In journalistic writing, stories and articles may contain content that is perceived as offensive or inappropriate for the readers. Because of this, a story may be asked to be pulled from the online publication. However, as student writers, we hold the right to the protection of the content we write about.
The state of Nevada passed the New Voices Law on Mar. 20, 2017 and it was signed into law on June 2, 2017 by Gov. Brian Sandoval. This bill has clarified prior misconceptions of the role of student publications. In short, this publication is written and produced by students and all decisions related to content are made by students.
Those who want the story to be pulled from the website must have a legitimate reason. Administration, staff or students in disagreement with the opinion of the writer does not permit the altering of content. All readers will have their own opinions towards the issue that may contradict with the writer’s view, but this does not justify the removal of a certain article.
Valid reasons for withdrawing a story from the online publication must have regards to the material within it. The criteria is as follows:
- Does the story contain factually false statements?
- Does the story contain mistakes in writing skills (grammar, spelling, punctuation, etc.) that show its unreadiness for posting?
- Does the story contain material that is too graphic or vulgar for an educational environment?
If the story or article meets any of the aforementioned criteria, then the request for removal may be sent.
The process to make a decision will be:
- Verifying the identity of the reader who submitted the request.
- If the reason is considered to be valid, the staff writers, editors and adviser will hold a meeting and decide if the article should remain online or be pulled from the website.
- The Student Press Law Center will be contacted if the decision cannot be made.
The process of the editorial board in reviewing the request is as follows:
- Validity of the reason will be assessed. It must meet one or more of the requirements mentioned above.
- Article or story of concern will be reevaluated by each member of the editorial board. To their best reasoning, they will determine if the request for its removal should be approved by checking for false statements, writing errors and vulgar material.
- Members of the editorial board will reconvene and vote on the approval or disapproval of the request.
If the majority of the editorial board decides that the article in question meets the criteria for removal, then the story will be pulled from the website as soon as possible.
If the majority decides that the article does not meet the criteria for removal, the story will remain on the website. A detailed explanation for the request’s denial will be created and agreed upon by the editorial board. This will then be communicated to the sender of the request as soon as possible.