WKU Student Publications Policy Manual
College Heights Herald
COLLEGE HEIGHTS HERALD
The College Heights Herald is a business operated within the framework of WKU, with an account in the university business office. The newspaper does not get a direct subsidy from the university. The Herald pays its bills (printing and payroll) and buys equipment and supplies with money it generates from advertising sales. Because the Herald is a non-profit organization, the money earned from advertising sales goes back into the newspaper for payroll, printing, travel, professional memberships, maintenance and to buy new equipment.
The College Heights Herald is a professional news organization operated by college students. Its focus is Western Kentucky University and its primary concerns are campus, local, state and national issues that affect Herald readers. It is important to understand that, while a majority of the Herald’s community is students, it also includes faculty and staff, community members affected by WKU and alumni.
The goal of the College Heights Herald is to provide accurate, fair and balanced stories that meet the highest professional standards. The Herald provides a lively opinion section to stimulate a discussion of issues and create a forum for exchanging ideas through the print edition, website and social media.
The students who produce the Herald are honing skills that will give them a competitive edge as they enter the workplace. They learn to gather information, write, edit, photograph, sell and design. More important, they learn to make judgments and decisions and they learn to take responsibility for those decisions. As they exercise their First Amendment rights, they prepare for a professional career in communications.
Editorial Job Descriptions
All editorial staff members are expected to contribute to the overall success of the College Heights Herald and WKUHerald by helping the publication maintain its high quality and grow its audience. That includes participating in production, as well as helping distribute and promote our products to our readers. Staff members may also be expected to work outside their original job descriptions during breaking news or other extenuating circumstances.
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: The Editor-in-Chief is in charge of all news content for the College Heights Herald and the WKUHerald digital platforms. The editor is the chief spokesperson for the news organization, primary representative in the campus community, addresses complaints and deals with all outside agencies and individuals when they interact with the news department. The editor-in-chief is selected by the WKU Student Publications Committee after an application and interview process. Among the editor-in-chief’s responsibilities:
- Selects section editors and makes final decisions concerning personnel matters dealing with the news department, including hiring and firing.
- Conducts regular staff and chairs Editorial Board meetings.
- Determines payroll within a budget set by the Director of Student Publications and the adviser to the College Heights Herald.
- Works with the advertising manager to determine page count and layout of the print edition.
- In consultation with the editorial board, decides news layout and has final say on any aspect of news content or design.
- Oversees production of the print and digital editions, assists in completion of any aspect of editorial production that requires attention, does “final reads” on print-edition pages and ensures delivery to the printer by deadline.
- Ensures that the newsroom fully embraces all platforms for distributing news, including print, web and mobile applications.
- Leads all inquiry boards investigating allegations of misconduct on staff.
- Serves as a non-voting member of the WKU Student Publications Committee.
- Works closely with section editors to help each of them perform their jobs to the best of their abilities.
- Maintains a healthy working relationship with the adviser and all members of the professional staff.
MANAGING EDITOR: The Managing Editor is second-in-command for content in the College Heights Herald and the WKUHerald digital platforms. The managing editor:
- Works closely with the editor-in-chief and manages the newsroom and conducts meetings in the editor-in-chief’s absence.
- Works closely with section and production editors to help each of them perform their jobs to the best of their abilities.
- Works during print-edition production.
- Is a member of the editorial board.
DIGITAL EDITOR: The Digital Editor is responsible for working with the entire newsroom team to generate content for the Herald’s digital platforms, including news stories, photographs, graphics and videos for WKUHerald.com and for the WKUHerald mobile apps. The Digital Editor also has primary responsibility for managing content within the content management systems for digital products and, in consultation with the editor-in-chief and other members of the editorial board, the overall look and feel of the main WKUHerald.com web site. In addition, the Digital Editor will assemble and manage a team of student journalists who expand live coverage of the WKU community between cycles of the print edition in a true 24/7 fashion. In conjunction with the editor-in-chief, the Digital Editor will supervise the operation of the Herald’s social media accounts and the Herald’s use of web analytics in its day-to-day operations. The Digital Editor is a member of the editorial board.
NEWS EDITOR: The News Editor assigns and oversees news stories for the print and digital editions, works to fill news staff positions, supervises beat and general assignment reporters, attends staff meetings and editorial board meetings, works with the copy desk and design team and works during production. The News Editor is a member of the editorial board.
