our bylaws

Preamble

The right to freedom of speech and of the press is essential to a democratic society; however, this right is not without responsibility. Publications and broadcast outlets should adhere to the practical meaning of freedom in its application to the changing circumstances and problems of the present day. The very idea of democracy assumes the existence of an intelligent public opinion and the ability of the people to make sound decisions about social problems.

 

Student media should be free and responsible. They should be designated public forums that constitute an educational experience for those involved in production. A publication or other form of media may print or broadcast what, in its best judgment, it deems proper; however, it must accept full responsibility for its product.

 

Metropolitan State University of Denver desires to maintain an environment in which there can exist a free marketplace of thought and in which students are at liberty to speak their minds on many subjects. To assure such an environment on the campus, the Board of Student Media has adopted the Society of Professional Journalists’ Code of Ethics and the following bylaws and has enunciated a Statement of Policy wherein the purposes of the Board may be realized.

Code of Ethics

This code is adhered to by the Society of Professional Journalists, and is the expected code of conduct for The Metropolitan, Metrosphere, Met Radio and The Met Report in the Office of Student Media.

Preamble

Members of the Society of Professional Journalists believe that public enlightenment is the forerunner of justice and the foundation of democracy. The duty of the journalist is to further those ends by seeking truth and providing a fair and comprehensive account of events and issues. Conscientious journalists from all media and specialties strive to serve the public with thoroughness and honesty. Professional integrity is the cornerstone of a journalist's credibility. Members of the Society share a dedication to ethical behavior  and adopt this code to declare the Society's principles and standards of practice.

Seek Truth and Report It

Journalists should be honest, fair and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting information. Journalists should:

  • Test the accuracy of information from all sources and exercise care to avoid inadvertent error. Deliberate distortion is never permissible.
  • Diligently seek out subjects of news stories to give them the opportunity to respond to allegations of wrongdoing.
  • Identify sources whenever feasible. The public is entitled to as much information as possible on sources’ reliability.
  • Always question sources’ motives before promising anonymity. Clarify conditions attached to any promise made in exchange for information. Keep promises.
  • Make certain that headlines, news teases and promotional material, photos, video, audio, graphics, sound bites and quotations do not misrepresent. They should not oversimplify or highlight incidents out of context.
  • Never distort the content of news photos or video. Image enhancement for technical clarity is always permissible. Label montages and photo illustrations.
  • Avoid misleading re-enactments or staged news events. If a re-enactment is necessary to tell a story, label it.
  • Avoid undercover or other surreptitious methods of gathering information except when traditional open methods will not yield information vital to the public. Use of such methods should be explained as part of the story.
  • Never plagiarize.
  • Tell the story of the diversity and magnitude of the human experience boldly, even when it is unpopular to do so.
  • Examine their own cultural values and avoid imposing those values on others.
  • Avoid stereotyping by race, gender, age, religion, ethnicity, geography, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance or social status.
  • Support the open exchange of views, even views they find repugnant.
  • Give voice to the voiceless; official and unofficial sources of information can be equally valid.
  • Distinguish between advocacy and news reporting. Analysis and commentary should be labeled and not misrepresent fact or context.
  • Distinguish news from advertising and shun hybrids that blur the lines between the two.
  • Recognize a special obligation to ensure that the public’s business is conducted in the open and that government records are open to inspection.

Minimize Harm

Ethical journalists treat sources, subjects and colleagues as human beings deserving of respect. Journalists should:

  • Show compassion for those who may be affected adversely by news coverage. Use special sensitivity when dealing with children and inexperienced sources or subjects.
  • Be sensitive when seeking or using interviews or photographs of those affected by tragedy or grief.
  • Recognize that gathering and reporting information may cause harm or discomfort. Pursuit of the news is not a license for arrogance.
  • Recognize that private people have a greater right to control information about themselves than do public officials and others who seek power, influence or attention. Only an overriding public need can justify intrusion into anyone's privacy.
  • Show good taste. Avoid pandering to lurid curiosity.
  • Be cautious about identifying juvenile suspects or victims of sex crimes.
  • Be judicious about naming criminal suspects before the formal filing of charges.
  • Balance a criminal suspect's fair trial rights with the public’s right to be informed.

