*The KSU Media Contract must be completed by all students before they may begin working with any of our media outlets. The contract is usually completed after the staff application is submitted.
The KSUSM Contract has three sections: Plagiarism Policy, Ethics Statement, and Reading List. Please review these carefully, as they protect both your credibility and ours. Violation of these policies is also grounds for your termination so it is in your best interest to understand them. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to talk to your editor, manager, or advisers.
I - Plagiarism Policy
Plagiarism at The Sentinel, The Peak, Owl Radio, and other KSU Student Media shall be defined as submitting another person’s work, whether previously published
or not, as your own, or taking portions of another person’s work, whether published
or not, and presenting them as your own in your work without properly attributing
them to the person who created the work.
In terms of the law, if the plagiarized work is then published in a KSU Student Media publication or broadcast, that is called copyright infringement. These rules apply to staff of the newsroom, production, and advertising, as well as The Peak Magazine, and Owl Radio.
Any person caught committing plagiarism and/or copyright infringement will face the following disciplinary action(s):
- The employee will be immediately fired from the organization and will never be permitted to work for the organization again.
- The editor in chief, or any other editor, or any of the publication’s advisers, may submit the student’s name to the University’s judicial system for adjudication and punishment.
- A person who commits copyright infringement must pay all costs related to settling with any aggrieved party. For example, if the writer of a previously published piece demands payment, the student who committed the plagiarism must pay the requested price to the publication. The publication will then pay the person to whom payment is owed.
- Any student refusing to fulfill the financial obligations incurred from copyright infringement will have his/her records and registration frozen by the University until the debt is settled with the KSU Student Media organization.
II - Ethics Statement
I, [Complete submission fields below] understand that as a staff member in the editorial department of The Sentinel or other KSU Student Media, I must adhere to the following ethical principles in doing my work. I also acknowledge that I have reviewed all documents required in the application process and that I am responsible for adhering to the newspaper’s Policy for Plagiarism and Copyright Infringement.
1. I will never submit plagiarized or fabricated material. Plagiarism at KSU Student Media shall be defined as submitting another person’s work, whether previously published or not, as your own, or taking portions of another person’s work, whether published or not, and presenting them as your own in your work without properly attributing them to the person who created the work. In terms of the law, if the plagiarized work is then published in the publication, that is called copyright infringement. Fabrication at KSU Student Media shall be defined as attributing to a fictional or incorrect source.
2. I will never submit work (story or photograph) about an organization, business, social group, or academic society to which I belong or to which I previously belonged without the approval of the editor or manager. If an editor offers such a story to me, I will immediately disclose my conflict of interest and request another story.
3. I will not use a roommate, relative, employer, employee, professor or close friend as a source, including (but not limited to) someone in an organization to which I belong, or someone with whom I have an intimate or close personal relationship, or with whom I have an outside business or professional relationship. I will select, as sources for my story, informed people with whom I have had no prior personal or business relationship, or informed people whom I know only casually and with whom I do not socialize or work. In the event that I write a story or produce a broadcast that requires me to mention or interview a staff member of The Sentinel or other KSU Student Media, I will make my editor or director aware of this fact.
4. While working for KSU Student Media, I will not take a job with any office of Kennesaw State University that disseminates information to the news media, including (but not limited to) University Relations or the Office of Sports Information without the written permission of the editor in chief.
5. I will not promise anonymity to a source. Only my editor can promise anonymity to a source. If a source requests anonymity, I will tell the source that I can make no promises and can only honor the request if my editor agrees.
6. I will not print anything in the publication that is untrue, or that I have reason to believe is untrue. If I believe a source may not be telling the truth, I will not print what s/he says, and I will seek a more reliable and credible source. I will also point out any such suspicions to my editor.
7. I will not accept free gifts of any substantial value from a news maker or a source, nor will I accept free food while covering a news event, with the exception of a token offering, such as a non-alcoholic beverage.
8. When I cover a news event or interview a source, I will always dress appropriately and behave courteously. I will not get personally involved in any news event that I cover, nor will I take part in any activity that occurs at a news event, unless my editor has assigned me to write about the event from the point of view of a participant (see #10).
9. I will only claim to represent a KSU Student Media organization when doing an assignment for the organization. I will not speak on behalf of the media, claim to represent the organization, or claim the identity of the organization (reserved for the Editor in Chief/Station Manager) in any personal or private matter, such as on a web site or internet chat room. I also will not claim to represent KSU Student Media in any personal or private matter in an effort to get special favors or to persuade someone to act in my favor. This applies to staff of the newsroom, production, and advertising, as well as Sting Magazine, Share Art & Literary, advertising staff and Owl Radio as well.
10. When doing an assignment, I will always introduce myself as a staff member with the organization. I will be professional since I represent the organization and should strive to protect its reputation. The only exception would be an assignment that necessitates "undercover reporting." Going undercover requires some form of deception and is therefore intrinsically unethical. Undercover journalism and reporting that incorporates misrepresentation and/or fabrication should only be used in exceptional circumstances and only with the approval of the editor in chief.
11. If I become involved in any political or social advocacy group, or any other student or community activity, I will notify my editor/manager immediately. While I may pass on tips and information, I understand that involvement in such a group means I cannot report on or write about issues related to that group, and that if my advocacy becomes too public and I become a news maker, I may be asked to resign my position with KSU Student Media.
III - Reading List
As a KSUSM staff member you should be familiar with the policies and codes governing your organization. The materials you should review depend on the group(s) you are employed by:
- Your organization's constitution (contact your editor or GM)
- The Associated College Press Code of Ethics
Owl Radio Applicants:
By submitting this KSU Student Media Contract, I am signifying I understand and will abide by all these materials including the Reading List, GPA policy, Plagiarism Policy, and Ethics Statement. I understand the penalties for violations. I understand that I may not work for any student media organization until I have done so. I understand that all KSUSM staff members must be registered and maintain a 2.0 GPA.