SPORTS EDITOR: The Sports Editor assigns and oversees sports stories for the print and digital editions, works to fill sports staff positions, supervises beat and general assignment reporters, attends staff meetings and editorial board meetings, works with the copy desk and design team and works during production. The Sports Editor is a member of the editorial board.
FEATURES EDITOR: The Features Editor assigns and oversees feature stories for the print and digital editions, works to fill features staff positions, supervises features reporters, attends staff meetings and editorial board meetings, works with the copy desk and design team and works during production. The Features Editor is a member of the editorial board.
PHOTO EDITOR: The Photo Editor assigns and oversees the photo staff, including still photography and video, for the print and digital editions and works with other editors to promote visual treatment of news, sports and feature stories. The photo editor works to fill photo staff positions, helps edit images and captions, recommends photo in the print and digital editions and assists with ideas on design. The Photo Editor attends staff meetings and is a member of the editorial board.
DESIGN EDITOR: The Design Editor is responsible for the overall look and feel of the print and digital editions. The Design Editor works with the editor-in-chief, photo editor and section editors on laying out the newspaper, and with the editor-in-chief and the digital editor on the look of the website and apps. In addition, the Design Editor is responsible for the overall consistency of the appearance of news products, watches for stories that would be aided by infographics and other visual journalism, and works (well in advance when possible) with artists, photographers and editors in planning news design. The design editor works during production and is a member of the Editorial Board.
OPINION EDITOR: The Opinion Editor organizes and leads discussion of the Herald editorial positions at editorial board meetings. The Opinion Editor also writes editorials by the early deadline if possible, consulting with editorial board members as needed during the process, receives and verifies letters to the editor, solicits columns from experts on issues, and supervises and works closely with all staff columnists and the editorial cartoonist. The Opinion Editor is a member of the editorial board.
VIDEO/MULTIMEDIA EDITOR: The Video/Multimedia Editor assigns and oversees the video staff for the digital edition and works with other editors to promote visual treatment of news, sports and feature stories. The video editor works to fill video staff positions, helps edit video, recommends video in the digital edition. The Video Editor attends staff meetings and is a member of the editorial board.
COPY DESK CHIEF: The Copy Desk Chief reports to the Editor-in-chief and is responsible for supervising the copy desk. The editor reads stories in second edit for accuracy, clarity, completeness, grammar and style; keeps reporters abreast of the status of their stories; manages the Style Book, attends staff meetings and works during production.
MANAGEMENT POSITIONS (not on Editorial Board)
ASSISTANT NEWS EDITOR: Assists the News Editor in managing the reporting staff, editing stories and helping reporters develop their skills. The Assistant News Editor also reports and writes stories for publication as necessary.
ASSISTANT DESIGN EDITOR: Assists the Design Editor in managing section layouts and keeping consistent design. The Assistant Design Editor also designs pages and helps manage other designers.
ASSISTANT PHOTO EDITOR: Assists the Photo Editor in managing the photography staff, editing photos and helping photographers develop their skills. The Assistant Photo Editor also shoots assignments and enterprise photography as necessary.
BEAT REPORTER: About 15 reporters are assigned beats, or specific areas of coverage. They are expected to call sources on their beat as often as necessary — usually once or twice a week — to keep abreast of potential stories. Also, they are expected to read other publications and look for stories concerning their beats. There is no story quota, but beat reporters are expected to produce at least one or two stories a week. Some beats — such as administration or campus government — may produce more, others less. Beat reporters are also expected to produce at least two to three in-depth stories from their beat each semester and to contribute to the digital edition of the Herald.
GENERAL ASSIGNMENT REPORTER: Other reporters cover no beats, but report and write stories they are assigned or develop in consultation with their editor. GA reporters are expected to look for potential stories and readily accept assignments for print and the digital edition of the paper when given by an editor. All reporters are expected to meet deadlines, including filing event stories no more than two hours after the event and to provide any additional content (audio, video, etc.) for the digital edition.
