The Student News Site of Fremont High School

The Phoenix

The Phoenix

The Student News Site of Fremont High School

The Phoenix

The Student News Site of Fremont High School

Editorial Policy

Want to be part of The Phoenix?

Letters to the editor and questions for the Ask Esteban may be submitted online at https://fhsphoenix.org/, to room A-206, Ms. Martin’s mailbox or emailed to [email protected]. Identities of those who submit Ask Esteban questions will remain anonymous. The staff reserves the right to edit letters to conform to styles and policy. Letters to the editor will be published at the discretion of the staff.

Mission Statement

The Phoenix, protected under the California Education Code, is a public forum for the students of Fremont High School. The Phoenix staff will publish features, editorials, news and sports articles in an unbiased and professional manner. The Phoenix is the official student newspaper and is distributed free of cost to the students. The Phoenix publishes eight issues throughout the school year. We strive to publish pieces that consider and feature opinions from all perspectives. We also wish to provide our staff and underrepresented groups in our community an established avenue for making our voices heard. Above all else we desire to fuel students’ unending passion for reporting, writing, and more for their future careers. It will exercise the press freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment and California Ed Code 48907 while maintaining a strong ethical code.

Editorial Policy

Editorials are the official opinion of The Phoenix. Opinions and letters are the personal viewpoints of the writers and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Phoenix. All content decisions are made by the student editors and in no way reflect the official policy of Fremont High School, nor the opinions of the administration, faculty, or the adviser.

Advertise with The Phoenix

Business advertisements are accepted by The Phoenix. We also reserve the right to deny any ad. Those interested in running advertisements can email us at [email protected] or [email protected]. An online version of The Phoenix is always available at https://fhsphoenix.org/.

Want to be part of The Phoenix?

Letters to the editor and questions for the Ask Esteban may be submitted online at https://fhsphoenix.org/, to room A-206, Ms. Martin’s mailbox, or emailed to [email protected]. Identities of those who submit Ask Esteban questions will remain anonymous. The staff reserves the right to edit letters to conform to styles and policy. Letters to the editor will be published at the discretion of the staff.

Legal Protections

First Amendment to the United States Constitution

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

California Education Code 48907

(a) Pupils of the public schools, including charter schools, shall have the right to exercise freedom of speech and of the press including, but not limited to, the use of bulletin boards, the distribution of printed materials or petitions, the wearing of buttons, badges, and other insignia, and the right of expression in official publications, whether or not the publications or other means of expression are supported financially by the school or by use of school facilities, except that expression shall be prohibited which is obscene, libelous, or slanderous. Also prohibited shall be material that so incites pupils as to create a clear and present danger of the commission of unlawful acts on school premises or the violation of lawful school regulations, or the substantial disruption of the orderly operation of the school.

(b) The governing board or body of each school district or charter school and each county board of education shall adopt rules and regulations in the form of a written publications code, which shall include reasonable provisions for the time, place, and manner of conducting such activities within its respective jurisdiction.

(c) Pupil editors of official school publications shall be responsible for assigning and editing the news, editorial, and feature content of their publications subject to the limitations of this section. However, it shall be the responsibility of a journalism adviser or advisers of pupil publications within each school to supervise the production of the pupil staff, to maintain professional standards of English and journalism, and to maintain the provisions of this section.

(d) There shall be no prior restraint of material prepared for official school publications except insofar as it violates this section. School officials shall have the burden of showing justification without undue delay prior to a limitation of pupil expression under this section.

(e) “Official school publications” refers to material produced by pupils in the journalism, newspaper, yearbook, or writing classes and distributed to the student body either free or for a fee.

(f) This section does not prohibit or prevent the governing board or body of a school district or charter school from adopting otherwise valid rules and regulations relating to oral communication by pupils upon the premises of each school.

(g) An employee shall not be dismissed, suspended, disciplined, reassigned, transferred, or otherwise retaliated against solely for acting to protect a pupil engaged in the conduct authorized under this section, or refusing to infringe upon conduct that is protected by this section, the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, or Section 2 of Article I of the California Constitution.

[Amended by Stats. 2010, Ch. 142, Sec. 2. (SB 438) Effective January 1, 2011.]

Code of Ethics

Members of the Phoenix staff believe that public enlightenment is the forerunner of justice and the foundation of democracy. The duty of the journalist is to further those ends by seeking truth and providing a fair and comprehensive account of events and issues. Conscientious journalists from all media and specialties strive to serve the public with thoroughness and honesty. Professional integrity is the cornerstone of a journalist’s credibility. The Phoenix staff shares a dedication to ethical behavior and adopts this code to declare its principles and standards of practice.

  1. Seek Truth and Report It: Journalists should be honest, fair and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting information.
  2. Minimize Harm: Ethical journalists treat sources, subjects and colleagues as human beings deserving of respect. 
  3. Act Independently: Journalists should be free of obligation to any interest other than the public’s right to know. 
  4. Be Accountable: Journalists are accountable to their readers, listeners, viewers and each other.

 

Additionally, the Phoenix staff members are permitted to voice their opinions and advocate in support of movements publicly outside of the Phoenix , but to maintain objectivity in our content, these staff members may not edit, write or be involved in the coverage of those topics with the exception of columns and editorials.

