The Hornet Tribune staff abides by the following policies, which have been published online to increase our transparency within the community. Every member is required to sign an agreement pledging to follow these policies. Any staff member who does not abide by these policies will be under review by the editor in chief and faces termination.


In general, all The Hornet Tribune staff members abide by the Code of Ethics established by the Society of Professional Journalists. We pledge to: Seek the truth and report it, act independently, minimize harm; and be accountable. For a detailed list of the Code of Ethics, please see: http://spj.org/ethicscode.asp.


If a staff member receives notice of a correction, he or she must immediately report it to the appropriate section editor and the editor in chief. If a correction is warranted, a notification will appear in the next print edition. The article will be updated online with the accurate information and a note from the editor explaining what was changed. The editor in chief will make the final decision on whether a story warrents a correction.

Plagiarism and fabrication

Any form of plagiarism or fabrication committed by a staff member will result in immediate termination and a public apology. If an outside source reports an instance of plagiarism, The Hornet Tribune editor in chief and section editors will conduct a thorough investigation to determine the validity of the claim and review the staff member’s previous work.

Online Publishing

Some editorial content that appears in the printed copy of the newspaper also will be posted online. The Hornet Tribune will not remove articles once they appear online. In the case of a factual error online, the article will be corrected and updated with an editor’s note, but not removed. If you believe an error has been made, contact The Hornet Tribune with a detailed description of the inaccuracies.

Online Comments

The Hornet Tribune reserves the right to monitor all online comments and remove offensive ones. We expect our commenters to be respectful. Any attacks on the basis of race, sexual orientation, gender, religion, age, disability, etc. will not be tolerated. Hate speech postings are grounds for comment deletion. The Hornet Tribune prohibits the solicitation of goods or services on the online comments section. No member of The Hornet Tribune’s staff is permitted to comment online. The comment section is a forum for readers, not staff members.

Conflicts of Interest

All staff members are, first and foremost, representatives of The Hornet Tribune. Any outside club involvement must be disclosed to and approved by the editor in chief. If a staff member is involved with an outside club or organization, he or she is prohibited from reporting on it. Staff members are prohibited from joining any branch of the Student Government Association or Graduate Student Government. Staff members are required to adhere to the following guidelines: Do not participate in any political rallies, protests or demonstrations. Do not make any public comments or participate in any media interviews without the approval of the editor in chief. Do not publish any political affiliations or beliefs on social media pages and profiles, including Facebook, Twitter and personal blogs.

Staff member conduct

Staff members are an extension of The Hornet Tribune and thus must conduct all interactions professionally and courteously. Staff members are not permitted to interview friends or family for stories. Staff members are not allowed to interview other The Hornet Tribune staff members. They must always identify themselves as The Hornet Tribune reporters to sources. Staff members may simultaneously cover events and write stories for a class, but they must disclose it to the editor in chief. Staff members are free to write for other publications, both on-campus and off, but those duties must not interfere with nor overlap with The Hornet Tribune assignments. We expect our staff members to put The Hornet Tribune first. Failure to do so might result in termination. If a source raises concerns over the content of an article or if a reader voices concerns, the staff member is required to notify the editor in chief immediately before taking any other action.

Social media policy

We encourage all staff members to participate in various social media forums. However, we expect all staff members to be very aware of what they post, what they like, what they favorite and what they retweet — and how that represents The Hornet Tribune. All staff members, except for opinion columnists, are prohibited from posting political affiliation on social media sites. If a staff member is tweeting, posting or delivering any sort of online or in-person message on behalf of The Hornet Tribune, he or she must identify himself or herself as a staff member and inform the editor in chief ahead of time.

Source anonymity

The Hornet Tribune will publish sources anonymously only under the most severe circumstances. For example, if a source could lose his or her job or face legal retribution, we will identify that source by first name or title only. If a student wishes to remain anonymous for legal reasons, we will identify him or her by first name, year and major. The process of granting anonymity to sources must go through the editor in chief, who makes all final decisions on the matter. If information is given on the record and a source later requests to have it removed, the final decision will be made by the editor in chief. Information will be removed only if the source cites clear and compelling reasons. Names will not be removed from any article after it has been published.

Opinion section

All members of the community are welcome to submit guest columns and letters to the editor. An opinion column reflects the opinions of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Hornet Tribune. Opinion pieces signed by The Hornet Tribune’s editorial board reflect the official stance of The Hornet Tribune but not necessarily the individual opinions of its staff members.

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