External Communications Policy

(As Amended, December, 2013)

Introduction: SPJ and The Deadline Club have established ways to project their messages and values to members and the public, including a magazine, newsletters and occasional statements by officers and official spokespeople to the general news media. The purpose of this external communications policy is to avoid inadvertently projecting other conflicting messages and values.

Public statements: The Deadline Club president or other chapter officers should comment to local media about important issues when the national SPJ has a clear policy, position or statement that needs amplification or if the board has voted to make a statement. Otherwise, when officers speak with the media they should request their comments not be attributed to The Deadline Club or SPJ.

When Deadline Club officers issue news releases about chapter functions, they should be careful not to take positions on contentious issues beyond the scope of SPJ’s mission.

When officers and members express their opinions in any forum, including speeches, panel discussions, blogs and Internet discussion groups, they should make clear when they are expressing their personal opinions as distinguished from SPJ policy.

Electronic communications: The Deadline Club uses its mailing lists for official communications with its members. As a matter of general policy, officers and other members must not use these lists to promote the events or ideas of other organizations, or the advertising or marketing of products or services. The board or president may make exceptions when another group’s event or statement is closely aligned with the mission of The Deadline Club and would be of substantial interest to many members of The Deadline Club. Job postings in the field of journalism are allowed.

The chapter should link its website or email blasts to the websites of other organizations only to the extent required to advance the interests of The Deadline Club or SPJ. Examples would include linking to groups that are co-sponsoring or hosting SPJ events, providing members’ benefits or are the subject of an upcoming event. These links should remain only as long as required to fulfill their purpose.

Discussion groups: The Deadline Club shall monitor the use of its email discussion lists and social media sites, remove any unauthorized person and renounce any posting contrary to SPJ’s mission. The forums should only be used to communicate news, ideas and thoughts relevant to the entire group, with journalism as its focus. They are not general interest chat rooms. Members should only send from computers that are running up-to-date virus protection software. Attachments are not allowed. Members who knowingly send a virus, or fail to adequately ensure the safety of their postings, may be removed from the lists without notice. Do not post clippings from copyrighted news organizations. Instead, provide a web link (not entire web pages) in your message, along with a summary of the article’s content.

Members should never forward any Deadline Club listserv message off the listserv without the permission of the sender. But those posting should be aware that The Deadline Club can’t prevent this from happening. Messages are not seen by the officers or staff of SPJ before they are posted; as such, they are not edited for content and are not approved before posting.

The posting of spam messages (junk e-mails, myths, urban legends, etc.), racist, sexist, abusive, profane, defamatory, threatening or harassing comments and jokes of any kind are not allowed. Members are encouraged to show respect to their peers and maintain a professional tone in their messages. Views expressed on Deadline Club forums are those of individual authors and not necessarily those of The Deadline Club or SPJ.