Public Forum Status
The Sentinel is a designated public forum. Student editors and managers have the authority to make all content decisions without censorship or advance approval.
The Kennesaw State Sentinel Comment Policy
All comments that contain explicit hate speech, profanity, or foster an environment detrimental to the community will be removed from posts. Comments deemed to be creating an environment detrimental to the community include: directly insulting another person, berating others, defaming others or posting comments not pertaining to the topic. Users who continue to comment in a manner outlined above will be banned.
Respect others when commenting and replying to comments. The Sentinel desires to promote a space for public interaction and voicing opinions, beliefs, and thoughts. However, The Sentinel will not stand for hate.
All comments and posts made to The Sentinel’s Facebook page and other social media will be reviewed and may be removed if the above guidelines are violated. Social media is a non-stop environment, and while we strive to ensure a uniform evaluation of comments in posts, some may not be immediately addressed. We trust the maturity of our audience to adhere to these guidelines.
The Sentinel encourages all our readers to comment. Our goal is to maintain a community where everyone feels free to express themselves, but we also recognize that some conversations following articles on this site can descend into negative sniping and personal attacks. When this happens, we reserve the right to delete those comments which violate this policy.
We encourage comments that:
- Are “on topic,” and that respond to the content in the article
- Are responses to comments left by other readers
- Are brief and to-the-point
- Have a positive/constructive tone
- Are open to being contradicted by other readers
- Might disagree with the content in the article, but they do not insult the writer of the article or other commenters
We discourage comments that:
- Are “off topic,” or are not responding to other comments or the content in the article
- Insult the writer of the article or other commenters
- Are excessively long or negative in tone
We will delete comments, without notice, that:
- Are fraudulent, unlawful, threatening, abusive, harassing, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, offensive, pornographic, profane, sexually explicit, and/or indecent
- Threaten, invite, or encourage violence
- Are derogatory of others on the basis of political affiliation, gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual preference, or disability
- Constitute or encourage conduct that would violate any local, state, national, or international laws
- Violate, plagiarize, or infringe the rights of third parties including; copyright, trademark, trade secret, confidentiality, contract, patent, or rights of privacy
- Contain advertising
- Are by commenters who misidentify or misrepresent themselves
- Contain personal information (addresses, phone numbers, etc.) about the comment’s author or others
All comments on this website express the opinion of the commenter; not the author of the article, The Sentinel or any of its staff members, KSU Student Media, or Kennesaw State University. By submitting a comment on KSUSM websites, you agree that the comment is your own.
Our comment section is provided for readers’ opinions. Comments by The Sentinel and KSUSM staff and employees generally will not be published. See your editor for exceptions.
>> If you have a news tip or information that might help a reporter, or if you notice an error in a story, please e-mail Sentinel@ksumedia.com or call 470-578-6470. Also, consider submitting a LETTER TO THE EDITOR or a GUEST COLUMN.
An inaccuracy is never knowingly published. If any error is found, The Sentinel is obligated to correct the error as soon as possible, regardless of the source of the error. A consistent location for the publication of corrections is recommended. It should be clearly and prominently labeled as a correction.
Online Content Policy
UNPUBLISHING CONTENT: Just as The Sentinel cannot remove an article that has been printed on newsprint, neither will it remove an article once it has been published on ksusentinel.com. If an article on the website contains an error, The Sentinel will strive to make the necessary corrections, which should be added to the original story file with the date of the correction appended. Requests to remove entire articles, change names, or otherwise alter online content on the website should be submitted to the editor-in-chief for review. As a news source that wants its information available to the public, The Sentinel will also not grant requests to remove articles from search engines.
False Identity, Stolen Documents, Eavesdropping
In the ordinary course of reporting, no staffers shall misrepresent themselves as anything other than representatives of The Sentinel. In extraordinary circumstances, when the editor-in-chief judges that the information cannot be obtained in any other way and the value of that information to the readers is important, the editor may authorize a misrepresentation. Staffers may not steal or knowingly receive stolen materials. Except in situations judged by an editor as extraordinary, a staffer shall not record an interview or meeting without the interviewee’s permission or the obvious placement of a recording device (not hidden) at the start of the interview or meeting, in which case the interviewee or newsmakers do not object and are aware of the presence of the recording device. Committing an illegal act to eavesdrop on a source is not allowed. Georgia law on the use of recording devices should be a reporter’s guideline on recording.
Granting and Preserving Confidentiality to Sources
A reporter should not promise confidentiality to a source without the permission of the editor-in-chief. Confidentiality should only be given if there is a real danger that physical, emotional, or financial harm will come to the source if his or her name were revealed. The editor should have all the facts and the source’s name before the decision is made. The editor should know of any laws pertaining to confidentiality and disclosure before a decision is made. A reporter should make every attempt to get the same information from another source who agrees to be named since the goal is to attribute all information to a specific source for all stories.
Generally, anonymous sources are not used in stories. Information that comes from an unnamed or unknown source should not be used unless it can be verified through another, known source. If two independent sources verify the information and both are unnamed, an editor may decide to publish the information with careful consideration of the need for immediacy and the news value of the information. The source may be identified generally as one associated with an agency to give some degree of credibility to the information. The danger exists that the reader may not believe the information if sources are not named, the publication’s credibility may suffer, and/or information obtained later from a named and verified source may disprove the information given by the unnamed or unknown sources.
Ownership of Work
Regardless if a staffer or stringer is paid or unpaid, the publication has exclusive rights to use any published or unpublished work (print or online) done by a staffer if the work was done as a staff assignment. All published work is copyrighted by The Sentinel, thus The Sentinel has unlimited rights to use the work. Ownership of all work, published or unpublished, is retained by the staffer, but use outside the publication (while on staff) should only be done with the approval of the editor-in-chief. The act of voluntarily joining the staff indicates approval of this policy.
Policy Violation Investigations, Probation and Termination
While violations should be judged in context and on a case-by-case basis, there are several policy violations where termination of a student staff member should be considered, including plagiarism, copyright violation, conflict of interest, consistent absence from staff meetings without notice, presenting oneself or one’s work in a manner that infringes on The Sentinel’s credibility, violations of the university’s Student Conduct Code (including sexual and racial harassment), and theft or willful destruction of The Sentinel or Kennesaw State property.
Commentary & Opinion
The views and opinions expressed in columns, commentary, reviews, and other opinion pieces are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of The Sentinel, KSU Student Media, Kennesaw State University, or the Georgia Board of Regents.
Editorial policies are reviewed every term by the incoming editor-in-chief, but the above general policies apply unless amended by the editor. Contact the editor-in-chief at firstname.lastname@example.org.
>> For complete policies, visit the KSUSM Forms page.
>> For Advertising & Business policies, visit ksuads.com.