Act Independently

To be free of obligation to any interest other than the public’s right to know, journalists should:

  • Avoid conflicts of interest, real or perceived.
  • Remain free of associations and activities that may compromise integrity or damage credibility.
  • Refuse gifts, favors, fees, free travel and special treatment, and shun secondary employment, political involvement, public office and service in community organizations if they compromise journalistic integrity.
  • Disclose unavoidable conflicts.
  • Be vigilant and courageous about holding those with power accountable.
  • Deny favored treatment to advertisers and special interests and resist their pressure to influence news coverage.
  • Be wary of sources offering information for favors or money; avoid bidding for news.

Be Accountable

Journalists are accountable to their readers, listeners, viewers and each other. Journalists should:

  • Clarify and explain news coverage and invite dialogue with the public over journalistic conduct.
  • Encourage the public to voice grievances against the news media.
  • Admit mistakes and correct them promptly.
  • Expose unethical practices of journalists and the news media.

Abide by the same high standards to which they hold others.

Student Media bylaws

METROPOLITAN STATE UNIVERSITY OF DENVER

  

BOARD OF STUDENT MEDIA

BYLAWS

ADOPTED MARCH 16, 1995

Revised June 4, 2001

Revised May 7, 2010

Revised Feb. 22, 2013

  

ARTICLE I

PURPOSE AND FUNCTION

 
Section 1

The name of the board shall be the Board of Student Media, hereinafter referred to as the Board.

 

Section 2

The purposes of the Board shall be to:

  • Act as an advisory group in the governance and policy development of student media, including The Metropolitan, Metrosphere, KMet Radio and The Met Report.
  • Stimulate and develop professional opportunities for students in journalism, broadcast and related majors.
  • Ensure product quality and the proper operation of student media.

 

Section 3

The functions of the Board shall be to:

  • Review fiscal policy. The Board requires an annual financial report from the Director of Student Media.
  • Set qualifications and exercise ultimate authority in the hiring of Editors in Chief for The Metropolitan and Metrosphere, and the General Managers for KMet Radio and The Met Report.
  • Establish criteria for and conduct a performance review of Editors in Chief and General Managers each semester.
  • Review and resolve complaints. Make suggestions and recommendations to the Editors in Chief and the General Managers. These shall be submitted in writing to the Board.
  • Adopt and put into operation policies and procedures necessary to properly manage and produce the student media.

 

Section 4

These bylaws shall cease to have effect on June 1, 2017, unless the Board votes to extend them.

 

ARTICLE II

BOARD MEMBERSHIP

Section 1

To represent the MSU Denver community it is to serve, the Board shall be composed as follows:

  1. Voting Members
    • Five student members, none of whom may be paid editorial staff of The Metropolitan, Metrosphere, KMet Radio and The Met Report or other student media.
    • One representing MSU Denver Student Government
    • One journalism major
    • Three at-large students

All student voting members will be appointed by the Board of Student Media.

  1. Three faculty members
  • One appointed by Faculty Senate
  • Two appointed by the Board, preferably from the English, Journalism, Broadcast Journalism or Technical Communications departments
  1. Three administrative members
  • One appointed by the President of the University
  • Two appointed by the Board (one must be from the Student Services side of the Division of Academic and Student Services).
  1. Non-Voting Members
    • Dean of Student Engagement and Wellness (formerly Student Life)
    • Editor in Chief, The Metropolitan
    • Editor in Chief, Metrosphere
    • General Manager, KMet Radio
    • General Manager, The Met Report
    • Director of Student Media
    • Assistant Director of Student Media

 

Section 2

All members of the Board shall serve two-year terms.

