College Heights Herald and Student Publications Advertising

WKU Student Publications Policy Manual

College Heights Herald

and Student Publications Advertising

What’s Involved

Job Descriptions



Student Publications Advertising


Cherry Creative

Student Publications Policy Manual

AP/Herald Stylebook



The College Heights Herald is a business operated within the framework of WKU, with an account in the university business office. The newspaper does not get a direct subsidy from the university. The Herald pays its bills (printing and payroll) and buys equipment and supplies with money it generates from advertising sales. Because the Herald is a revenue-dependent organization, the money earned from advertising sales goes back into the newspaper for payroll, printing, travel, professional memberships, maintenance and to buy new equipment.

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The College Heights Herald is a professional news organization operated by college students. Its focus is Western Kentucky University and its primary concerns are campus, local, state and national issues that affect Herald readers. It is important to understand that, while a majority of the Herald’s community is students, it also includes faculty and staff, community members affected by WKU and alumni.

The goal of the College Heights Herald is to provide accurate, fair and balanced stories that meet the highest professional standards. The Herald provides a lively opinion section to stimulate a discussion of issues and create a forum for exchanging ideas through the print edition, website and social media.

The students who produce the Herald are honing skills that will give them a competitive edge as they enter the workplace. They learn to gather information, write, edit, photograph, sell and design. More important, they learn to make judgments and decisions and they learn to take responsibility for those decisions. As they exercise their First Amendment rights, they prepare for a professional career in communications.

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Editorial Job Descriptions

All editorial staff members are expected to contribute to the overall success of the College Heights Herald and WKUHerald by helping the publication maintain its high quality and grow its audience. That includes participating in production, as well as helping distribute and promote our products to our readers. Staff members may also be expected to work outside their original job descriptions during breaking news or other extenuating circumstances.



EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: The Editor-in-Chief is in charge of all news content for the College Heights Herald and The editor is the chief spokesperson for the news organization, primary representative in the campus community, addresses complaints and deals with all outside agencies and individuals when they interact with the news department. The editor-in-chief is selected by the WKU Student Publications Committee after an application and interview process. Among the editor-in-chief’s responsibilities:

  •  Selects section editors and makes final decisions concerning personnel matters dealing with the news department, including hiring and firing.
  •  Conducts regular staff and chairs Editorial Board meetings.
  •  Determines payroll within a budget set by the Director of Student Publications and the adviser to the College Heights Herald.
  • Oversees production of the daily email newsletter, website and print edition, assists in completion of any aspect of editorial production that requires attention, does “final reads” on stories as warranted and ensures deadlines are met.
  • Ensures that the newsroom fully embraces all platforms for distributing news, including print, web and mobile applications.
  • In consultation with the editorial board, decides news layout and has final say on any aspect of news content or design on all platforms.
  • Works with the advertising manager to determine page count and layout of the print edition.
  • Leads all inquiry boards investigating allegations of misconduct on staff.
  • Serves as a non-voting member of the WKU Student Publications Committee.
  • Works closely with section editors to help each of them perform their jobs to the best of their abilities.
  • Maintains a healthy working relationship with the adviser and all members of the professional staff.

CONTENT MANAGER: The Content Manager works across the entire newsroom and ensures strong coverage of news across all platforms, working closely with the Digital News Editor and the Projects Editor to create a consistent flow of news for publication online and in the daily email newsletter, and for enterprise content in the monthly print edition. The Content Manager also works closely with the Editor-in-Chief and manages the newsroom in the Editor-in-Chief’s absence.

MULTIMEDIA MANAGER: The Multimedia Manager assigns and oversees the photo and video staff for all platforms and works with other editors to promote visual treatment of news, sports and feature stories.

DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR: The Digital News Editor ensures a consistent and thorough level of coverage of live and breaking news events, directing content onto and making it available for and supervising the content of the email newsletter (Mondays-Fridays during the fall and spring semesters and weekly during summer and winter breaks). The Digital Editor supervises a staff of reporters who primarily focus on coverage of breaking news and live events.

PROJECTS EDITOR: The Projects Editor is responsible for enterprise reporting (investigations, profiles, in-depth stories, analyses, features, take-outs and accountability stories) that form the backbone of the monthly print edition, but also provide in-depth coverage across all platforms. The projects editor supervises a staff of reporters who generally focus on enterprise stories.

