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The Student News Site of Altoona Area High School

Mountain Echo

Online newspaper of Altoona Area High School in Altoona, Pennsylvania
What You Need To Know
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The Student News Site of Altoona Area High School

Mountain Echo

The Student News Site of Altoona Area High School

Mountain Echo

About

About the Mountain Echo

The Mountain Echo | Location

Altoona Area High School, 1416 6th Avenue Altoona, PA 16602

Altoona Area High School Publication Policies

Elective video by Wanda Vanish

Destiny Montgomery, Connor George, Claudia Clapper

The publications are designated public forums for student expression in which students make all decisions of content without prior review from school officials or the public. The adviser will not act as a censor, but will advise students. Students have the final decision on all content. Please visit our staff page for a current list of reporters.

​Rationale:
Because students learn more when they make publication choices. Prior review or restraint does not teach students how to produce higher quality journalism. The only way to teach students to take responsibility for their decisions is to empower them to make those decisions freely. Additionally, democracy depends on students understanding that all voices have a right to be heard and knowing they have a voice in their school and community. The regulations of the school board provide that the school can exercise censorship only for libel, obscenity, and material that would cause a substantial or material interference with school activities.

Ethical guidelines:

Content represents views of the student staff and not school officials. The publications will work to avoid bias and/or favoritism. We will strive to make our coverage and content meaningful and interesting to all our readers. In order to strive for objectivity, journalists should avoid covering stories of which they are involved. Journalists should avoid a real or perceived conflict of interest as well.

​The publications will not shy away from covering newsworthy controversial issues of importance to students. Journalists should work to cover these topics robustly. Reporting in scholastic media that omits essential pieces of information because of review or restraint is an indirect form of fabrication. It destroys not only truth but credibility and reliability. We will make every effort to avoid printing libel, obscenities, innuendo or invasions of privacy.

Procedures:

The editorial board will consist of the editors of the publications. The editors will ensure their voice represents the student body through writing effective staff editorials and features. Additionally, the editorial board should discuss coverage concerns and should be mindful of creating an inclusive environment for all staff members.  The adviser will review all articles and meet with the editorial board over any coverage disputes.

The publications will avoid electronic manipulation that alters the truth of a photograph unless clearly labeled as a photo illustration.

News publication staff editorials represent the opinion of the editorial board arrived at by discussion and will not be bylined. Bylined articles are the opinion of the individual writers and do not necessarily reflect the views of the staff or administration as a whole.

The publications welcome reader input. Letters must be signed and should be no longer than 250 words. The preferred method of submission is this form. Letters may also be e-mailed to [email protected] or submitted in room B130. E-mailed letters must be verified prior to publication. We will not necessarily publish all letters received and reserve the right to ask the writer to edit for length and clarity. Anonymous letters wherein the publication name does not know the identity of the writer will not be printed.

While journalists strive for accuracy, we know errors can occur. In the event of an error being reported by readers or noticed by staffers, students should first check to see if the information is erroneous. If students deem the material to be incorrect, they should alter any online content to reflect the correction and then print a correction in the next edition. Students should be careful not to restate the error, but to correct the erroneous information.

In regard to material appearing on the websites, nothing will be taken down unless it’s proven factually false or otherwise legally deficient as of the time it was published.

All articles, graphics, photos, art, columns, reviews, and other material creatively conceived, with the exception of staff editorials, mug shots and cutouts- will be bylined with the producer’s name.  All bylined writer’s will be held accountable for their work. When more than one person has contributed creatively to a piece of work, any person who has contributed to the work must be bylined as a producer.

ANONYMOUS QUOTES Anonymous sources are only used as a last resort, as without one’s name attached to a quote, a person any share views that are driven by a personal agenda or are not necessarily truthful.  Sometimes, however, the only way people will be willing to share information is if they can speak off the record. Otherwise, they may be held back by fear of challenging authority figures or commonly held beliefs.  Thus, the Mountain Echo uses anonymous sources only when all four of the these conditions are met:

* The quote is critical to the story, and the story is critical to the newspaper.

* Information provided by anonymous source cannot be attained any other way.

* Any facts presented by the interviewee have been verified by at least three other people.

* Faculty adviser, Wanda Vanish, knows the identities of the anonymous sources.

DEATH OF A STUDENT, ADMINISRATOR OR FACULTY MEMBER In the event of the death of a student or staff member at Altoona Area High School, a standard, obituary-type recognition will commemorate the deceased on the online news site. A school-portrait type photo is preferable. A maximum 500 word feature, or similar length for each obituary, should be written by a student media staff member and placed on the website within 24 hours of notification.

ADVERTISEMENTS will be sought from local businesses, school clubs, and sports. We maintain the right to reject any ads we believe to be false, misleading, inappropriate or harmful. The publications do not necessarily endorse the products or services offered in these advertisements.

COMMENTS: We encourage readers to voice their opinions respectfully in regards to both the readers and the writers of the publication.  Comments will be pre-moderated, and may be removed if deemed to be in violation of this policy.  Comments should remain on topic, concerning the article they are about.  Brevity is encouraged.  Posting under a pseudonym is not permitted.  A comment will be deleted if:

* The comment attacks a named or identified person or group unreasonably.

*  The comment makes readers unreasonably uncomfortable on the basis of one’s race, gender, religion, disability, ethnicity, sexual orientation or otherwise.

* The comment attacks personally any school employee.

* The comment contains obscenities or sexual explicitness.

*It is determined that the comment is made under a false name or uses another person’s name or email address.

* The comment threatens or encourages violence.

* The comment encourages illegal behavior.

* The comment violates copyright or privacy protections

CORRECTIONS will be printed when mistakes are found and brought to the attention of the staff.  Please use the form below for submitting corrections.  An editor’s note will be placed at the top of any corrected story telling readers about the correction.

Story Correction Request

The Mountain Echo will consider all requests for story corrections. If you are submitting a story correction, please be very specific as to what facts have been reported incorrectly and the requested change to the story.

Name(Required)
Email(Required)
State below your requested change being sure to state the story headline and byline as well as what specifically needs corrected.

SOCIAL MEDIA The Mountain Echo will maintain a Twitter,  Instagram and Facebook social media account. Traditional ethics rules still apply online.  Assume everything you write online will become public.  Please refer to social media platforms for specifics of each platform.

2022 Quill and Scroll Honor Society Induction

2022 by Wanda Vanish

 

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