 

Section 3

Board vacancies shall be appointed:

  • When a voting member’s two-year term expires, the Chairperson shall report the vacancy to the appointing authority, who may either reappoint the same person or appoint someone        new.
  • If a vacancy occurs in any of the four Editor in Chief or General Manager positions, the procedures for selection shall be followed in a time frame determined by the Board.
  • If a Board member is absent three consecutive meetings without prior notice or excuse, he/she shall be declared ineligible for membership, his/her seat vacated, and the appointing authority will be asked to appoint a replacement.

 

ARTICLE III

OFFICERS

 

Section 1

The officers of the Board are Chairperson, Vice Chairperson and Secretary, and are elected

from the voting members at the first meeting of the academic year. Officers shall have the

following duties:

  1. Chairperson
    • Schedule, preside over and conduct all meetings of the Board, whether regular or special sessions, in an orderly and efficient manner
    • Be the primary spokesperson for the Board
    • Guarantee the consistent operation of the Board
    • Oversee and make recommendations in regards to student media grievances
  1. Vice Chairperson
    • Assist the Chairperson in his/her duties
    • Assume duties of the Chairperson in his/her absence, or by his/her delegation, or in the event of his/her resignation
  1. Secretary
    • Record and maintain accurate minutes of all Board meetings
    • Distribute agenda, correspondence and notification of meetings to all Board members

 

Section 2

Officers will serve a one-year term. No officer shall serve more than two consecutive terms in the same office.

 

ARTICLE IV

MEETINGS

 

Section 1

The Board will meet at least once a semester, and all meetings must comply with State of Colorado open meetings law.

 

Section 2

Special meetings may be called by the Chairperson, provided all members are notified at least 24 hours prior to the meeting.

 

Section 3

  • Four voting members of the Board shall constitute a quorum.
  • The Chairperson may not vote except to break a tie vote.

 

ARTICLE V

EDITORS IN CHIEF, GENERAL MANAGERS:

SELECTION, QUALIFICATIONS AND DUTIES

 

Section 1

The selection process for Editors in Chief (The Metropolitan and Metrosphere) and General Managers (KMet Radio and The Met Report) shall be as follows:

  • The Board shall announce vacancies in The Metropolitan and through other campus-wide means, and call for applications in the Spring at least one month before scheduled interviews.
  • The Board shall screen, review and interview qualified candidates, and make the final selections before the end of the Spring semester.
  • The Board shall give every consideration to selecting new Editors in Chief and General Managers each year unless there is a compelling reason to allow an Editor in Chief or General Manager to serve for two consecutive terms.
  • The Editors in Chief and General Managers assume the positions in Summer of the academic year for a term of one year.

 

Section 2

Qualifications for the Editors in Chief and General Managers are as follows:

       The Metropolitan

  • Preference will be given to applicants majoring or minoring in Journalism, English, Speech Communication, Technical Communications or IDP with proven journalism experience, and enrolled in at least six (6) credit hours for the upcoming Fall semester at MSU Denver. The appointee also will be required to enroll in at least six (6) credit hours for the Spring semester.
  • Newspaper staff experience with The Metropolitan is preferred.
  • Applicants must be in good standing, i.e., not on academic warning or probation. A 2.75 GPA must be maintained during the Fall semester to retain the position in the Spring.
  • Applicants must submit samples of their work along with two (2) letters of recommendation offering evidence of qualifications.

            Metrosphere

  • Preference will be given to applicants majoring or minoring in Communication Design, Art, English, Journalism, Technical Communications, Speech Communication or IDP, and enrolled in at least six (6) credit hours for the upcoming Fall semester at MSU Denver. The appointee also will be required to enroll in at last six (6) credit hours for the Spring semester.
  • Staff experience with Metrosphere is preferred.
  • Applicants must be in good standing, i.e., not on academic warning or probation. A 2.75 GPA must be maintained during the Fall semester to retain the position in the Spring.
  • Applicants must submit samples of their work along with two (2) letters of recommendation offering evidence of qualifications.
  • The Met Report

 

The Met Report

  • Preference will be given to applicants majoring or minoring in Speech Communication, Technical Communications, Journalism, English or IDP, and enrolled in at least six (6) credit hours for the upcoming Fall semester at MSU Denver. The appointee also will be required to enroll in at least six (6) credit hours for the Spring semester.
  • Previous staff experience with The Met Report is preferred.
  • Applicants must be in good standing, i.e., not on academic warning or probation. A 2.75 GPA must be maintained during the Fall semester to retain the position in the Spring.
  • Applicants must submit samples of their work along with two (2) letters of recommendation offering evidence of qualifications.

