Home About 42Fifty Policies Editorial Policy (2023-2024)

Editorial Policy (2023-2024)

42Fifty is the official student-produced news and media website of Oswego High School. 42Fifty is a designated public forum, meaning that student editors—not school faculty—make all content decisions.

Role of students

Students in the Digital Journalism classes write, produce, edit, and determine coverage of all written and multimedia content on the 42Fifty website. The content published by 42Fifty will not be reviewed or restrained by school officials prior to its publication on the website. As such, the content published by 42Fifty only represents the views of the student editors and student staff—it does not represent the views of the faculty adviser, any school officials, the school itself, or the district.

Signed opinion editorials or reviews reflect only the opinion of the author(s). For unsigned staff editorials, please see the section on staff editorials. 

Role of faculty adviser

In addition to teaching the Digital Journalism classes, the faculty adviser will work with students during the writing and production process to promote ethical journalism, fair coverage, and quality written and multimedia content. The adviser will also have the final decision in assigning editorial roles to students on staff. Student editors, however, retain the right to all final decisions regarding content and coverage. 

Statement of legal rights and responsibilities

As a designated public forum in Illinois, 42Fifty and its student staff is protected by the principles of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, the Speech Rights of Student Journalists Act (“New Voices” Act) / 105 ILCS 80, and other protections and limitations afforded by the Constitution and the various laws and court decisions implementing those principles.

42Fifty will not publish any content that is determined by the student editors to be libelous, slanderous, or obscene; constitutes an unwarranted invasion of privacy; violates federal or State law; incites students to commit an unlawful act, to violate policies of the school district, or to materially and substantially disrupt the orderly operation of the school; or violates copyright law.

Staff editorials

Every month—or more frequently, depending on need—42Fifty will publish a staff editorial. Staff editorial topics are decided on and discussed by the 42Fifty editorial board, which consists of all student editors on the year’s masthead. While the staff editorials may be written by one or two staff members, they will be reviewed by all student editors and published unsigned. Opinions set forth in staff editorials are to be viewed as the official opinions of 42Fifty’s editorial staff. In the event that the editorial staff is divided on a particular issue, the editorial will be written from the perspective held by the majority of the editorial staff, with the consent of the minority. 

The views expressed in staff editorials reflect only the views of the student editorial staff, and do not represent the views of the faculty adviser, any school officials, the school itself, or the district.

The editors-in-chief and the faculty adviser (Amy Howerton) will interpret and enforce this policy.