DIGITAL REPORTER: Digital reporters will work to provide round-the-clock coverage for WKUHerald.com, keeping the website up-to-date off the traditional Herald print cycle. Digital reporters will cover breaking news, events and other stories as they rise. Like other reporters, they are expected to pitch stories and work on long-term stories when time allows.
PHOTOGRAPHER: Photographers will shoot assignments given by the photo editor and meet deadlines with assignments for the print and digital editions of the paper, as well as have complete and accurate caption information. All photographers are expected to pitch at least two to three projects in a semester, including photo stories and multimedia pieces, attend all staff meetings, and assist the photo editor during production if necessary.
DESIGNER: Designers assist the design editor in designing pages and graphics that use visual journalism techniques to convey information for the print and digital products. They are also expected to attend staff meetings and work during production.
COPY EDITOR: Copy Editors assist the Lead Copy Editor in working on copy desk to verify the accuracy of stories for the digital and print editions of the Herald. They are also expected to attend staff meetings and work during production.
COLUMNIST: A columnist will work with the Opinion editor to submit expert opinion pieces for the print and digital editions of the Herald. A columnist must have worked on the Herald for at least one semester as a reporter or Opinion editor before applying for a column, keeping in mind that the best columns are those that speak with authority and experience, backed by strong reporting, as opposed to pure opinion. The Editor-in-Chief reserves the right to cancel a column before the end of a semester due to low interest.
EDITORIAL CARTOONIST: The editorial cartoonist works closely with the opinion page editor and editor-in-chief to produce thought-provoking illustrations to complement editorials or provide art for the opinion pages. As time permits, the cartoonist may take assignments from other editors to produce covers for special sections, illustrate stories or provide other artwork.
DUTIES OF ALL STAFF MEMBERS
Thorough distribution of the College Heights Herald is essential to the success of the Herald and its staff. The Herald is distributed in numerous ways — in print, on its web site, via apps and through a variety of social media. However, distribution of the print edition of the Herald is paramount, as it is the print edition that carries the most stature and impact. From time to time, staff members may be asked to assist in distribution of the print edition, with the expectation that they will participate and assist in making sure their work reaches the WKU community.
Because the College Heights Herald is a revenue-dependent newspaper, it must operate within its revenues. Thus, the amount of money spent on payroll has a direct effect on funds available for other needs.
Before the beginning of each semester, the editors should submit a list of paid positions to the adviser, who will provide the necessary information to the Student Publications Business Office. Each student is responsible for completing any required payroll and/or financial aid forms with the university as well as tax forms.
No student may work until the university clears that student as eligible to work under federal law.
Editorial board members and some writers receive a salary and are paid at the end of each month. Checks will be available for pick-up in the Adams-Whitaker Student Publications Center, Room 102. The editor-in-chief is responsible for keeping payroll expenses within the budget.
The advertising and production staffs, photographers, artists and some writers are paid on a commission or freelance basis. Each person is responsible for filing the required paperwork. The advertising staff submits commission sheets weekly and sales and creative staff members are paid twice monthly; photographers and writers submit requests at the end of each month and are paid monthly. Some pay rates are included in this policy manual. Items older than 30 days will not be paid.
Payment requests must include all of the information included on the form with the appropriate signatures. All requests for payment must be made within 10 days after the month ends. Requests filed after the deadline may be denied.
- Payment will be denied for any item published more than 30 days before payment request is submitted.
- Captions must be written in AP style, turned in on time and include all necessary information. See the photo policies section of the Student Publications Policy Manual. Failure to do so will result in a pay deduction. Photos in a gallery must have photo-specific cutline information for each picture or it may result in a pay deduction.
- A staffer must complete the payment request form available from section editors. Requests for payment should be made no less frequently than monthly, on a deadline set by the Business Office. Requests filed after the deadline may be denied.
- Staffers must complete the Staffer Packet each semester and submit deadline bills to the responsible editor in order to receive payment. The university business office (not Student Publications) will send the check to the address on the deadline payment bill.
- The Herald will pay a kill fee of no more than $8 for an assignment if the assignment was made by an editor and then killed by the editor, provided that the work submitted met standards for publication. This does not apply when the content is used online only and not in the print edition.
- Failure to meet deadline will result in a reduction or elimination of pay for that item, at the discretion of the editor.
- Amounts paid for restaurant and movie reviews are set higher than for regular stories to help compensate for the price of a ticket or food for one person.
