Our Ethics


Graphic by Zainab Imam

It is crucial for all journalists to approach every story with integrity and a desire for the truth. Without conforming to an ethical code of conduct, the reporter and the paper will lose credibility and respect from readers as a source of factual information. Reporters who have conflicts of interest involving a topic or story he or she has been assigned to should inform the editor-in-chief and seek relief from that particular topic or story.


Journalists are human and will make mistakes. All Courier staff are required to be proactive in identifying mistakes, publicly acknowledging them and correcting them in the same public fashion they were made. That means fixing errors made in electronic versions of stories and putting a note at the top of the story to notify readers a mistake was made and has been fixed. In print copies, the correction will be made in the next printed version of the paper on the same page the error occurred.

Financial independence

Reporters must not accept any form of payment or favor to write a story or obtain information (with the possible exception of public documents from a government source that charges for the information). We do not pay sources. Sources do not pay us.

Political affiliation

The Courier does not hire, fire or discriminate for or against employees or sources on the basis of political affiliation. We welcome, and encourage, a diversity of personal viewpoints on our staff because that best reflects the diversity of the communities we cover. We work hard, through a multi-tiered editing process where every story is viewed and edited by multiple people to assure no personal political beliefs do not result in biased coverage.

Free food/gifts

Reporters must make every effort to pay for their own food at events they cover or during interviews with sources that involve dining. It is acceptable to partake in a meal or refreshments if the food is offered in a manner where all media and/or the general public have the same access to such refreshments. As a general guideline, reporters should not accept any food, drink or gifts worth more than a cup of coffee. Gifts should be donated to charity. Materials submitted for review become the property of The Courier.


Reporters must not accept free or discounted travel during interviews or events. The exception to this rule is for reporters and photographers covering athletic events who have been offered rides with the team when no other mode of transportation is available to the reporter. 

Free tickets/passes

It is OK to accept free admission to events a reporter or photographer is writing about for The Courier. This privilege should not be abused for personal use. Any reporter or photographer using media credentials to access events for personal use will be immediately terminated from his or her position.

Conflicts of Interest

No reporter or photographer who is a member of a student club, organization or team should cover an event involving that club, organization or team. 

Any staff member who becomes a candidate for any student government position must take an unpaid leave of absence during the campaign. 

No employee of The Courier may write a commentary on any single issue or event he or she has or will cover. The exception is sports reporters who regularly cover the same sports or teams. 

Prior review of stories by sources

No reporter can allow a source to review the full content of an article before it is published. Reporters may review specific quotes with the source of those quotes for accuracy and context before publication. 


All information used in stories that is taken from other publications, documents, books, letters, scholarly journals, emails and Web sites must be properly attributed in the article.

Work for other publications

Employees of The Courier may work or freelance for other campus or off-campus publications as long as that work does not present a conflict of interest. For instance, no employee of The Courier may cover the same event for both publications. No story written for The Courier may appear in any other publication without the permission of the professional staff.

Reporter Identification

Employees of The Courier must identify themselves as reporters to all sources and potential sources at the onset of any interaction or conversation the reporter may use for an article.