The Diamondback staff abides by the following policies, which have been published online to increase our transparency within the community. By working for The Diamondback, each member agrees to follow these policies. Any person who does not abide by these policies will be under review by the editor in chief and faces termination.

Ethics

In general, all Diamondback staff members abide by the Code of Ethics established by the Society of Professional Journalists. We pledge to: Seek the truth and report it, act independently, minimize harm; and be accountable. For a detailed list of the Code of Ethics, please see: http://spj.org/ethicscode.asp.

Corrections

If a staff member receives notice of a correction, he or she must immediately report it to the appropriate section editor and the editor in chief. If a correction is warranted, a notification will appear in the next print edition. The article will be updated online with the accurate information and a note from the editor explaining what was changed. The editor in chief will make the final decision on whether a story warrants a correction.

Plagiarism and fabrication

Any form of plagiarism or fabrication committed by a staff member will result in immediate termination and a public apology. If an outside source reports an instance of plagiarism, The Diamondback editor in chief and section editors will conduct a thorough investigation to determine the validity of the claim and review the staff member’s previous work.

Online publishing

All editorial content that appears in the newspaper also will be posted online. The Diamondback will not remove articles once they appear online. In the case of a factual error online, the article will be corrected and updated with an editor’s note, but not removed. If you believe an error has been made, contact The Diamondback with a detailed description of the inaccuracies.

Conflicts of interest

All staff members are, first and foremost, representatives of The Diamondback. Any outside club involvement must be disclosed to and approved by the editor in chief. If a staff member is involved with an outside club or organization, he or she is prohibited from reporting on it. Staff members are prohibited from joining any branch of the Student Government Association, Residence Hall Association or Graduate Student Government. Staff members are required to adhere to the following guidelines: Do not participate in any political rallies, protests or demonstrations. Do not make any public comments or participate in any media interviews without the approval of the editor in chief. Do not publish any political affiliations or beliefs on social media pages and profiles, including Facebook, Twitter and personal blogs.

Staff member conduct

Staff members are an extension of The Diamondback and thus must conduct all interactions professionally and courteously. Staff members are not permitted to interview friends or family for stories. Staff members are not allowed to interview other Diamondback staff members. They must always identify themselves as Diamondback reporters to sources. Staff members may simultaneously cover events and write stories for a class, but they must disclose it to the editor in chief. Staff members are free to write for other publications, both on-campus and off, but those duties must not interfere with nor overlap with Diamondback assignments. We expect our staff members to put The Diamondback first. Failure to do so might result in termination. If a source raises concerns over the content of an article or if a reader voices concerns, the staff member is required to notify the editor in chief immediately before taking any other action. Staff writers are not permitted to write simultaneously as opinion columnists, and vice versa.

Social media policy

We encourage all staff members to participate in various social media forums. However, we expect all staff members to be very aware of what they post, what they like, what they favorite and what they retweet — and how that represents The Diamondback. All staff members, except for opinion columnists, are prohibited from posting political affiliation on social media sites. If a staff member is tweeting, posting or delivering any sort of online or in-person message on behalf of The Diamondback, he or she must identify himself or herself as a staff member and inform the editor in chief ahead of time.

Source anonymity

The Diamondback will publish sources anonymously only under the most severe circumstances. For example, if a source could lose his or her job or face legal retribution, we will identify that source by first name or title only. If a student wishes to remain anonymous for legal reasons, we will identify him or her by first name, year and major. The process of granting anonymity to sources must go through the editor in chief, who makes all final decisions on the matter. If information is given on the record and a source later requests to have it removed, the final decision will be made by the editor in chief. Information will be removed only if the source cites clear and compelling reasons.

Opinion section

All members of the community are welcome to submit guest columns and letters to the editor. An opinion column reflects the opinions of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Diamondback. Opinion pieces signed by The Diamondback’s editorial board reflect the official stance of The Diamondback but not necessarily the individual opinions of its staff members.

Redaction

The Diamondback newspaper and its corresponding website, dbknews.com, seek and report the daily news at the University of Maryland and surrounding area. The Diamondback reporters and editors are solely responsible for the content of the newspaper and website. This content serves as a written record of the history of the campus, College Park area and corresponding communities. Therefore, the reporters and editors will not remove or alter any records from The Diamondback archives unless it meets the following criteria:

ERRORS

If a major inaccuracy comes to light with enough evidence to adequately prove the error, The Diamondback staff will correct it and make the appropriate notation on the story. Corrections are subject to the discretion and judgment of the editor in chief. Corrections do not warrant a retraction.

EXPUNGEMENT

If a person has committed a crime that The Diamondback reported on, and that crime has been expunged by a court of law, the person affected can contact The Diamondback to have the article removed. The article will only be removed with appropriate legal proof of expungement. The Diamondback will not remove articles detailing crimes that have not been expunged.

DOCUMENTED HARM

If an article published in The Diamondback has caused severe, undue harm to a person’s health or livelihood, the editorial staff of the paper will assess requests for removal on a case-by-case basis.
To request a retraction or report an error, please contact the editor in chief at diamondbackeditor@gmail.com.