BILLS MUST BE SUMITTED MONTHLY. ITEMS OLDER THAN 30 DAYS WILL NOT BE PAID.
- Bylined story $5 to $12, depending on depth of reporting
- Column (including TV reviews) $10
- Review (restaurant or movie) $20, limited to one per week
- Briefs (print or online) $3
- Payment for in-depth/special projects will be determined by the editor-in-chief and the adviser.
NOTE: Photographers cannot be paid twice for the same picture or video clip, one running online (including in a gallery or a multimedia piece) and one running in the paper.)
- Single photo $10
- Restaurant review photos $20 for assignment
- Photo illustration $12
- Comic strip $10
- Editorial cartoon $12
- Illustration $10-$30, determined by the editor-in-chief
- Photo story of an event/topic with three or more photos $25
- In-depth photo story (multiple events/locations) three or more photos $40
- Photo stories that are not assigned by an editor but submitted for an editor’s consideration by a photographer from classroom or freelance work will be a flat rate, if published $20 per submission
- Multimedia piece of extended length and quality produced by a single individual specifically for wkuherald.com $50
- Multimedia piece of extended length and quality produced by a single individual specifically for a class and later repurposed for wkuherald.com $30
- (in the case of a re-edit, pay can be determined by editor-in-chief and web editor)
- Multimedia piece of extended length and quality produced by a group to be divided up by amount of work $50
- Additional pay for special projects will be at the discretion of the adviser
- Multimedia produced by individual who did not shoot photos $20
- Photos in multimedia piece, where photographer was not a team member: $4, maximum of $12
- Collecting audio and shooting photos (no production) $15
- Podcast production $8
- Photo running online, not in print edition or in gallery $5
- Photo running in online gallery $4, maximum of $12
- Short-term multimedia piece produced as a daily video or along with a story that requires less editing time than a longer piece. Can be produced by an individual or a small team. Equipment used can be iPhone or other smartphones or DSLR. Requirements include uploading to YouTube or an editor as well as following through with promotion through social media with the help of the social media manager. $10
- Clip video of a short daily story such as a press conference, interview, or breaking news. Equipment used can be iPhone or other smartphones or DSLR. Requirements include uploading to YouTube or an editor as well as following through with promotion through social media with the help of the social media manager. $5
- Standalone video clips to be included in longer term projects where editing is done by a producer (for example, a project for College Heights Media) $10
Effective: Aug. 15, 2002
Updated: 2008, 2015
The College Heights Herald corrects all confirmed errors that are brought to reporters’ or editors’ attention. After editors confirm it, the correction will appear in the next edition of the paper, usually on page two. Errors that could be libelous or require a more prominent display may go on the front page. This will be at the editor-in-chief’s discretion.
For errors on WKUHerald.com, the correction is made within the original story, with an editor’s note appended to the end of the story explaining the error and the correction, and the time and date the correction was made. In some cases, the editor may choose to post the note at the top of the story.
For errors in social media, a new post correcting the erroneous information should be made as soon as possible. In instances or platforms where the erroneous post can be edited, the correction should be handle in a fashion similar to corrections on the website. Deleting an erronous social media post will not expunge it.
The reporter, editor, photographer or copy editor responsible for the error MUST fill out the correction form, and will talk about the error with their direct supervisor, in hopes of preventing future errors. (Note: This is an informational meeting, not disciplinary.) The correction form will be given to the editor-in-chief.
The editor-in-chief must route the correction form to the adviser, who will maintain a file of all correction forms.
Repeated errors will result in disciplinary meetings or, possibly, termination.
Corrections in the print edition generally appear on Page 2, although the editor-in-chief may consider a
section-front correction if warranted.
Corrections in the print edition should follow this format:
Due to a Herald error/source error WHO/WHAT (Patricia Minter’s title/ the score of the Kansas State game/ the hometown of Jason Stamm) was misquoted/misspelled/incorrectly identified WHERE (in a front page article about parking/ in a brief on the sports front / in the crime reports on page two) of WHICH issue. (Then state correction. As in, Minter is the faculty regent; Stamm is from Morehead, etc.) The Herald regrets the error.