SPORTS EDITOR: The Sports Editor assigns and oversees sports stories for all platforms, works to fill sports staff positions, supervises beat and general assignment reporters, attends staff meetings and editorial board meetings, works with the copy desk and design team and works during production. T

COMMENTARY EDITOR: The Commentary Editor organizes and leads discussion of the Herald editorial positions at editorial board meetings. The Commentary Editor also writes editorials, consulting with editorial board members as needed during the process, receives and verifies letters to the editor, solicits columns from experts on issues, and supervises and works closely with staff columnists and the editorial cartoonist.


VISUAL DESIGN EDITOR: The Visual Design Editor is responsible for the overall look and feel of the Herald across all platforms, including online, the email newsletter and the monthly print edition. The Visual Design Editor works with the editor-in-chief, photo editors and section editors to achieve a consistent and appropriate display of news and other material, as well as watching for stories that would be aided by infographics and other visual journalism, and working (well in advance when possible) with artists, photographers and editors in planning news design.

COPY DESK CHIEF: The Copy Desk Chief reports to the Editor-in-Chief and is responsible for supervising the copy desk. The editor reads stories in second edit for accuracy, clarity, completeness, grammar and style; raises questions when appropriate; keeps reporters abreast of the status of their stories; manages the Style Book, attends staff meetings and works during print production.

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MANAGEMENT POSITIONS (not on Editorial Board)





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BEAT REPORTER: About 15 reporters are assigned beats, or specific areas of coverage. They are expected to call sources on their beat as often as necessary — usually once or twice a week — to keep abreast of potential stories. Also, they are expected to read other publications and look for stories concerning their beats. There is no story quota, but beat reporters are expected to produce at least one or two stories a week. Some beats — such as administration or campus government — may produce more, others less. Beat reporters are also expected to produce at least two to three in-depth stories from their beat each semester and to contribute to the digital edition of the Herald.

GENERAL ASSIGNMENT REPORTER: Other reporters cover no beats, but report and write stories they are assigned or develop in consultation with their editor. GA reporters are expected to look for potential stories and readily accept assignments for print and the digital edition of the paper when given by an editor. All reporters are expected to meet deadlines, including filing event stories no more than two hours after the event and to provide any additional content (audio, video, etc.) for the digital edition.

DIGITAL REPORTER: Digital reporters will work to provide round-the-clock coverage for, keeping the website up-to-date off the traditional Herald print cycle. Digital reporters will cover breaking news, events and other stories as they rise. Like other reporters, they are expected to pitch stories and work on long-term stories when time allows.

PHOTOGRAPHER: Photographers will shoot assignments given by the photo editor and meet deadlines with assignments for the print and digital editions of the paper, as well as have complete and accurate caption information. All photographers are expected to pitch at least two to three projects in a semester, including photo stories and multimedia pieces, attend all staff meetings, and assist the photo editor during production if necessary.

DESIGNER: Designers assist the design editor in designing pages and graphics that use visual journalism techniques to convey information for the print and digital products. They are also expected to attend staff meetings and work during production.

COPY EDITOR: Copy Editors assist the Copy Desk Chief in working on copy desk to verify the accuracy of stories for the digital and print editions of the Herald. They are also expected to attend staff meetings and work during production.

COLUMNIST: A columnist will work with the Commentary Editor to submit expert opinion pieces for all platforms of the Herald. A columnist must have worked on the Herald for at least one semester as a reporter or Commentary editor before applying for a column, keeping in mind that the best columns are those that speak with authority and experience, backed by strong reporting, as opposed to pure opinion. The Editor-in-Chief reserves the right to cancel a column before the end of a semester for any reason.

EDITORIAL CARTOONIST: The editorial cartoonist works closely with the opinion page editor and editor-in-chief to produce thought-provoking illustrations to complement editorials or provide art for the opinion pages. As time permits, the cartoonist may take assignments from other editors to produce covers for special sections, illustrate stories or provide other artwork.

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Thorough distribution of the College Heights Herald is essential to the success of the Herald and its staff. The Herald is distributed in numerous ways — in print, on its web site, via apps and through a variety of social media. However, distribution of the print edition of the Herald is paramount, as it is the print edition that carries the most stature and impact. From time to time, staff members may be asked to assist in distribution of the print edition, with the expectation that they will participate and assist in making sure their work reaches the WKU community.

