| General Policy |
The Voice Mandate | Acceptance
of Material | Quality of Submissions
| Proof Reading | Format of Submissions | Facts
| Liability | Anonymous
Sources | Ethics | Letters
to the Editor | Copyright Laws | Fair
Use Law | Medium of Delivery | Rights | Archives
| Pseudonyms | Payment
January 2002, by Tammy Moore; updated April 2003
by Editor Tamra Ross Low
The Voice Mandate:
The Voice is a communication vehicle for the students of Athabasca University. The Voice will endeavour to provide current, factual, pertinent, information and entertainment in a clear and understandable format, and also to provide a forum where students may gain experience with having their writing published. The Voice will maintain an open submissions policy and actively encourage student participation.
The Editor reserves the right to refuse any submissions.
Taken from Voice Policy of AUSU, September 18, 2003:
1.1 The Voice’s editorial policy is one of fair and equitable coverage. In keeping with standard journalistic ethics, The Voice does not support or endorse any individual politician or political party or any individual faculty or department within the University; with the exception of its editorial pages, which may contain personal opinions of the authors.
QUALITY OF SUBMISSIONS:
In designing and creating The Voice, the editorial staff will strive for a professional presentation that is visually appealing and easy to navigate.
The Editor and writers will work in keeping with Canadian Press Journalistic Style. The Voice will not publish items the Editor judges to be in poor taste, or unsuitable for an educated, sophisticated audience.
The Editor will make the final determination of
suitability of the articles for The Voice.
The Editor will set aside space in The Voice reserved for AUSU news or commentary by an Executive member or Councillor designated by the Executive to act on behalf of AUSU. This does not prejudice the Editor's ability to publish any other comments or articles on AUSU activities.
All Voice submissions should be well edited for grammar, spelling, continuity and consisent format. Writers are responsible for fixing glaring errors in speech, discontinuity in the flow of work, and following basic rules of grammar and composition. If work is not suitable to this requirement, the editor will notify the writer and attempts to correct the article for resubmission will be allowed.
The Editor has the right to edit any Voice submission to correct spelling and grammar, to conform to Canadian spelling standards, to correct factual errors, or to ensure that the article is clear and understandable. When significant edits are required, the editor will note these in the original document, and return it to the writer for revision. The editor will strive to retain the orginal intent of the article.
All Voice articles are to be submitted as electronic documents. The preferred file format is Microsoft Word 2000 [.doc] or newer, however rich text format [.rtf] or flat text [.txt] are also acceptable. If none of these file formats are possible, please contact the editor for further instructions. If you are submitting in any other file format, please identify the program used to create the file in your email.
Articles should not be sent as the body of emails. They should be seperate files attached to the email. Following are the ideal specification for a Voice article.
Please do not use any program-specific formatting such as headers and footers or drop caps, and do not use the footnote or endnote feature of your word processor for a submission. Endnotes should be indluded in the main portion of the file, not the footer. To indicate a reference to an endnote within the text, use a number or letter designation within brackets, ie -- "This is a sentence that refers to an endnote" (1).
You may use any font style or size, but these will most likely be altered prior to publication. It is preferred if you do not indent paragraphs - double space them instead. If you do indent, use tabs not spaces. Internet links should be checked to ensure that they work, and may be either imbedded within the text, or placed in brackets after the relevant text. Make sure to include links or references to all materials cited in your article. You may use the bullets or numbering styles in your word processor, but be aware that the text formatting on the Voice website does not allow for indented lists. Use italics to set off block quotes instead.
References should be formatted consistently and in a style acceptable for inclusion with a university paper. A reference should contain sufficient information so that the reader can locate the source material easily. The American Psychological Association [APA] format is the Voice preferred reference format. An APA manual can be obtained from the AU library, and abridged APA guidelines are included with many AU course packages.
Graphics and pictures may be included with submissions, and are encouraged. Do not include pictures wiithin your word processed document. Please send all pictures as seperate files. Acceptable file formats include .gif, .jpg, .eps, or any photoshop format. If you would like to include pictures and do not have access to a scanner, contact the editor for information on how to mail photos for scanning. All graphics and pictures must be owned by the writer and all subjects within photographs must have given permissions for their photo to be published.
The writer is responsible for fact checking his or her own articles. Once submitted, articles are taken as accurate and precise. The Editor may require references or phone numbers to contact interviewed persons at any time. Keep all information ready and available for possible submission.
Any article containing factual errors or unsupported claims may be returned to the writer for clarification.
False statements and statements which seriously
harm an individual's reputation are subject to libel law.
