Editorial Policy

Note:This policy is a draft version only. Statements made in this document are subject to revision.

This policy governs editorial policy for the Daily News.

The Daily News is published by, for and about the McMaster University community. This publication is produced by Communications and Public Affairs (formerly the Office of Public Relations).

The Daily News web site is located at http://dailynews.mcmaster.ca and is updated daily.

The Daily News exercises editorial independence so it can serve as an objective reporter of campus and University affairs, rather than a medium by which the administration and a few individual faculty and staff members present their views. This publication strives to present information in a manner that is balanced and fair.

The publication is not to be used as a propaganda vehicle for any group; nor does the communication vehicle single out any group for attack or criticism. The vantage point of this vehicle is that of the University as a whole and its concern the well-being and best interests of the University as a whole.

Objective

To provide the following:

  • timely and accurate reports on issues affecting the University community,
  • news and information about the people who compose the University community,
  • a forum for open discussion of University affairs,
  • reports on external issues which affect the University and other Canadian Universities
  • a bridge with external groups through which a better understanding of the University community's people, goals, policies and activities may be achieved


The Daily News includes the following with regularity or frequency:

  • Reports on events and special projects (e.g., conferences, lecture series, art gallery programs, etc.) around the University.
  • News of events and other opportunities of interest to the McMaster community.
  • Short stories on McMaster people and their accomplishments/successes
  • Provincial and national University news
  • Notices, events and other calendar item listings.
  • Updates on fundraising and development activities.

Publication Focus/Mission

The Daily News is aimed at providing the “need to know” today information about the University and its constituents. This vehicle assists the institution in providing accurate and timely information to all of its constituents so they may be as well informed as possible of news and information that affects the institution.

This publication is aimed at ensuring the University community is well informed about campus news, events and issues. The publication also serves to support the mission and vision of the institution and to this extent articles and information presented are strategic in nature.

Communications Advisory Council

The Communications Advisory Council acts in an advisory capacity, helping the editor monitor the effectiveness of the Web site according to its statement of purpose. The council's influence should be felt primarily in matters of policy, and not in day-to-day editing and production considerations. The council acts as an advisory group, providing advice and feedback from various sectors of the University community to the editorial staff and the editor. The council meets twice yearly.

Organization and Responsibilities

The Daily News is maintained by the public relations co-ordinator, who reports to the editor of the McMaster Times.

On sensitive issues, the editor normally consults with the director of public relations whose decision, in any case of disagreement, is final. Members of the University community have the right to express opinions and to provide story suggestions for the Daily News. In making selections from such material, the editor makes every effort to ensure balance and fairness within the limitations imposed by the availability of space.

Style


  1. A modified CP (Canadian Press) style is used in this communication vehicle. The CP Stylebook, along with CP Caps and Spelling, is the guide for capitalization, abbreviation, punctuation, use of titles, neutral language, and other issues of style.

  2. The Concise Oxford Dictionary is the authority for Canadian Press spelling, with specific exceptions noted in the two volumes named above.

  3. The Office of Public Relations has prepared a Styleguide for use by staff, freelancers and contributors which is based on CP style and incorporates McMaster terms and preferences

  4. When publishing names, on first reference, people quoted in stories are referred to by full name, position (where applicable) and department/ program/Faculty, and by last name only on second reference, except in specific cases (e.g. Profile) where individuals may be referred to, on second reference, by their first name only. Example: John Doe, professor, biomedical sciences, and Jane Smith, co-ordinator, Department of Political Science, will be on the committee. Doe and Smith will submit their report in June.

Clarification of Information

Stories prepared by staff are not automatically submitted either to individuals or departments for approval prior to publication. A writer/ reporter may agree to call or return the article to the individual to clarify facts or scientific terms in advance. Changes which make the story more easily understood to a general audience and avoid jargon will be considered. In cases where publication of material may be considered potentially damaging to the reputation of the University, the director of public relations reserves the right to edit the material or, in exceptional circumstances, to prohibit its publication.

Coverage of Open Meetings

The Review and Daily News cover regular and special open meetings of the Board of Governors and the Senate and report on such meetings either in major news stories or in shorter form (Senate/Board highlights). Other meetings on campus may be covered as time and available staff resources permit. The Review and Daily News publish information drawn from coverage of such meetings as well as from their agendas, minutes and reports.

Letters to the Editor

Letters are currently not published on the Daily News Web site.

Publication of Photos

The Daily News staff routinely ask to take photographs to illustrate a story. In doing so, the reporter/photographer looks for the most visually interesting photographs and the newspaper reserves the right to reject submitted photographs which do not meet these criteria.

Individuals who wish to obtain prints, for personal use, of photographs shot by the Daily News may do so by making arrangements for purchase through the public relations office.

Advertisements

The Daily News is financed as part of the operating budget of the University, administered through the Office of Public Relations.

Advertisements are currently not published on the Daily News.

Events Calendar

The Daily News publishes a Calendar of Events which includes, daily, weekly and monthly notices of campus events and activities. Events posted on the site are the responsibility of the contributor. The Office of Public Relations does not post events to the site. The office monitors, reviews, edits, authorizes and posts submissions to the site. Submissions are to be made via the Submission Form posted on the site. Please allow 24-48 hours for posting of submitted items. Only items which pertain to the University community and which are in agreement with this communications policy will be posted.

Corrections

Whenever necessary, The Daily News publishes corrections or clarifications in the following issue/ day’s news. All corrections must be brought to the attention of the editor as soon as possible following publication.

Contributors

Articles in the Daily News which are not written by staff are clearly identified as such. Daily News staff reserve the right to edit copy from outside contributors to conform with CP style. Other changes will be made, where possible, in consultation with the contributor.