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Because the College Heights Herald is a revenue-dependent newspaper, it must operate within its revenues. Thus, the amount of money spent on payroll has a direct effect on funds available for other needs. The editor-in-chief will receive an amount authorized for payroll positions and cannot exceed that amount without specific permission from both the Herald adviser and the Director of Student Publications.

Before the beginning of each semester, the editors should submit a list of paid positions to the adviser, including WKU ID numbers, addresses while at WKU and whether each person is employed by WKU elsewhere. The adviser will provide the necessary information to the Student Publications Business Office.

Each student is responsible for completing any required payroll and/or financial aid forms with the university as well as tax forms. If a student works without completing the necessary forms for both WKU and Student Publications, that student will not receive pay for that work.

No student may work until the university clears that student as eligible to work under federal law.

Editorial board members and some writers receive a salary and are paid at the end of each month. While we encourage staff members to set up direct deposit through WKU, those who do not can pick up their checks in the Adams-Whitaker Student Publications Center, Room 102, during normal business hours. The editor-in-chief is responsible for keeping payroll expenses within the budget.

The advertising and production staffs, photographers, artists and some writers are paid on a commission or freelance basis as an independent contractor. Each person is responsible for filing the required paperwork. The advertising staff submits commission sheets weekly and sales and creative staff members are paid twice monthly; photographers and writers submit requests at the end of each month and are paid monthly. Some pay rates are included in this policy manual. Items older than 30 days will not be paid.

Pay requests must be filled out monthly. However, requests will be held by the Business Office until the individual submitting the request has accumulated at least $25 in payments due.

Payment requests must include all of the information included on the form with the appropriate signatures. All requests for payment must be made according to the schedule set by the Business Office. Requests filed after the deadline may be denied.


  • Payment will be denied for any item published more than 30 days before payment request is submitted, unless an exception has been granted by the Director.
  • Captions must be written in AP style, turned in on time and include all necessary information. See the photo policies section of the Student Publications Policy Manual. Failure to do so will result in a pay deduction. Photos in a gallery must have photo-specific caption information for each picture or it may result in a pay deduction.
  • A staffer must complete the payment request form available from section editors. Requests for payment should be made no less frequently than monthly, on a deadline set by the Business Office. Requests filed after the deadline may be denied.
  • ALL staffers, including those returning, must complete the Staffer Packet each semester and submit deadline bills to the responsible editor in order to receive payment. The university business office (not Student Publications) will send the check to the address on the deadline payment bill.
  • The Herald will pay a kill fee of no more than $8 for an assignment if the assignment was made by an editor and then killed by the editor, provided that the work submitted met standards for publication. This does not apply when the content is used online only and not in the print edition.
  • Failure to meet deadline will result in a reduction or elimination of pay for that item, at the discretion of the editor.
  • Amounts paid for restaurant and movie reviews are set higher than for regular stories to help compensate for the price of a ticket or food for one person.

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Payment Schedule

BILLS MUST BE SUBMITTED MONTHLY. ITEMS OLDER THAN 30 DAYS WILL NOT BE PAID, unless specific permission has been granted by the director.

NOTE: No one will be paid more than once for the same item, even if that items is published on multiple platforms.


  • Bylined story in print $5 to $12, depending on depth of reporting
  • Bylined story online $4 to $10, depending on depth of reporting
  • Column (including TV reviews) $10
  • Review (restaurant or movie) $20, limited to one per week
  • Briefs (print or online) $3
  • Payment for in-depth/special projects will be determined by the editor-in-chief and the adviser.


  • Print:
    • Single photo $10
    • Headshot $5
    • Restaurant review photos $10 for photos taken of reporter’s dish
    • Photo illustration $5-$12 (depends on complexity of illustration)
    • Comic strip $10
    • Editorial cartoon $12
    • Editorial Illustration $10-$30, determined by the editor-in-chief
    • Photo package or essay of an event/topic with three or more photos $25
    • In-depth photo story (multiple events/locations) three or more photos $40
    • Photo stories that are not assigned by an editor but submitted for an editor’s consideration by a photographer from classroom or freelance work will be a flat rate, if published $20 per submission


