Coverage Policies


  • It is the responsibility of these publications to cover school events and issues that affect or concern the campus, its students or its readers in a non-bias method
  • School publications will attempt to cover all aspect of the school; however, coverage will depend greatly upon an item’s news value (how important or interesting it would be to the majority of the school population), timeliness, and other factors. Publication editors determine the news value of all material.
  • School publications will clearly identify sources of news, except when it is necessary to uphold the journalist’s privilege of protecting the identity of sources. When in such case, the journalist must reveal the source to the editor, who will therein determine if the source is creditable.
  • School publications will avoid sensationalizing news and events. Publications do not invade personal privacy or print material that might be embarrassing or degrading to any individual or group.
  • All editorial or opinion content must be backed up by sources of facts. At no time will an editorial attack a person.

Prohibited Materials

Students cannot publish or distribute libelous material. Libelous statements are provable false and unprivileged statements that injure an individual’s or business’s reputation in the community.

Under the “fair comment rule,” a student may express an opinion on a matter of public interest as long as it is in good taste and approved by the editor, adviser, and principal. Students are strictly prohibited from publishing materials that support or endorse the following:

  • sexual content
  • drugs and alcohol
  • gang activities
  • foul language

Students are prohibited to publish or distribute materials that will cause a material and serious disruption of school activities.

Students are also prohibited from distributing or publishing any of the following materials:

  • racial/ethnic slurs
  • racist remarks or undertones
  • violence or threat thereof
  • anything that lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value

Death Policy

Publications often times have to report on a student’s death. The following are guidelines in handling such stories.

  • A death ruled “suicide” will not be reported on nor will a tribute of any kind be published. Suicide deaths may be generalized and show the negativity of the situation, but the story cannot provide the name of the student of who has committed the act.
  • Students of which die of “natural” causes (except for underage drinking or drug overdose) can be spotlighted in the Mustang Messenger with the deceased student’s parent permission (letter of release required) and approval of the adviser and principal.
  • Students whose death is related to underage drinking and/or drug usage will not be memorialized nor will the student’s name be used, but a story can run in the Mustang Messenger about the negative effects of that which caused the death.