Texan News Service
Overview
Texan News Service newspaper, Texan TV broadcast and Cross Timbers Trails
magazine are distributed by the Department of Communication Studies at Tarleton
State University to provide students with experience needed to compete in a rapidly
changing media job market and to keep the audiences of each informed.
The primary audiences of TNS and TTV are the campus community and surrounding
area. The primary audience of CTT is the Cross Timbers region, Erath and the seven
contiguous counties.
These policies and practices apply to all students who contribute content to any TNS
platform, whether the student is in a class, an unpaid intern, Work-Study, Intern 2
Learn, or volunteer.
TNS, TTV and CTT are run by student editors and designers selected by the Student
Media Advisory Committee. The committee is comprised of faculty members Dan
Malone and Kathryn Jones, current paid Texan News Service staff members, and any
other person appointed to the committee by the Department Head. The size and
membership will change as the Department Head makes additional appointments.
The committee appoints editors at the end of each semester for the following
semester. Applications are available from journalism faculty and the department.
Students who qualify for the Work-Study program can also apply to be paid student
workers in the department. Student editors can receive internship or special
projects/problems credit and may be required to enroll in such courses.
The primary editor (the editor-in-chief for TNS, the executive producer for TTV and
the editor for CTT) is responsible for overseeing content creation, production and
distribution. Various deputies, assistants, and designers may be appointed to assist
the primary editor and report to the primary editor. Terms for editors expire at the
end of each semester. However, students appointed as editors in one semester may
apply for positions in the subsequent semester.
The Human Resources Department of Tarleton State University recommended to
TNS a policy for disciplinary actions, which TNS will abide by: The faculty adviser
may, upon recommendation from the staff member’s primary student supervisor or
student editor, dismiss or discipline a member of the Texan News Service staff. If a
separated staffer wishes to appeal the faculty adviser’s decision, the staffer may
appeal the decision to the department head of communication studies.
No staff member may be removed from office except for an outstanding cause, such
as serious breaches of professionalism. These breaches include, but are not limited
to, regular unexcused tardiness/early leave/absences, severe acts of disrespect for a
fellow coworker, consistent failure to meet deadline and/or disregard for necessary
work asked of the individual. The Communications Department, TNS, TTV, and CTT
do not and will not tolerate any inappropriate sexual advances and/or degrading
remarks against any gender, race, sexual orientation, culture, or religion. Acts as
such will be immediately addressed, and those involved will be contacted for due
process as soon as possible.
Primary editors are advised by a faculty member appointed by the department
head. All content should be reviewed by the staff member’s primary editor prior to
distribution. In the event that the author and the editor disagree on the
appropriateness of content, they shall refer the matter to the adviser and committee,
which shall have final say. Proofs of published content will be shown to the adviser
prior to publication. In any case of a news story being accusatory in nature, the
adviser will review the content before publication or broadcasting. Content will be
created by paid staff, unpaid staff and volunteers. All content creators will follow
said guidelines.
At present, the primary adviser for www.texannews.net, Texan TV and the Texan
News newspaper is Dan Malone. He can be reached by phone or text at 817-2352451. Kathryn Jones is the primary adviser for Cross Timbers Trails magazine and
can be reached at 254-974-0326. If one adviser is not available, consult with the
other. If neither is available and the situation is urgent, consult with Dr. Charles
Howard.
Expectations for student publications through TNS, TTV and CTT can be found in the
attached “Rights and Responsibilities” form. Expectations for all staff members’
attire can be found in the attached “Dress Code” form.
Rights and Responsibilities
Student journalists exercise the same First Amendment rights and responsibilities
as professional journalists, foremost among them the right to practice their craft
without fear of retaliation or censorship. Editors should strive to serve their
audiences above all others. With these rights come professional responsibilities
outlined below.
Hours
Work-Study students and Graduate Assistants may work up to 20 hours a week.
Intern 2 Learn students must work 225 hours cumulatively over the course of the
semester to qualify for the Applied Learning Experience (ALE) credit. Work-Study
and Intern 2 Learn students should turn-in their hours each week. At the beginning
of each semester, the TNS editor-in-chief will prepare a schedule showing the hours
and days that each student is expected to work.
Absences
When a student is unable to work assigned times and/or days, the student should
let the editor-in-chief AND the faculty adviser know in advance that they will not be
able to work an assigned day(s) and/or hour(s). If an employee is scheduled to work
and doesn’t have anything to do, they will ask one of the editors for an assignment. If
the editors do not have an assignment, the employee will ask a faculty adviser for a
story idea. If neither have an assignment to give, the employee may use the spare
time to study in the office.
Regularity
Texan News strives to update its platforms with fresh content every news cycle,
which in most cases mean every 24 hours. Some updates take weeks to do, some
days, but many updates can be done in an hour or so. When there is new content on
TNS, a newspaper, magazine or show, an assigned employee will promote it on the
TNS Facebook page, Twitter, Instagram, etc.
Attribution
All content will be properly and fairly attributed. Plagiarism is acceptable in no
circumstance.