    • Photo running online, not in print edition or in gallery $5
    • Photo running in online gallery $4, maximum of $12
    • Multimedia piece of high quality produced by a single individual specifically for $40
    • Multimedia piece of high quality produced by a single individual specifically for a class and later repurposed for $20 (in the case of a re-edit, pay can be determined by editor-in-chief and web editor)
    • Multimedia piece of high quality produced by a group to be divided up by amount of work each individual takes on $50 (Additional pay for special projects will be at the discretion of the adviser)
    • Multimedia piece produced by individual who did not shoot photos $20
    • Collecting audio, video and shooting photos for a multimedia piece (no production) $15
    • Photos in multimedia piece, where photographer was not a team member: $4, maximum of $12
    • Podcast production $8
    • Quick turn multimedia piece produced as a daily video or along with a story that requires less editing time than a longer piece. Can be produced by an individual or a small team. Equipment used can be iPhone or other smartphones or DSLR. Requirements include uploading to YouTube or an editor as well as following through with promotion through social media with the help of the social media manager. $10
    • Clip video of a short daily story such as a press conference, interview, or breaking news. Equipment used can be iPhone or other smartphones or DSLR. Requirements include uploading to YouTube or an editor as well as following through with promotion through social media with the help of the social media manager. $5


  • Standalone video clips to be included in longer term projects where editing is done for Cherry Creative. $4

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Corrections Policy

Effective: Aug. 15, 2002

Updated: 2008, 2015, 2021

The College Heights Herald corrects all confirmed errors that are brought to reporters’ or editors’ attention. After editors confirm the error and the accurate information, the correction will appear according to the schedule below.  Errors that could be libelous or require a more prominent display may require different handling at the editor-in-chief’s discretion. In all cases, transparency in making a correction is essential.

For errors on, the correction is made within the original story, with an editor’s note appended to the end of the story explaining the error and the correction, and the time and date the correction was made. In some cases, the editor-in-chief may choose to post at the top of the story the note explaining the correction.

For errors in the email newsletter, the correction will be made on the appropriate story online and, if necessary for clarity, in the next edition of the email newsletter.

For errors in the print edition, the correction will be published in the next available print edition, usually on the second page. The correction also will be made in the online version of the story, with an appropriate editor’s note appended.

For errors in social media, a new post correcting the erroneous information should be made as soon as possible. In instances or platforms where the erroneous post can be edited, the correction should be handle in a fashion similar to corrections on the website. Deleting an erronous social media post will not expunge it.

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Correction form

Every published correction requires that a correction form be completed. This is an important part of transparency and ensures that the process is a learning experience for those involved. This link will take you to the form must be completed for each correction published on any platform.


Corrections in the print edition should follow this format:

Due to a Herald error/source error WHO/WHAT (Patricia Minter’s title/ the score of the Kansas State game/ the hometown of Jason Stamm) was misquoted/misspelled/incorrectly identified WHERE (in a front page article about parking/ in a brief on the sports front / in the crime reports on page two) of WHICH issue. (Then state correction. As in, Minter is the faculty regent; Stamm is from Morehead, etc.) The Herald regrets the error.

In the print edition of the Herald, corrections should be published on Page 2 with the following statement in italics:

The College Heights Herald corrects all confirmed errors that are brought to reporters’ or editors’ attention. Please call 270-745-6011 or 270-745-5044 to report a correction, or e-mail us at [email protected].

To fill out a corrections form click HERE.

Form must be completed and will be automatically emailed to [email protected] and the adviser.

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Photo and Video Policies

“Published” means any photograph taken, video shot or audio gathered and printed in any of the student publications media outlets including but not limited to the College Heights Herald,, Talisman magazine or See Copyright Policy.

If an assignment was made and the image was accepted but only used as a headshot due to space, the photographer will get the full $10.

A photo or video image published in the Herald print edition and in the online edition is only entitled to one use charge of $10. Photographers will not be paid twice for the same picture, one running online and one running in the paper. Photographers or reporters will not be paid twice if a video clip is used in another multimedia piece for promotion or for special projects.

Failure to properly caption a photo according to Herald standards will result in a pay cut of 50% for said photo.

Gear checkout

All camera equipment is to be checked out properly using official protocols, and may not be loaned to any other person without that person first checking out the equipment officially. All equipment is to be returned in good condition and in a timely manner.

