January 12, 2014
Filed under Stylebook
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The ability of newspapers to report and to comment on public affairs is based on a unique grant of freedom. Our duty is clear: serve our public–the students, faculty and staff of Chico State–with skill and character and to exercise First Amendment freedom with vigor and responsibility.
Our goal is to build on a tradition of excellence, as The Orion is recognized as one of the finest college newspapers in the country. The newspaper’s purpose is to provide students from journalism and other disciplines the opportunity to participate in hands-on, student-managed publishing.
The Orion represents good journalistic taste, embodies a sense of impartiality and fair play, and strives for the highest standards of professional conduct. The private interests of the staff or of any other group should never influence our news reports.
We must be aggressive in publishing the news. We are relied upon as a source of important information by many in the campus community. We compete with other Chico news media for stories and for audience. Our motto: “Get it first, but first get it right.”
We curry no favors from those in positions of power and prestige. The independence of our editors, reporters and photographers is not for sale. No territory of legitimate public interest is off limits to fair and competent reporting and commentary.
Our editorials should exhibit strength and courage. They should always been respectful of contrary opinion, fair to all sides and should never be tailored to any personal agenda.
Freedom creates the space for excellence. That space must be filled with professional discipline. We must never pander to passions nor forget the power of the printed word to hurt the innocent and destroy the powerless.
When we make mistakes–and we will–we will correct them promptly and forthrightly. We must provide our readers with the space to exercise their free speech, and we must have the courage to allow them to do it even when it is personally painful for us. Excellence cannot flourish without criticism. Arrogance is poison.
The first priority of The Orion is to present a full, fair and accurate picture of our university community. Scandal, conflict and controversy are the core of the news, but they are not all of the news. We should be generous in our coverage of achievement; our pages should reflect the grit, devotion and diversity of the people of this university.
A great university newspaper is distinguished by the balance, fairness and authority of its reporting and editing. Such a newspaper will search as hard for strengths and accomplishments as for weakness and failures. Rather than demoralize the university, the great university newspaper will inspire the university.
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