Mountain Echo

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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

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 and may be e-mailed to [email protected] or submitted in room A219. 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.

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.

The Student News Site of Altoona Area High School
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