Photo gear must be checked out through the adviser during posted hours. Photographers may not check out gear to shoot photos for class or otherwise, unless the end product may be used for the Herald.

Photo equipment lost or damaged is the financial responsibility of the student who checked out the equipment.

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Guide to PDFing the Herald


1. Spell check (Apple + I) the page for any spelling errors or repeat words.

2a. Check the preflight function on the bottom left of the screen to make sure there are no errors, including missing fonts or links.

2b. If there are errors, click the drop down button and then on “preflight panel.” Double click on the errors to find them on the page, and proceed to fix them.

3. Once you’ve preflighted it and it’s good to go, click File > Export and then change the format to an EPS. Save the file in the EPS folder for this issue, and if there’s not one, create one.

4a. Make sure you have the following settings (particularly the color setting):

PostScript: Level 2



Preview: TIFF

Embed Fonts: Complete

Data Format: Binary

Under the advanced tab, Preset: Medium Resolution

4b. Then click “Export.”

5. Open Acrobat Distiller. Make sure the default settings say “PressQualityv6(NEW)”. If you cannot find these settings, you will have to install them on your computer. You should find them in the design folder, or you can ask the printer to e-mail them to you.

6. Drag your newly created EPS file into Distiller and it will create a PDF in the same location. Move that PDF to this issue’s PDF folder.

7. E-mail that PDF to [email protected] and you’re good to go.

8. Repeat until every page is sent.


Make sure whoever e-mails the PDFs doesn’t send the EPS version instead. (A good sign is that they’re taking a really long time to upload to your e-mail.)

Keep a tally of which pages you’ve actually e-mailed. It’s easy to forget to send a page, and you’ll get an angry e-mail from the printer an hour after you think you’ve sent them all.

In your last e-mail, tell the printer that it’s the last page and give them your number in case something happens. And don’t ignore strange phone numbers aferward, it could be the printer.

After sending the final page, wait five minutes and call the printer to verify that all pages have been received and that there are no issues.

The person responsible for sending pages must send his or her contact information to the printer, and be available after production if any issues arise.

Contact information

Rick Lancaster, production manager

270.831.8352 (o)

270.485.6510 (c)

[email protected]

Chris Olson, prepress supervisor

270.831.8356 (o)

270.860.3521 (c)

[email protected]

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Student Publications Advertising

Student Publications Advertising policies serve as a reference for information on operational procedures. Those policies are not meant to answer every question.

Mandatory advertising staff meetings will cover such topics as handling client objections, closing a sale, time management, upcoming in-house promotions, staff recognition and special sales. Any absence must be cleared through the advertising manager or the advertising adviser.

Our philosophy for Student Publications Advertising is for students to see themselves as consultants to our clients, rather than simply as a sales force. As a consultant, the student carefully researches the client, including through interviews with the client, and helps that client build a paid outreach program to get their message to the WKU community through the publications and platforms of WKU Student Publications.

Consultants, also known as account representatives, are responsible for contacting each of their clients on an appropriate and regular basis, unless a campaign or other plan has been set up by the client and account representative. This is part of the service that clients expect and pay for. Account representatives are responsible for submitting all paper work (i.e. invoice, printed emails) for each advertiser, under penalty of loss of the commission for that sale.

Walk in (or phoned) advertisers will be assigned to the most available account representative, unless the account has been assigned. The business office, advertising adviser and/or advertising manager will handle national advertising.

All staff of Student Publications Advertising should check in twice a day for messages or special assignments. Account representatives are expected to maintain regular office hours assigned by the advertising manager. If for some reason you are unable to check in or call on any client, tell the advertising manager or advertising adviser immediately.

If you are having any problems with your accounts or have any other problems, please talk with the advertising manager.

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Guidelines for the Advertising Staff

1. Be neat. Write neatly and legibly for everyone to understand.

2. Be accurate. Double check times, dates, prices and names on all ads. Don’t just accept copy from advertisers. Be sure you read it over carefully while you’re with the advertiser so you can ask questions if necessary.

3. Log your ads carefully on the AdPro system. If you have any questions, ask the ad manager, adviser or business office. The system will calculate the cost of the ad and the sales commission.

4. Research your clients before you ever reach out to them. Don’t meet with a client but have no idea what their business is or how they operate.

