The Word is written primarily for the students who attend Vista Ridge High School.
Secondary audiences include faculty and staff, some members of the local community, other school journalism programs and organizations that promote scholastic journalism. The Word recognizes that these secondary audiences read the newspaper, and therefore, the staff will recognize criticisms and opinions from these parties.
The Word serves its audience with accurate and factual reporting on subjects relevant to the campus community. The Word will attempt to cover all aspects of the campus; however, coverage will depend greatly on an item’s news value.
Although students work under the leadership of a faculty adviser, the content of The Word is determined by the student staff and should reflect all areas of student interest.
The Word will not publish material determined by the editor or editorial board to be “unprotected speech,” meaning any material that is libelous, obscene, disruptive of the school process or an unwarranted invasion of privacy. However, so-called controversial issues cannot be banned because the topics may be unpopular. All content must be newsworthy, reflect an intense scholastic journalism background and a continuously reinforced awareness of audience concerns. The Word staff follows ethical principles including, but not limited to responsibility, freedom of the press, truth and accuracy, impartiality and fairness.
The Word’s staff and adviser are responsible for all content, which appears in the newspaper. Administrators have a non-review role; they may not control content prior to publication. However, administrators may offer advice on sensitive issues and will offer criticisms that are warranted following publication.