The Polygon: The Student Newspaper of Poly Prep Country Day School

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About The Polygon

The Polygon is the official student newspaper of and funded by Poly Prep Country Day School (prior to 1914 the school paper was called the Polywog). The Polygon publishes a monthly print edition and publishes stories online at any time at polygonnews.org. The Polygon is designed for student expression to freely and robustly inform and entertain readers through published material, and serve as an embodiment of Poly Prep student character. The Polygon strives to be accurate, equitable, and impartial in its coverage of all matters; The Polygon permits free expression of student opinions, always striving to do so in an open and respectful manner. The Polygon staff has adopted the following editorial policy to express the rights, responsibilities, and philosophy of The Polygon newspaper. 

 

The role of the editorial board and Editor(s)-in-Chief

The Polygon Editorial Board is the decision-making body of the newspaper which governs its day-to-day operation. The Editorial Board includes the Editor(s)-in-Chief, section editors, photography editor(s), managing editor(s), and social media editor(s). The Polygon regularly consults with its faculty advisor to ensure that it meets the highest standards for publication. Although the advisor may give advice and opinion, the final decision rests in the hands of the Editor(s)-in-Chief. All final decisions regarding The Polygon and its publications rest in the hands of the Editor(s)-in-Chief without prior review or restraint from school administrators. 

 

Association with the school

Articles in The Polygon are the work of the editorial board and contributing writers under faculty advice. All content does not necessarily represent those of The Polygon or the administration of Poly Prep Country Day School. Poly Prep Country Day School is not responsible for the accuracy and contents of The Polygon and is not liable for any claims based on the contents or views expressed therein. 

 

What can and cannot be published

The Polygon will not publish anything deemed slanderous, defamatory, or false as determined by the editorial board. A critical opinion about someone or the revealing of an unpleasant truth is not defamation when constructive and supported by facts. Libel, as defined by the Student Press Law Center, “is the willful or negligent publication of provably false and unprivileged statements of fact that do demonstrable harm to a living person’s reputation.”All articles must be fact-checked by an editor, with opinion column articles fact-checked on a case-by-case basis. The Polygon prohibits the publication of articles that meets a category of speech not protected by the First Amendment or local law, that are a violation of copyright, promotes illegal products or services as defined by state or federal law, or incites students as to create a clear and present danger of the commission of an unlawful act. The Polygon will generally avoid the publication of articles identifying minors by name accused of criminal or disciplinary infractions, though exceptions may be made where there is a compelling editorial rationale. Unwarranted invasions of privacy are forbidden, which occur when a publication publicizes highly personal, intimate information about an individual without consent or with no newsworthy justification. 

 

Contributions

The Polygon serves as an educational, journalistic experience and an opportunity to inform the community. Opinion columns represent the author’s viewpoint and do not necessarily represent the beliefs of The Polygon or Poly Prep Country Day School. We encourage students, alumni, faculty, staff, and parents to submit opinions by emailing [email protected] All submissions will be evaluated and edited for potential publication by the editorial board; student editors reserve the right to refuse to publish material that is submitted to them. 

 

Concerning controversy

The Polygon will not avoid publishing a story solely based on possible dissent or controversy.  When faced with potentially undesirable news, the publication will endeavor to publish the facts correctly, explain the issue, and put a stop to any speculative stories that may develop. It is The Polygon’s intention to present all sides of the issue and review writing to refrain from any bias, with the exception of opinion articles. For all stories regarding employee matters or potential legal issues, The Polygon will reach out to Poly Prep Country Day School for comment. In these cases, the Editor(s)-in-Chief will have a conversation with the faculty advisor about how or if it’s possible to publish a balanced and ethical story.

The Polygon nor its staff may never show Polygon-related writing or material to students outside of The Polygon staff, faculty outside of The Polygon faculty advisor(s), or administration. With approval from the Editor(s)-in-Chief, student writers or editors may gain approval to reveal articles on a case-by-case basis. If writers or editors find out sensitive or confidential information in their reporting, they will consult with the Editor(s)-in-Chief and/or faculty advisor(s).

 

Sources, interviewing protocol, and anonymity

Polygon student writers and editors conducting interviews on behalf of The Polygon must always disclose their position on The Polygon and record sources with permission beforehand. The Polygon has the right to publish anything on the record upon their discretion in print and online. Quotes from interviewees will be chosen in good faith and not taken out of context. Articles will strive to note whether something was said in an interview or through email, though The Polygon will prioritize in-person interviews. Anonymity may be granted with a legitimate fear of repercussion or retribution. The Polygon’s faculty advisor(s) can not be an anonymous inside faculty source. The Editor(s)-in-Chief will determine how many sources and which sources must be identified by name; student journalists are not required to turn over their sources under First Amendment-based privilege. The faculty advisor(s) and those on the editorial board can only be quoted in The Polygon if uniquely associated and relevant to the story. 

 

Social media 

The Polygon’s social media is to be used to promote The Polygon’s published content and engage the Poly community. All community interaction through social media should be done in a professional manner; the editorial board reserves the right to remove comments, including those that are false, inflammatory in nature, or that violate the bullying and harassment policy. Claims and information posted on social media platforms should be held to the same standard as all other reporting in terms of information gathering and fact verification. The official social media accounts should avoid the promotion of school events and remain objective.

 

Errors

The editorial board retains the right to determine whether an error has been made. An error constitutes a misidentification, omission, misspelling, etc. If necessary, the board will determine corrective actions on a case-by-case basis. Corrections will generally be added to the online article, along with an editor’s note explaining the changes if necessary. Concerns about errors in The Polygon may be submitted by emailing [email protected]

 

The Polygon typically prints about 500 copies of each issue. Single copies are provided free of charge at various distribution sites on campus. 

For all tips, comments, queries, story suggestions, complaints, and corrections, please contact us by email at [email protected]

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