With a Page 2 statement that says (in italics):
The College Heights Herald corrects all confirmed errors that are brought to reporters’ or editors’ attention. Please call 270-745-6011 or 270-745-5044 to report a correction, or e-mail us at email@example.com.
Form must be completed and returned to adviser.
Photo and Video Policies
“Published” means any photograph taken, video shot or audio gathered and printed in any of the student publications media outlets including but not limited to the College Heights Herald, wkuherald.com or the Talisman yearbook. See Copyright Policy (Policy Manual Page A-16).
If an assignment was made and the image was accepted but only used as a headshot due to space, the photographer will get the full $10.
A photo or video image published in the Herald print edition and in the online edition is only entitled to one use charge of $10. Photographers will not be paid twice for the same picture, one running online and one running in the paper. Photographers or reporters will not be paid twice if a video clip is used in another multimedia piece for promotion or for special projects.
Failure to properly caption a photo according to Herald standards will result in a pay cut of 50% for said photo.
All camera equipment is to be checked out properly using official protocols, and may not be loaned to any other person without that person first checking out the equipment officially. All equipment is to be returned in good condition and in a timely manner.
Photo gear must be checked out through the adviser during posted hours. Photographers may not check out gear to shoot photos for class or otherwise, unless the end product may be used for the Herald.
Photo equipment lost or damaged is the financial responsibility of the student who checked out the equipment.
Guide to PDFing the Herald
1. Spell check (Apple + I) the page for any spelling errors or repeat words.
2a. Check the preflight function on the bottom left of the screen to make sure there are no errors, including missing fonts or links.
2b. If there are errors, click the drop down button and then on “preflight panel.” Double click on the errors to find them on the page, and proceed to fix them.
3. Once you’ve preflighted it and it’s good to go, click File > Export and then change the format to an EPS. Save the file in the EPS folder for this issue, and if there’s not one, create one.
4a. Make sure you have the following settings (particularly the color setting):
PostScript: Level 2
Color: FOR BLACK & WHITE PAGES: GRAY
FOR PAGES WITH ANY COLOR: LEAVE UNCHANGED
Embed Fonts: Complete
Data Format: Binary
Under the advanced tab, Preset: Medium Resolution
4b. Then click “Export.”
5. Open Acrobat Distiller. Make sure the default settings say “PressQualityv6(NEW)”. If you cannot find these settings, you will have to install them on your computer. You should find them in the design folder, or you can ask the printer to e-mail them to you.
6. Drag your newly created EPS file into Distiller and it will create a PDF in the same location. Move that PDF to this issue’s PDF folder.
7. E-mail that PDF to firstname.lastname@example.org and you’re good to go.
8. Repeat until every page is sent.
■ Make sure whoever e-mails the PDFs doesn’t send the EPS version instead. (A good sign is that they’re taking a really long time to upload to your e-mail.)
■ Keep a tally of which pages you’ve actually e-mailed. It’s easy to forget to send a page, and you’ll get an angry e-mail from the printer an hour after you think you’ve sent them all.
■ In your last e-mail, tell the printer that it’s the last page and give them your number in case something happens. And don’t ignore strange phone numbers aferward, it could be the printer.
■ After sending the final page, wait five minutes and call the printer to verify that all pages have been received and that there are no issues.
■ The person responsible for sending pages must send his or her contact information to the printer, and be available after production if any issues arise.
■ Rick Lancaster, production manager
■ Chris Olson, prepress supervisor
The Herald advertising department policies serve as a reference for information on operational procedures. Those policies are not meant to answer every question.
Mandatory advertising staff meetings will cover such topics as handling client objections, closing a sale, time management, upcoming in-house promotions, staff recognition and special sales. Any absence must be cleared through the advertising manager.
Account representatives are responsible for contacting each of their clients before each issue, unless a campaign or other plan has been set up by the client and account representative. This is part of the service that clients expect and pay for. Account representatives are responsible for submitting all paper work (i.e. invoice, printed emails) for each advertiser, under penalty of loss of the commission for that sale.
Walk in (or phoned) advertisers will be assigned to the most available account representative, unless the account has been assigned. The business office and advertising manager will handle national advertising.
The entire advertising department should check in twice a day for messages or special assignments. Account representatives are expected to maintain regular office hours assigned by the advertising manager. If for some reason you are unable to check in or call on any client, tell the advertising manger or advertising adviser immediately.
