Students nationwide sign up for TAO of Journalism program

Tao of Journalism signup 2012

The staff of the Eagle's Eye News at Ruskin High School in Kansas City, MO takes the TAO of Journalism Pledge during Scholastic Journalism Week, Wed., Feb. 22. They were one of 20 student groups across the country to take the TAO Pledge last week.

Student journalists from across the U.S. took the TAO of Journalism Pledge during annual Scholastic Journalism Week, Feb. 19-25, promising to be Transparent, Accountable and Open (TAO) in their work as journalists. Student journalism groups are invited to take the TAO Pledge at any time, but Feb. 22 was set aside as National TAO of Journalism Pledge Day.

As the TAO of Journalism enters its third year, the momentum grows as more professional journalists and student journalists take the TAO Pledge and carry the TAO Seal on their work. It is a way to help instill public trust.

“We are trying to hold ourselves more accountable,” said David Gaines, newspaper adviser at Moffat County High School in Craig, CO. “This seems like a great way to make a pledge; let others see that we have made a commitment, and then hold each other to it!”

Congratulations to the following student media groups who have made a public commitment to be Transparent, Accountable and Open (TAO) in their work:

Mane Thing (newspaper)
Arlington HS — Riverside, CA

The Golden Word (newspaper & online)
Cibola HS — Albuquerque, NM

The Spoke (newspaper) & (online)
Conestoga HS — Berwyn PA

The Image (yearbook), Pirate Press (newspaper) & DPNews (broadcast)
Dos Pueblos HS — Goleta, CA

Tiger Topics N the Red (newspaper)
Fishers HS — Fishers, IN

The Buzz TV
Fort Mill HS — Fort Mill, SC

The Spectacle (newspaper, broadcast, online news, yearbook)
Mesa Vista HS — Ojo Caliente, NM

The Blue Print (newspaper)
Moffat County HS — Craig, CO

OTVX (broadcast)
Oldham County HS — Buckner, KY

Overland Scout (newspaper)
Overland HS — Aurora, CO

Pirate Press (newspaper), ECHO (yearbook), PattonvilleTODAY (Online
Pattonville HS — Maryland Heights, MO

Premier (newspaper)
Premier Learning Academy — La Marque, TX

The Echo (newspaper & online)
St. Louis Park Senior HS — St. Louis Park, MN

The Raven Report (newspaper)
Sequoia HS — Redwood City, CA

The Eagle’s Eye (newspaper)
Ruskin HS — Kansas City, MO

Smoke Signal (newspaper)
Stafford HS — Falmouth, VA

The Oracle (newspaper)
Steinbrenner HS — Lutz, FL

The Hawk (yearbook)
Susquenita HS — Duncannon, PA

The Yell-Kat
Yellville-Summit HS — Yellville AK

By taking the pledge, the student media listed above will be sent the TAO of Journalism Seal to post as a public promise to practice ethical journalism.

Congratulations to all participants!

Kathy Schrier, M.Ed., MJE
Washington Journalism Education Association
Washington News Council / TAO of Journalism Project


Student journalists “Go TAO” during National Scholastic Journalism Week

Journalism students at Whitney High School (CA) take the TAO of Journalism Pledge.

Student journalists who practice ethical journalism and want to assure readers, viewers and school administrators of their commitment to excellence, are going public by taking the “TAO of Journalism” pledge .

The TAO Pledge asks journalists to promise that they will be “Transparent” about who they are and how the story was developed; “Accountable” for, and willing to correct any errors; and “Open” to other points of view. This idea, introduced by the Washington News Council, is gaining traction with media organizations around the world. Student journalism organizations may take the TAO Pledge for free, while professional journalists are asked to donate $25 per year to help support the TAO Project website. Media organizations are asked to donate $50 per year.

The Journalism Education Association has endorsed the TAO of Journalism Pledge as one way student media can instill trust in their programs.

JEA encourages schools and student media to sign the Pledge during Scholastic Journalism Week on Wednesday, Feb. 23 and to invite their school administrators to sign on, as well. Any student media group who “takes the TAO Pledge” will be listed on the TAO of Journalism website with a link to their website.

Students can then post the TAO Seal in their masthead and they will receive a poster of the TAO Pledge that can be displayed as a public reminder of their commitment.

Once students take the pledge, they need to be sure to follow the pledge to show their schools and their communities the importance of professional standards.

• BONUS for student media groups who take the TAO Pledge during Scholastic Journalism Week: Temporary tattoos of the TAO seal for all members of the staff.


WNC welcomes summer intern Colin Moyer

WNC intern Colin Moyer updates new donor database.

WNC intern Colin Moyer updates new donor database.

Joining the WNC team this summer is Colin Moyer, who just completed his first year at Occidental College in Los Angeles.

As a high school senior at Curtis High School near Tacoma, Colin made a name for himself when he approached school officials about starting a school sponsored newspaper.  School administrators said sure, but they insisted on reviewing content of any paper before allowing it to go to press.  Finding this unacceptable, Colin pulled together a group of Curtis students, who launched “The Viking Underground” — an off campus student-produced paper. They printed and distributed the paper during the entire 2008-09 school year, covering a range of topics relating to the school community, and did so without prior review by school authorities.

For his efforts on behalf of student press rights, Colin received a Special Recognition Award from the Washington Journalism Education Association. He also received the National and Washington state ACLU Youth Activist Award for outstanding commitment to the protection and promotion of civil liberties.

Colin now works on the staff of the Occidental College newspaper, and looks forward to starting his sophomore year there in the fall.