The Voice - a Publication of the Athabasca University Students' Union


A Publication for the
students of Athabasca University

The Voice is brought to you by AUSU

This Week:
Volume 25 Issue 37 - 2017-09-22

Table of Contents Archives Online PDF Archives About The Voice
Features Articles Columns News Letters

About The Voice | Contact The Voice

Writer Policy | General Policy | Classifieds

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

Writer Policy

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.



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 issues.



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 follows the guidelines of the Canadian University Press (CUP) regarding journalistic ethics, which are listed below, or can be found at


    We recognize that student journalists can only be effective in their aims if their publications are credible and respected.

    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 other considerations.

    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 must therefore 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 readers within 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, even when reporting on issues directly affecting the group in question

    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 involved.

    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 question.

    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 prevent it.

    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 material.

    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 the publication.

    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 privacy issues.

    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 University Press



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 ( must state "for publication".

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 libellous material.



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 public use:

Titles, slogans, short phrases and other non-creative works facts and ideas



The Fair Use law provides a general exception to Copyright Law, and permits the use of limited portions of copyrighted material without first seeking permission 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.



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 through various search engines, and their names can be found linked to their material. Writers must accept the responsibility for having written and submitted this material for publication, and The Voice will not accept responsibility for personal problems or issues that arise from outside sources finding or using this information.



Articles are purchased for one time publication, and are archived online in both pdf and html format indefinitely. Rights sought are First Rights, All Formats, 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 published.

The Voice does not accept or pay for essays or term papers written for university courses.



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. Writers should take this into consideration while writing and submitting their articles.



Writers for the Voice may write under a pen name provided that they disclose this information before submission to the Editor. The Editor must have records 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 the 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 for more information.




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