5. Be creative in all facets of your job — except logging your ads on AdPro.

6. Brainstorm with others if you need ideas for clients.

7. All consultants/account representatives should work closely with the staff of Cherry Creative, which can offer ideas, create spec ads for potential or current clients and suggest sponsored content, special sections or participation in events that WKU Student Publications offers.

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Account services

Sales techniques are developed with practice and with willingness to listen to what your customers want and need. If you are attuned to your client needs, you will be a successful account representative. Sales is a science for each individual person.

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General Guide for Consultants/Account Representatives

1. Be organized. Set up a weekly schedule of the clients you will visit and make appointments with them in advance.

2. Arrive a couple of minutes early for your meeting. Clients are busy people. Time is money. Be prepared and to the point in your meetings. And remember the axiom: If you’re on time, you’re late!

3. Be courteous. Remember they are individuals first, possible advertisers second.

4. Be professional. First impressions do make a difference.

5. Keep the advertiser in mind at all times. Do not go into a situation thinking you are going to make a quick sale. Think in terms of how you can build a relationship with advertiser. This is where doing your research and acting as a consultant rather than a sales person pays off.

6. Have sales materials with you. These include: business cards, rate cards, invoice books, calculator, a copy of the current publication, promotional pieces, credit applications and any other material you deem necessary.

7. Meet with your Cherry Creative team members to gather spec ideas to take with you to see the client. Although this is time consuming, visuals always help close sale.

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Insertion orders

Every ad must have an insertion order or a copy of the ad if it is emailed. The proper person must sign each insertion order. If someone refuses to pay, the signed insertion order or email is evidence that the ad was properly authorized. Insertion orders should have all information pertaining to the ad on them, whether it is color, its placement or special wording. If this information is not on file we have nothing to produce or check from. One copy is for the customer; the other must be turned in to the business office.

No commission will be paid on ads that run without a properly completed insertion order, even if the client pays as expected.

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There must be a receipt filled out for all payments on accounts. Never turn in a check or cash without a receipt attached. Even when a client prepays for an ad there must be a receipt for the entire amount turned into the business office. Turn in all money to the business office daily.

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Cherry Creative

The Cherry Creative team will be responsible for the composition all ads that are not submitted by email. The creative director will assign ads to each team member. Ads that require a proof will be given a top priority. The creative team should check in at the Herald twice a day to see if they are needed or have messages. On production days, the creative team will need to be available whenever needed. Account services and the creative team will work in tandem to produce all spec ads. Spec ads are vital to the progression of new clients. The creative team will go through a modified sales seminar to ensure they understand how to service walk-in clients. Creative team members must provide any information needed by the AdPro system to ensure payment for their work.

For more information, please see the Cherry Creative section of the Student Publications Policy Manual.

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Takedown policy

See also “Requests for removal of content from digital databases” in the Ethics portion of the Policy Manual.

Online corrections and removals

Generally, the College Heights Herald does not remove content (including but not limited to articles, columns, editorials, photos and letters to the editor) from online archives once the content has been published in any format. The Herald will run updates or corrections if an item is factually inaccurate or if there have been developments that have changed the story. The Herald has no control over rankings in or the archives of commercial search engines, such as Google. The “Most Popular” and “Most Commented” sections of the Herald’s Web site are quantitatively determined by an automated system.

Updates or corrections may be added to articles online if the material is factually inaccurate or if subsequent developments, such as court rulings, have occurred. In the event of an update or a correction, a note detailing the date and time of the change should be included.

Procedure for requesting an online correction: To make a complaint that archived content is inaccurate, contact the Editor in Chief in writing by letter or email with the following information:

• Name, telephone number and e-mail address

• The url address of the content in question

• Reference to the specific content that is inaccurate and an explanation of how the information is inaccurate

• Verifiable documentation that supports the requested change

The request will be reviewed and checked by the Editor in Chief. If the Editor in Chief determines the request to be valid, an update or correction will be posted.

In the case of content published more than one year ago, the complainant must provide reasonable proof to the editor that the content in question is no longer accurate. For example, a copy of expungement papers should be provided in case any criminal charges are dropped. If published more than a year ago, contested quotes are highly unlikely to be amended without written or audio documentation. If the contested content was published less than a year ago, normal Herald procedures for checking the material’s accuracy will apply and written documentation may be required.

From the Student Press Law Center


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