Editorial Board

The editorial board includes the Editors-in-Chief, Managing Editor and advisor. This group manages the newspaper. 

Errors/Corrections/Take down requests

The Phoenix must always strive for the highest standards of accuracy, completeness and careful research in its presentation of material. In the case that inaccurate material is published, the staff will assume responsibility for the error and correct it as soon as possible. If the reader believes such an error has been made, they are encouraged to contact the respective reporter. We will correct any factual or source representation errors and document the date and time the correction was posted at the bottom of the story or in the next issue of the paper as such: Correction: Date + time, One-sentence about the update and why it was made. The Phoenix does not typically take down stories that are factually accurate.

Sources

Student sources are the most important part of nearly every story, and reporters must make efforts to ensure the reader is able to clearly see student angles and viewpoints. Reporters must interview sources representing the major sides of news stories. A majority of stories must include an adult expert source. All stories, with the exception of editorials, columns and reviews, must include at least three sources. Furthermore, sources quoted in stories will, upon request, be presented a copy of their quotes for confirmation by the reporter assigned to the story. If a source demands that a quote placed on the record be retracted, the Editorial Board will discuss the possible ramifications of printing the article and act accordingly, but is not obliged to comply with the source’s request.

Prior review

It is the policy of the Phoenix that stories, photographs and pages are not to be reviewed by any non-staff member prior to publication. The reporter can, and should, check quotations and facts in their story, especially if the quotation is controversial and/or the interview was not tape recorded. 

Diversity

Reporters will make genuine efforts to include sources and subjects for photographs who represent all parts of the Fremont High School population, including the opinions of minority beliefs on campus. Diversity includes, but is not limited to, ethnicity, age, gender and social group. Staff management will make a conscious effort to utilize the audits system to ensure diversity each cycle. Additionally, staff reporters must avoid repeating sources unless an overused source is integral to a specific story.

Withholding Names

In most cases, all names will be used. Withholding a name will only occur in rare cases when a student’s safety is in danger, the law requires it, the student seriously wishes to remain private, or the Editorial Board deems it appropriate for the case at hand. The adviser will not be notified of the student’s identity; only the reporters working on the story will know the source’s name. 

Involvement/Conflict of Interest

Staff members are not to write about or photograph their friends, family members or clubs/teams with which they are currently affiliated. A column would be an exception to this policy. Reporters cannot write about each other, the newspaper, the adviser or members of other student publication staff unless newsworthiness makes that coverage necessary.

Journalistic Integrity

Reporters who plagiarize – fabricate quotations or statistics, knowingly use copyrighted material, intentionally misrepresent a subject – will be removed from staff. These offenses are unethical and the damage done is irreparable, both to our publication’s integrity and the community. Reporters who accept off-the-record information are expected not to print it. 

Comments Policy

The Phoenix encourages readers to use their full name when posting comments; however, it will not maintain the validity of the posted names. Anonymous comments are only justifiable if they add to the discussion at hand even with the loss of identity. The Phoenix gives the opportunity to comment in order to foster a healthy debating environment and reserves the right to reject comments that stray away from that objective. Specifically, the Phoenix reserves the right to delete, move or edit comments that: use any language that is derogatory, abusive, libelous or discriminatory on the basis of race, religion, nationality, gender, sexual preference, age, region, disability; are repeated messages, meaningless messages or spam; threaten others, including the author of the article or other individuals that post comments on the site; publish or distribute any content that advertises or solicits goods or services; by the staff of the Phoenix’s judgement are unacceptable.

Bylines

Every article will include the author’s name and their position on the staff. If a guest writer writes in the opinion section, their name and “guest” will be included. If the guest writer chooses to remain anonymous, the word “anonymous” will appear in both slots. 

Multimedia Coverage

All posts to be published on behalf of the Phoenix on official media accounts should be reviewed by the Managing Editor. All rights to the photographs, videos or any other multimedia content taken by the Phoenix reporters with an intent to publish belong to the Phoenix and may not be used or posted for personal use before publication with the Phoenix. 

Death of a person on campus

Any current student, staff member or building administrator who dies during the year will be covered in a tasteful and respectful manner. Standard coverage will include factual information (date of birth, date of death, survivors, organizations, hobbies and interests) in a 300-400 word obituary and include one mug shot. The Phoenix staff will first obtain permission from the deceased’s family before publishing any information regarding the cause of death. No page, spread or issue will be dedicated to or in memory of the deceased.

Photography / Artwork / Fair Use

All photographs and artwork will be attributed to the photographer or creator using a consistent format on the website and on our social media platforms. Photos and artwork will also only be used with permission from the creator.

  • For EE staff: Photo/Illustration/Graphic by FirstName LastName
  • NON-EE staff: Photo/Illustration/Graphic by FirstName LastName | Used with permission
  • Creative Commons: “Title of piece” by CCUsername | Licensed under CC letters-numbers

Photos and videos created for the Phoenix are the property of the Phoenix and may not be published on other platforms (including personal social media sites, blogs and websites) until they have been published by the Phoenix and with appropriate credit.

Access

Reporters are free to access public meetings and quote those who speak at them.

Activate Search
Editorial Policy