Writers must check their facts and have substantiating evidence
to back up claims or accusations made in articles. Writers should
also be aware that the Privacy Law in Canada protects individual's
rights within their offices and homes, as well as from reports
on circumstances which may be embarrassing to the individual
i.e.) sexual orientation, medical problems or histories, family
Articles based upon knowledge gained from anonymous
sources will not be accepted to The Voice. All reporting
and investigative journalism must be documented and
sources must be made available at the Editor's request.
The Voice is a paid member of CUP, and follows
their guidelines regarding journalism ethics, which are
listed below, or can be found at www.cup.ca
CODE OF ETHICS
We, the members of Canadian University Press, recognize
that student journalists can only be effective in
their aims if their publications are credible and
We also acknowledge that rigid regulations and
laws cannot always anticipate the exigencies of a situation.
There may be times when the public good overrides
In general, however, we affirm the following guidelines
as a minimal level of responsibility and ethical
behaviour that every student journalist and publication
should strive for:
Bias and honesty
Journalists' perspectives are determined by their
positions within society, and will be necessarily biased. They
recognize the political implications of their work,
and attempt to treat their subjects fairly despite their biases.
Journalists will refrain from reporting on external
organizations in which they are significantly involved.
They should strive to disclose all potential and
actual conflicts of interest to other members of
the staff and to
or alongside the printed article.
However, membership in a disadvantaged ethnic,
racial, gender, sexual, class or otherwise identifiable social
group shall never be construed as a conflict of interest,
reporting on issues directly affecting the group
Bias or prejudice against members of a marginalized
group should have no place in the editorial policy
of any publication. An ethical publication will seek
instead to publish material
which helps disperse such prejudices in its readership.
Publishing material intended to promote hatred
or violence against any group or person is unethical,
unless for the purpose of reporting on an incident
of relevance to the person
or community. In the latter case, journalists should
be cautious about whether they are unintentionally
giving a forum to hateful
material without adequately countering its effects.
Papers will pay the costs incurred in the gathering
and publishing of news, and shall not pay individuals
or organizations for exclusive rights to any news
story. Staff will not accept
free gifts of any sort and will only accept free
material or privileges for coverage on the understanding
that the paper is
under no obligation to the individuals or groups
Fairness and accuracy
Journalists should realize fully their personal
responsibility for all material submitted for publication. They
should not falsify information or documents, nor
distort or misrepresent facts,
whether purposefully or through neglect.
So-called news communications or press releases
from private and government sources should never be published
without substantiation of their claims nor without
seeking the opinions
of people who may be affected by the issue or events
In addition, journalists should not plagiarize
material from other writers or other media nor should they
take facts from other sources without corroboration.
Journalists should strive to seek out all points
of view that they deem relevant to the issue at hand.
They should especially seek out those whose views
have been neglected by
the mainstream press, or in previous coverage of
the issue, and those who may stand to suffer by the
effects of that event or
decision under consideration.
However, they should also give due consideration
to opposing viewpoints, allowing such interests to
represent themselves accurately and to best advantage
in each news story.
Journalists should not report unsubstantiated opinions
as fact, condemn persons or groups by innuendo or
hearsay, or distort meaning by over- or under-emphasis,
or by placing facts
or quotations out of context, or by using headlines
not warranted by the text.
Journalists should not use unattributed quotations
or information unless it is absolutely necessary
to protect a source, and when no other source can
be found to confirm the
information. All information should be confirmed
and corroborated from more than one source, unless
urgency and the public interest
Journalists should have the freedom and the responsibility
to protect the anonymity of sources to whom they
have given such assurances.
Journalists should normally identify themselves
and their journalistic affiliations before conducting
an interview. The publication should rectify in print,
at the first available
opportunity, all culpable mistakes, recognizing its
responsibility for everything published. These corrections
should be in a position
of prominence comparable to the one in which the
original error appeared.
Photos should not be altered in such a way that
events are falsified, unless the falsehood of the photo
is clear from its context. Stereotypes should not
be perpetuated through photography
and photographers should be sensitive to the distortions
and abuses their images may promote.
Graphic material might not be strictly accurate,
but artistic licence should not be used as an excuse
to misrepresent an issue or make false information
credible. Similar cautions
should be observed in publishing satirical or fictional
Publications should maintain opinion and letters
sections, and strive to publish as many such pieces
as space allows while reserving the right to refuse
to publish pieces
that compromise the editorial integrity of the publication.
An open dialogue with readers should be encouraged.