          

KMet Radio

  • Preference will be given to applicants majoring or minoring in Speech Communication, Technical Communications, Journalism, English or IDP, and enrolled in at least six (6) credit hours for the upcoming Fall semester at MSU Denver. The appointee also will be required to enroll in at least six (6) credit hours for the Spring semester.
  • Previous staff experience with KMet Radio is preferred.
  • Applicants must be in good standing, i.e., not on academic warning or probation. A 2.75 GPA must be maintained during the Fall semester to retain the position in the Spring.
  • Applicants must submit samples of their work along with two (2) letters of recommendation offering evidence of qualifications.

 

Section 3

Duties of the Editors in Chief and General Managers are as follows:

           

Editor in Chief – The Metropolitan

 

  • The EIC is solely responsible for all content of the newspaper, including advertising. This includes delegation of story assignments, deadlines, management of editorial staff, as well as the quality of the content.
  • The EIC reports directly to the Director of Student Media and is answerable to the Board.
  • The EIC must follow the basic tenets of responsible journalism (i.e., SPJ Code of Ethics, Colorado Revised Statutes concerning libel and slander).
  • The EIC supervises the entire print and online editorial staff: editors, reporters, photographers and videographers, whether paid or volunteer.
  • The EIC sorts, checks and answers his/her Student Media-related email, text and voice mail at least once daily.
  • The EIC attends weekly meetings with other student leaders and produces a weekly progress report for the Director of Student Media.
  • The EIC is responsible for ensuring the distribution of the newspaper.
  • The EIC works with the Office of Student Media administrative staff in supervising the production of the newspaper.
  • The EIC delegates duties but not the responsibility for those duties.
  • The EIC shall maintain at least 15 office hours per week during regular business hours.
  • The EIC sets and guides the editorial philosophy of the newspaper.
  • The hiring and firing of paid staff must be done in consultation with the Director of Student Media.
  • The newly appointed EIC meets with the Student Ad Manager and Assistant Director or Director at the conclusion of the academic year to set ad-acceptability policy for the upcoming year, including the newspaper ad spaces available for sale.

           

Editor in Chief – Metrosphere

 

  • The EIC is solely responsible for all content of the literary and arts magazine, including advertising.
  • The EIC reports directly to the Director of Student Media and is answerable to the Board.
  • The EIC must follow the basic tenets of responsible journalism (i.e., SPJ Code of Ethics, Colorado Revised Statutes concerning libel and slander).
  • The EIC supervises the entire print and online editorial staff, whose number of paid and/or volunteer students varies from year to year. The EIC is responsible for ensuring the distribution of her/his predecessor’s magazine.
  • The EIC sorts, checks and answers his/her Student Media-related email, text and voice mail at least once daily.
  • The EIC attends weekly meetings with other student leaders and produces a weekly progress report for the Director of Student Media.
  • The EIC works with Office of Student Media administrative staff in supervising the production of the magazine.
  • The EIC delegates duties but not the responsibility for those duties.
  • The EIC decides the form(s) of student art and literary work appearing in Metrosphere.
  • The EIC has final decision on selection of submissions, with assistance and input from a panel of at least five judges. The panel must include at least three students.
  • The EIC shall maintain at least 15 office hours per week during regular business hours.
  • The hiring and firing of paid staff must be done in consultation with the Director of Student Media.
  • The newly appointed EIC meets with the Student Ad Manager and Assistant Director or Director at the conclusion of the academic year to set ad-acceptability policy for the upcoming year, including the magazine ad spaces available for sale.