If you are having any problems with your accounts or have any other problems, please talk with the advertising manager.
Guidelines for the Advertising Department
1. Be neat. Write neatly and legibly for everyone to understand.
2. Be accurate. Double check times, dates, prices and names on all ads. Don’t just accept copy from advertisers. Be sure you read it over carefully while you’re with the advertiser so you can ask questions if necessary.
3. Log your ads carefully on the AdPro system. If you have any questions, ask the ad manager, adviser or business office. The system will calculate the cost of the ad and the sales commission.
4. Be creative in all facets of your job — except logging your ads on AdPro.
5. Brainstorm with others if you need ideas for clients.
Sales techniques are developed with practice and with willingness to listen to what your customers want and need. If you are attuned to your client needs, you will be a successful account representative. Sales is a science for each individual person.
General Guide for Account Representatives
1. Be organized. Set up a weekly schedule of the clients you will visit and make appointments with them in advance.
2. Be on time. Clients are busy people. Time is money. Be prepared and to the point in your meetings.
3. Be courteous. Remember they are individuals first, possible advertisers second.
4. Be professional. First impressions do make a difference.
5. Keep the advertiser in mind at all times. Do not go into a situation thinking you are going to make a quick sale. Think in terms of how you can build a relationship with advertiser.
6. Have sales materials with you. These include: business cards, rate cards, invoice books, calculator, a copy of the current newspaper, promotional pieces, credit applications and any other material you deem necessary.
7. Meet with your creative team member to gather spec ideas to take with you to see the client. Although this is time consuming, visuals always help close sale.
Every ad must have an insertion order or a copy of the ad if it is emailed. The proper person must sign each insertion order. If someone refuses to pay, the signed insertion order or email is evidence that the ad was properly authorized. Insertion orders should have all information pertaining to the ad on them, whether it is color, its placement or special wording. If this information is not on file we have nothing to produce or check from. One copy is for the customer; the other must be turned in to the business office.
There must be a receipt filled out for all payments on accounts. Never turn in a check or cash without a receipt attached. Even when a client prepays for an ad there must be a receipt for the entire amount turned into the business office. Turn in all money to the business office daily.
The creative team will be responsible for the composition all ads that are not submitted by email. The creative director will assign ads to each team member. Ads that require a proof will be given a top priority. The creative team should check in at the Herald twice a day to see if they are needed or have messages. On production days, the creative team will need to be available whenever needed. Account services and the creative team will work in tandem to produce all spec ads. Spec ads are vital to the progression of new clients. The creative team will go through a modified sales seminar to ensure they understand how to service walk-in clients. Creative team members must provide any information needed by the AdPro system to ensure payment for their work.
Online corrections and removals
Generally, the College Heights Herald does not remove content (including but not limited to articles, columns, editorials, photos and letters to the editor) from online archives once the content has been published in any format. The Herald will run updates or corrections if an item is factually inaccurate or if there have been developments that have changed the story. The Herald has no control over rankings in or the archives of commercial search engines, such as Google. The “Most Popular” and “Most Commented” sections of the Herald’s Web site are quantitatively determined by an automated system.
Updates or corrections may be added to articles online if the material is factually inaccurate or if subsequent developments, such as court rulings, have occurred. In the event of an update or a correction, a note detailing the date and time of the change should be included.
Procedure for requesting an online correction: To make a complaint that archived content is inaccurate, contact the Editor in Chief in writing by letter or email with the following information:
• Name, telephone number and e-mail address
• The url address of the content in question
• Reference to the specific content that is inaccurate and an explanation of how the information is inaccurate
• Verifiable documentation that supports the requested change
The request will be reviewed and checked by the Editor in Chief. If the Editor in Chief determines the request to be valid, an update or correction will be posted.
In the case of content published more than one year ago, the complainant must provide reasonable proof to the editor that the content in question is no longer accurate. For example, a copy of expungement papers should be provided in case any criminal charges are dropped. If published more than a year ago, contested quotes are highly unlikely to be amended without written or audio documentation. If the contested content was published less than a year ago, normal Herald procedures for checking the material’s accuracy will apply and written documentation may be required.
From the Student Press Law Center