Privacy and legal responsibility
Journalists should consistently respect the dignity,
privacy, freedoms, and well-being of the people encountered
while gathering and presenting information.
Any conflicts arising between an individual's privacy
and the community's need to know about the conduct
of vital matters should be judged by the staff of
Journalists should bear in mind the permanent effect
that damaging information may have on an individual's
life. However, they should also take into account the systemic
and pervasive inequalities that privacy rights afford to some
people over others.
Journalists should be cautious about the publication
of information that may enable or assist individuals,
police, government agencies or others to harass or
persecute an individual
or group, even if such information is not damaging
in and of itself. Such cases should be judged in
much the same manner as
Journalists should be wary of sensationalizing
violations of people's dignity or privacy. Publications will refrain
from publishing, without consent, the names of the victims of
crimes which carry a social stigma.
Publications should not publish information damaging
to an individual's or group's interests or
reputation without giving them a chance to reply.
Journalists should also be familiar with the laws
of libel and contempt of court which exist in Canada.
As revised at the 55th national conference of Canadian
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR:
Due to issues of liability, anonymous letters to the editor will not be published.
The Voice invites the community to submit letters
to the editors. The opinions expressed do not necessarily
reflect those of The Voice staff.
Letters must be received no later than 5 p.m. of the Monday prior to publication.
Letters should be 250 words or less. Letters must be signed and include contact information for verification purposes.
Letters submitted to The Voice in the form of E-Mail
(email@example.com) must state
Letters to the editor will not be edited for content
or grammar, though they may be edited for length.
The Voice reserves the right to refuse obscene or
The three general rules of using another person's material
are as follows:
1. Credit must be given to the creator or author
of the work.
2. The owner's permission must be obtained BEFORE the
work can be submitted for publication.
3. Unless there is proof of permission granted
which determines otherwise, writers must assume that everything
in every published form is owned
by someone else
and has been protected
by a copyright, including information/documents/creative
works/graphics on and from the Internet.
The following cannot be copyrighted,
and are open to
Titles, slogans, short phrases and other non-creative
works facts and ideas
FAIR USE LAW:
The Fair Use law provides a general exception to
Copyright Law, and permits the use
of limited portions of copyrighted material without first seeking
for the purpose of
using the material in a central part
of a news story, a review, commentary or educational discussion.
When using material under the Fair Use Law, writers do not have permission to change or alter any of the original works or materials. If you are not certain if a usage constitutes fair use, consult the editor.
The editor reserves the right to determine what constitutes 'fair use' within a Voice article.
MEDIUM OF DELIVERY:
Writers must be aware of and agree to the publication
of their material on the Internet.
They must be aware that published material can be searched for
various search engines,
and their names can be found linked
to their material. Writers must accept the responsibility for
written and submitted
this material for publication, and
The Voice will not accept responsibility for personal problems
issues that arise from
outside sources finding or using this
Articles are purchased for one time publication, but may be archived online in both pdf and html format indefinitely. Rights sought are First North American
Serial Rights, but The Voice may arrange to purchase second or subsequent rights by special arrangement with a writer.
Rights purchased are exclusive for a period of
60 days, after which the writer may resell or self-publish a work published
in the Voice.
Any materials submitted to The Voice for publication
must either be written specifically for The Voice,
or clearly indicate if they have been published previously,
including the contact information for the original publication.
Even items that have been published on personal websites,
journal sites, or web log [b'log] sites are considered to have been
The Voice does not accept or pay for essays or term papers written for university courses.
The Voice is a member of the Canadian University Press [CUP]. Pursuant to our article sharing agreement, some articles - with the permission of the author - may be uploaded to the CUP website for use by other CUP newspapers.
The archived issues of The Voice are not subject
to change. Amendments can be noted
to errors WITHOUT changing the original posting of the Voice.
should take this into
consideration while writing and submitting
Writers for the Voice may write under a pen name
provided that they disclose this
information before submission to the Editor. The Editor must
of real names and
addresses for all writers, and this
information will be released to AUSU upon request.
NOTE: Any member of AUSU Council who writes for The Voice MAY NOT use a pseudonym to publish any material within The Voice, with the exception of fiction items.
The Editor shall complete invoicing for all writers
for each one-month block term of
publishing, for a total of twelve payment periods throughout
year. This material is then sent
to AUSU and Accounting for their
records and for issuing payment [see
the General Policy for more information].
Any problems regarding this procedure (i.e. miscalculation of amount, questions regarding dates) should be taken directly to the Editor. Please note that a Voice cheque is not considered late until 20 days into the month following publication
Contact the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org for