Ethics
The staff adheres to the Code of Ethics of the Society of Professional Journalists. It
can be found here: http://www.spj.org/ethicscode.asp
Professional Affiliations
Staff are encouraged—and paid staff are required—to become members of the
Society of Professional Journalists. The link to the SPJ website can be found here:
https://www.spj.org/autodues.asp
Professionalism and Newsroom Decorum
Editors are expected to foster a professional atmosphere in the newsroom and to
comport themselves professionally while conducting business outside the office.
This means treating colleagues and sources respectfully. When conflict among staff
arise, staff should try to resolve the conflict themselves and consult faculty only if
they are unable to resolve the problem themselves. Coarse language should be
avoided in the newsroom.
Equipment and Security
The last employee to leave the newsroom will be sure that all door are locked and
lights and screens are turned off. If the employee does not have a key, they will call
Control Center at extension 9265 and request that they lock the door(s). Computers,
iPads, video cameras, still cameras and other equipment in Grant 396A and B may
be checked-out only to students working on content for TNS. The equipment must
be signed-out by a paid student worker and must include the name, phone number
and email address of the student checking-out the equipment. Students who lose or
damage equipment may be responsible for replacing it. Only those who have signed
the “iPad Use Agreement” may check-out iPads.
Incidental Use of University Equipment
Student workers, like faculty and staff, are public servants and are expected to
conform to all applicable university procedures and rules and complete all
employee training required by Tarleton State University or the Texas A & M System,
including but not limited to Rule 29.01.02 T2 Incidental Computer Use.
Style
Staff shall follow Associated Press Style. When style is not explained by the AP
Stylebook, refer to the TSU Style Guide. It can be found here:
https://tsustyleguide.wordpress.com/2012/02/15/t/
Accuracy
Staff shall strive to make sure all broadcasts and text are accurate. Challenges to the
accuracy of any story, corrections and clarifications should be brought to the
attention of primary editors and faculty advisers. Journalists, being human,
occasionally make mistakes. An important principle in the ethical practice of
journalism is prompt correction of mistakes. Corrections to pieces that have already
been published will be posted under the “Corrections, Clarifications” tab on
texannews.net. This page can be found here:
http://www.texannews.net/home/corrections-clarifications/
Fairness
Staff should strive to represent all sides of any issue reported. Content of an
accusatory nature must give all parties involved a chance to comment. That means
they must be contacted and given the opportunity to respond prior to publication of
distribution.
Competition
Media competition is healthy. Scoops, or exclusive content, are highly valued in the
profession. From time to time, staff may find themselves competing with other
media on or off campus. In such situations, the goal should be to compete and beat
the competitor without sacrificing accuracy or fairness of any report.
Conflicts of Interest
Conflicts of interest should be avoided. Such conflicts include any relationship that
would call into question the integrity or motivation of staff, such as membership in
organizations in the news or affiliations with competing media.
Reproduction
Content may be reproduced by other media with the following stipulations:
All reproduced content must credit the staff member(s) who created it and the
media that distributed it.
Advertising Guidelines
 Alcohol advertising
No alcohol advertising. Advertising restaurants or other venues that serve
alcohol is acceptable. (i.e. City Limits, is acceptable, as long as alcoholic products
are not inherently advertised either visually or textually)
 Tobacco advertising
No tobacco advertising. This includes e-cigarettes and all related products.
Advertising stores or other locations that sell tobacco is acceptable, as long as
tobacco products are not inherently advertised either visually or textually.
 Tattoo advertising
Acceptable as long as the service is presented in a professional manner. (i.e. no
pictures of bare backs, thighs, or other provocative images)
 Homework services
Not acceptable. This includes advertising for services to write papers, do
students’ homework, etc.
 Gambling, others
No advertising of illegal activity whatsoever.
Dress Code*
Student journalists need to be dressed in a way that represents TNS well when in
the newsroom, on camera for Texan TV News, conducting interviews, or taking
photographs for stories. These guidelines should be followed any time a student
journalist is representing TNS in any of these, or other, ways.
Newsroom
 No athletic attire
 Shorts/skirts/dresses must be “finger-tip-length”
 Tops must cover appropriately
o No low-cut tops
o No mid-drift-revealing tops
 No ripped/stained clothing
 Closed-toe shoes if going into the TTV studio
Interviews/Photography
 Follow newsroom guidelines above (environment permitting)
 Must wear TNS press badge
 Business professional
On Camera
 Business professional
 NO GREEN
 No distracting jewelry/accessories
 Shoulders covered – preferably wearing a blazer/cardigan/etc.
 Tops must cover appropriately
o No low-cut tops
o No mid-drift-revealing tops
 No hats
 No attire representing other universities
*Primary editors (Editor-in-Chief, Managing Editor, Magazine Editor and Executive
Producer) and advisers reserve the right to ask staff members and volunteers to
improve their attire and excuse them to do so during production or creation of any
TNS product, whether it be during a broadcast, an interview, a staff meeting, story
writing in the office, etc.
Such an excuse—due to improper adherence to dress code—that causes failure to
meet deadline or inability to create a story, product, etc., will be the fault of none
other than the staff member or volunteer that was improperly dressed. Any lack of
production caused by such an issue will not be the fault of the primary editor that
gave the excuse.