 

          

General Manager — The Met Report

 

  • The GM is solely responsible for all content of The Met Report, including sponsorship acknowledgments. This includes delegation of story assignments, deadlines, management of staff, as well as the quality of the content.
  • The GM reports directly to the Director of Student Media and is answerable to the Board.
  • The GM must follow the basic tenets of responsible journalism (i.e., SPJ Code of Ethics, NAB Principles of Radio and Television Broadcasting, Colorado Revised Statutes concerning libel, slander and defamation).
  • The GM supervises the entire broadcast and online editorial staff: producers, editors, reporters, photographers and videographers, whether paid or volunteer.
  • The GM sorts, checks and answers her/his Student Media-related email, text and voice mail at least once daily.
  • The GM attends weekly meetings with other student leaders and produces a weekly progress report for the Director of Student Media.
  • The GM works with Office of Student Media administrative staff in supervising the production of the broadcast.
  • The GM delegates duties but not the responsibility for those duties.
  • The GM shall maintain at least 15 office hours per week during regular business hours.
  • The GM sets and guides the editorial philosophy of the weekly news broadcast and other programming.
  • The GM plans content, format, stacking and writing of the newscast.
  • The GM coordinates with his/her producers and oversees reporters and videographers during story preparation and editing.
  • The hiring and firing of paid staff must be done in consultation with the Director of Student Media.
  • The newly appointed GM meets with the Student Ad Manager and Assistant Director or Director at the conclusion of the academic year to set sponsorship acknowledgment-acceptability policy for the upcoming year, including the spots available for sale.

 

General Manager — KMet Radio

 

  • The GM is solely responsible for all content of KMet Radio, including sponsorship acknowledgments. This includes delegation of program assignments, deadlines, management of staff, as well as the quality of the content.
  • The GM reports directly to the Director of Student Media and is answerable to the Board.
  • The GM must follow the basic tenets of responsible journalism (i.e., SPJ Code of Ethics, NAB Principles of Radio and Television Broadcasting, Colorado Revised Statutes concerning libel, slander and defamation).
  • The GM supervises the entire broadcast and online editorial staff: producers, engineers, music editors, announcers, DJs, talk show hosts, researchers and board operators, whether paid or volunteer.
  • The GM sorts, checks and answers his/her Student Media-related email, text and voice mail at least once daily.
  • The GM attends weekly meetings with other student leaders and produces a weekly progress report for the Director of Student Media.
  • The GM works with Office of Student Media administrative staff in supervising the production of programming.
  • The GM delegates duties but not the responsibility for those duties.
  • The GM shall maintain at least 15 office hours per week during regular business hours.
  • The GM sets and guides the editorial philosophy of programming.
  • The GM coordinates with his/her assistants and oversees the preparation, editing and automation of promotions and PSAs.
  • The hiring and firing of paid staff must be done in consultation with the Director of Student Media.
  • The newly appointed GM meets with the Student Ad Manager and Assistant Director or Director at the conclusion of the academic year to set sponsorship acknowledgment-acceptability policy for the upcoming year, including the spots available for sale.

 

Section 4

Process for establishing media under the jurisdiction of Board of Student Media:

While it is understood that forms of media and expression will continue to change and evolve, it is important to establish guidelines for bringing future incarnations of student media under the auspices of the Board of Student Media.

New forms of student media published or distributed through the Office of Student Media may

have, by appointment of the Director of Student Media, editors who direct the content and staff of that form of media. After three consecutive semesters of publishing or broadcasting, not including Summer, the Director of Student Media may present job descriptions, duties and descriptions of qualifications to the Board for inclusion in the bylaws. Even without formal inclusion of editors and managers in the bylaws, it is understood that the Board of Student Media has final authority over governance, policy development and grievance procedures of all student media, but under no circumstances will the Board have authority over editorial or advertising content.

Certain student-related publications or products, such as the Student Handbook, may not be considered for inclusion and governance by the Board of Student Media, at the discretion of the Director of Student Media or the Dean of Student Engagement and Wellness.

