions for one issue. The rest of the incoming Editors will replace their outgoing counterparts in the next issue. It is the outgoing Editors’ responsibility to train those who are to take over their positions.
The Spectator may endorse candidates for the Student Union elections. After the primaries, the Managing Board interviews each candidate for the positions of Student Union President and Vice President, Senior Caucus, Junior Caucus, Sophomore Caucus and Freshman Caucus, and presents the results to the Editorial Board. The Editorial Board may then pick one set of candidates for each of these positions, print the candidates they endorse and explain their choices.
H. Appellate Procedures
Any person who wishes to appeal any action or decision of The Spectator should take his/her case to the Managing Board. The Managing Board deals with all appeals or objections to decisions or actions of The Spectator, except removal from position, in which all appeals should be made to the Faculty Advisor.
I. Amendment of the Charter
Amendment of the charter requires a two-thirds majority vote of the Editorial Board.
IV. Policies & Guidelines
B. Content Policy
C. Maintaining Independence
D. Corrections Policy
E. Letters Policy
F. Independence from the Student Union
G. Conflicts of Interest
H. Grounds for Removal from Position
If an Editor shows significant signs of inadequacy in his/her position for any reason, including being unable to handle his/her work, leaking sensitive information, condoning plagiarism or failure to follow the guidelines set forth in the Charter, his/her position will be reconsidered as per the guidelines set forth under Section III.C.
I. Obituary Policy
The Spectator will cover stories involving the death of current students, administration and alumni, including photographs, when possible, and relevant facts concerning the death.
J. Reporting on Crime
K. Advertisements Policy