The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University
Since 1888
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

Code of Ethics

The Code of Ethics of The Vanderbilt Hustler is intended to outline our dedication and adherence to values of journalism and integrity within our organization. It is not intended to be an exhaustive set of rules governing the staff members, but rather a set of principles that pertain directly to the function of The Hustler as a media outlet. The code applies to all editors, leaders and staff members who write for The Hustler — both online and in our print edition. The code of ethics is approved at the start of each academic year by the Editorial Board, which is composed of the editor-in-chief and the four section (news, life, opinion, sports) editors.

I. General

a. Topics of Coverage

i. Story ideas and assignments are discussed between editors weekly during production and at individual section meetings. The Hustler relies on the knowledge of its editors and staff of reporters, as a diverse representation of the undergraduate Vanderbilt community, to effectively cover topics of importance and interest to students.

ii. The Hustler also accepts news tips and story ideas via an online form or directly to editors or staff members.

b. Ensuring Accuracy

i. Each published story, at minimum, is read and edited by a section editor and a copy editor for accuracy and stylistic changes. In the case that an inaccuracy is discovered or reported to us, we will issue a correction in a timely manner.

ii. Quotations: When a source is quoted in a story, the quote will reflect what the individual said on the record. While some media outlets choose to apply liberal edits to source quotations, we will make edits to quotes only when absolutely necessary for clarity of the quote.

iii. Photo and Video: Distortions will not be made to photos or videos pertaining to our coverage unless clearly noted otherwise.

c. Conflicts of Interest

i. As Vanderbilt is a community of actively involved students, many of our writers and editors are often involved in organizations and other programs that we cover. If such involvement may cause bias within a reporter’s coverage, the story will be reassigned. In general, section editors will determine whether a conflict of interest is present. However, the editor-in-chief has the final say on whether a conflict is at hand.

ii. Exception: Sometimes it may be determined that a conflict of interest will not cause unwarranted bias — the Hustler reserves the right to make these decisions on a case-by-case basis.

iii. Unavoidable conflicts of interest will be disclosed.

II. Sensitive Coverage

a. Withholding Names and Information

i. The goal of The Vanderbilt Hustler is to report with accuracy in a manner that serves the community. We strive to provide as much information as possible while balancing fairness, rights and responsibility.

ii. The Vanderbilt Hustler, like many other news outlets, may choose to withhold names and information in the case that doing so may cause unwarranted harm to an individual or is not beneficial to readers. Potential information that may be withheld includes, but is not limited to, names of victims of sensitive crimes, information that might endanger an individual or group, information prohibited by law from being published, and the names or other information about minors.

iii. The editors, in consultation with staff advisers, will make decisions regarding the withholding of information on a case-by-case basis.

b. Coverage of Sexual Violence and Sex Crimes

i. The Vanderbilt Hustler recognizes that no single report or story can capture the many intricacies that the coverage of sexual violence entails. We do, however, recognize the importance of reporting on the topic — both particular instances and the issue at large — given its presence in college campus culture.

ii. Our goal is to report the facts while keeping in mind the privacy of victims without attributing unwarranted labels on the accused. We recognize that the accused are innocent until proven guilty, and will only report facts we uncover or are given related to cases.

iii. The Hustler will never name a victim or alleged victim of sexual violence without their expressed consent.

III. Editorials

a. Purpose

i. Our editorials represent the majority opinion of The Vanderbilt Hustler Editorial Board and may be supposed to represent the organizational view at the time of publication. Expressed opinions are the result of debate among members of the editorial board.

ii. Our editorials typically will address campus issues, topics in higher education, acts of the Vanderbilt administration or other issues pertinent to our coverage.

iii. Pieces, including staff columns, guest op-eds, and letters to the editor, published in the Opinion section, unless labeled as an editorial, do not reflect the opinion of the Editorial Board or the The Vanderbilt Hustler.

b. Hustler Endorsement

i. The Vanderbilt Hustler may choose to endorse a particular candidate in an election or poll in which the outcome will affect the Vanderbilt community. If so, the Editorial Board will make an effort to meet and interview the candidates in order to make an informed and reasoned endorsement in the form of an editorial.

ii. An official endorsement may be made with a simple majority of the Editorial Board. However, the board may choose not to issue an endorsement for other reasons.

The Code of Ethics of The Vanderbilt Hustler was drafted after review of many publications’ codes and general practices in the media and newspaper industry.

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Josh Hamburger, Author

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The Vanderbilt Hustler welcomes and encourages readers to engage with content and express opinions through the comment sections on our website and social media platforms. The Hustler reserves the right to remove comments that contain vulgarity, hate speech, personal attacks or that appear to be spam, commercial promotion or impersonation. The comment sections are moderated by our Editor-in-Chief, Rachael Perrotta, and our Social Media Director, Chloe Postlewaite. You can reach them at [email protected] and [email protected].
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