ARTICLE VI

DUE PROCESS

Section 1

In all matters relating to the discipline or dismissal of the Editors in Chief or General Managers reporting to the Board, care shall be taken to ensure due process and an opportunity for a hearing.

 

Section 2

The Board shall establish procedures for a hearing to consider charges filed against an Editor in Chief, General Manager or Board member. Included in such procedures shall be an appeal process conducted within a reasonable time frame.

 

Section 3

The Board may terminate an Editor in Chief or General Manager for gross and malicious negligence or breach of commonly accepted publication or broadcast practices.

 

ARTICLE VII

RELATIONSHIPS

 

Section 1

Relationship of the Board to the University administration:

The Board is responsible to the MSU Denver Provost, who is represented on the Board by the Dean of Student Engagement and Wellness.

 

Section 2

Relationship with the Student Government Assembly of Metropolitan State University of Denver:

In keeping with this nation’s principle of separation of government and press, the Board is not directly responsible to the SGA of MSU Denver for decisions of editorial content, editorial management, advertising or underwriting/sponsorship content.

 

Section 3

Relationship with the Director of Student Media:

The Director has an administrative contract with the University and reports to the Dean of Student Engagement and Wellness. The Board, staff management, budget, oversight and operating policies/procedures constitute his/her primary responsibility.

 

ARTICLE VIII

AMENDMENTS

 

 Section 1

A motion to amend the bylaws may be made at any regular meeting of the Board. Action on the proposed amendment will be taken at the subsequent meeting. A written copy of the proposed change must be submitted to each Board member for review two weeks prior to the meeting.

 

 

ARTICLE IX

PARLIAMENTARY AUTHORITY

The rules contained in Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised shall govern meetings of this Board in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with these bylaws and any special rules of order the Board may adopt.

 

STUDENT MEDIA GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE

The MSU Denver Board of Student Media has the responsibility to hire and, if necessary, fire the Editors in Chief of The Metropolitan and Metrosphere, and the General Managers of KMet Radio and The Met Report. Therefore, as part of that duty, the Board can act as mediator between people who have a complaint about student media, an editor, manager, student employee, volunteer or staff. It is the policy of the Board of Student Media that the Board acts as the final arbiter, after the complainant has gone through the appropriate defined steps, except in the following:

  •  Discrimination or sexual harassment
  •  Payment or timecard dispute
  • Requests for exceptions to academic policies
  • Grade dispute
  • Appeals for tuition or fee reduction
  • Disputes relative to financial aid awards
  • Staff or Administrator disputes
  • Violation of Law or Student Code of Conduct

It is recommended that if a person – whether a member of the staff, someone who reads or views the medium, or someone who has been covered by student media --  has a concern, she/he should consult with the Chairperson of the Board of Student Media about the proper course of action. The Chairperson will suggest that the person go through the predetermined process established here before coming to the Board. But the Chairperson has the authority to bypass any or all steps if the Chairperson thinks this is a matter that should come to the Board first.

 

The predetermined three-step process is:

Informal Resolution

  • Meeting with the Editor in Chief or General Manager of the student medium to which the grievance is directed to discuss the matter and try to reach an agreement.
  • Meeting with the Editor in Chief or General Manager of the student medium to which the grievance is directed and the Director of Student Media to try to reach an agreement. The Director of Student Media will act as the mediator.

Formal Resolution

  • The final step is to bring a complaint to the Board of Student Media. The Board stipulates that it has absolutely no power to tell Editors in Chief or General Managers what to print or present. The Board can, however, advise the Editor in Chief or General Manager on his/her job performance according to established professional standards and guidelines. The Board will try to mediate the dispute as it feels necessary.

It is required that any person coming before the Board of Student Media submit in writing to the Chairperson, one week before the meeting, a written discussion of the concerns. This will allow time for the Board to become acquainted with the situation. The Board of Student Media strives to be objective when critiquing Editors in Chief and General Managers and so will not automatically support.  Editors in Chief or General Managers in a dispute. The Board will weigh all of the facts and come to an independent conclusion.

 

All Rights Reserved 2013