In an effort to be more transparent with readers, we are sharing the ethics and standards by which members of The Quadrangle are to abide by when reporting for the publication. Having these best practices codified and made publicly available is an accountability measure. The sitting Editor-in-Chief is allowed to initiate updates and changes to these ethics and standards, but the edits must be approved by managing editors and section editors before going into effect. The ethics and standards below are up to date as of August 2020.
Balance, fairness, accuracy and truth
As the primary source of campus news at Manhattan College, The Quadrangle has a responsibility to produce unbiased, accurate, truthful and informative stories. For The Quadrangle, this means that reporters do not let their own opinions interfere with or inform their writing and will seek to include diverse voices on each issue they cover. Any question of balance, fairness and accuracy should be discussed with your editor.
The Quadrangle’s reporters and editors must verify each fact we publish. Should we publish any incorrect information, we will run a correction in the next print edition and update the digital version of the story to include the correction.
Conflicts of interest
Manhattan College is a very small school and The Quadrangle is one of many clubs on campus, often making conflicts of interest unavoidable. However, there are some absolutes:
- Reporters may not interview friends, close acquaintances, family members, co-workers, current professors, sorority/fraternity sisters & brothers, classmates and current roommates.
- Reporters may be involved in both The Quadrangle and the Student Government Assembly, within limitations. Students may be part of SGA subcommittees and The Quadrangle’s staff and masthead without issue. Students may be a class or school vice president in SGA and a member of The Quadrangle’s staff and masthead without issue. Moving forward, students are asked not to hold both a SGA executive board position and a position on the masthead above assistant editor. Individual cases will be reviewed and discussed with the sitting editor-in-chief, advisor and the Publications committee. Those elected to the SGA executive board and part of The Quadrangle’s masthead for the 2020-21 academic school year have been grandfathered in and are unaffected by this.
- Reporters may not work on stories covering organizations or groups they actively participate in; this includes both on- and off-campus organizations.
Any questions regarding conflict of interest should be discussed with an editor before continuing to proceed with an interview and/or story. Should a reporter flagrantly and/or repeatedly disregard any of these conflicts of interest, the editor and the editor-in-chief reserve the right to significantly edit, hold or simply not run the story.
Reporters are encouraged to conduct all interviews in person. If an in-person interview is not viable, the next best choice is a video conferencing interview or a phone interview. Interviews are allowed to be conducted via emails and text messages as a last resort. The Quadrangle will accept written statements from sources, as well, but will make sure quotes pulled from written statements are clearly denoted as such.
New York state has a “one-party consent” law, which means only one party of the conversation needs to consent to the conversation being recorded. Our reporters do not need to ask a source for consent to record an interview, but are encouraged to do so to make the source comfortable.
Reporters should get permission from event organizers to record when attending public meetings on campus.
Reporters are encouraged to take notes, in addition to recording.
Reporters are allowed to take pictures of anyone at a public event and The Quadrangle has the right to publish them. Pictures of minors will selectively be published and The Quadrangle will strive to select pictures without minors’ faces in them.
Sources must be identified. Every reporter should ask for full name, years, majors, relevant titles and pronouns. If applicable, the reporter should ask for the source’s commuter or resident status and for the source’s age.
If a source asks to be “anonymous” or “off the record,” a reporter is required to discuss this with the section editor and the editor-in-chief. The editor-in-chief and the section editor will jointly make the decision whether or not to grant anonymity and/or background sourcing.
Any information gathered through online research must be properly attributed to the source.
The Quadrangle is officially a Manhattan College club under the Student Government Association through the Office of Student Engagement. We are financially funded by the college; however, we are editorially independent. Editorial decisions are made by the students within the club, without influence from college administrators, faculty or staff. The Quadrangle’s faculty advisor does not edit or interfere with our processes, rather, is present to answer questions and give us guidance when we ask for it.
Reporters should not show drafts or quotes to sources before publication. If a source asks to see a reporter’s work, the reporter must respond with The Quadrangle’s policy. Any questions regarding this should be discussed with the section editor and any exceptions will be granted jointly by the section editor and editor-in-chief.
Comments and Letters
Members of The Quadrangle’s readership have the right to comment on our stories, as well as write letters to the editor for publishing. Comments will be approved on our website unless they are factually inaccurate and/or are hateful. The Quadrangle is willing to publish letters from readership, but still reserves the right to not publish a letter. Profanity, hatred and vulgarity will not be published. Letters should be emailed to the publication at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We strive to have an inclusive newsroom and work to make sure each member of our staff, whether a long time member or a new member, feels welcome and included. We do not tolerate discrimination in the newsroom or in a reporter’s writing. We also strive for our reporters to be mindful of their personal biases and to watch how it affects their work.
The Quadrangle does not tolerate plagiarism in its reporting under any circumstances. All work will be original. Any information, photography or work that is not original will be properly attributed.