Pomona College Magazine Editorial Guidelines
The essential purpose of Pomona College Magazine is to inform, engage,
inspire and entertain a diverse readership -- including alumni, parents,
students, faculty, staff and other friends of Pomona College -- by
telling powerful stories that present a compelling, timely and honest
portrait of the College and its extended family. In the originality of
its conception, in the excellence of its writing and visual presentation
and in its commitment to accuracy, healthy discourse and editorial
balance, the magazine endeavors to reflect the values and the quality of
the institution itself. By maintaining the respect and interest of its
readers, the magazine aspires ultimately to inform their opinion of the
College and to strengthen their commitment to its welfare.
The staff of PCM is committed to maintaining the high standard of integrity that has
always been characteristic of Pomona College and of the magazine that represents it.
While the ultimate purpose of the magazine is to engage and strengthen its readers'
association with the College, the institution recognizes that it can do so effectively
only by earning and retaining the respect and faith of its readers. In this context,
these editorial standards are set forth to give readers and contributors a clear idea
of what they can and should expect from the magazine.
The editors of PCM are ultimately responsible for all decisions concerning the content
of the magazine. In selecting content, the editors work in consultation with the staff
and with other members of the College community with several factors in mind, including:
- a commitment to offering readers a mix of newsworthy, engaging and
thought-provoking articles about the College and its people;
- a respect and concern for the institution's history, mission and values;
- a commitment to providing balanced and timely coverage of issues;
- a concern for maintaining the institution's commitment to open discourse;
- a commitment to diversity of interest, opinion and representation; and
- a concern for readability and attractiveness of presentation.
The editors welcome suggestions concerning content but can make no assurances regarding the use of suggested or provided material. Although no single issue of the magazine can fully reflect the diversity of the College and its
community, the editors will make every effort to represent, over the course of time, the great diversity of interest, opinion and background inherent in the magazine's readership.
Statements and opinions expressed in the magazine are those of the bylined contributors or of the editorial staff, and do not necessarily represent the official position of the College.
In covering controversial topics, the magazine will make every effort to provide balanced coverage and a representative mix of opinions, although its starting point will be a respect for the institution and its values. Since, despite all disclaimers, the magazine may be interpreted in courts of law as an official voice of the institution, when an article deals with a topic that is the subject of real, pending or probable litigation involving the College, the editors will consult with legal counsel before proceeding with publication. In such cases, the article will be published only if legal concerns can be met without damaging the journalistic integrity of the article in question.
All articles are subject to editing by the PCM staff. As a courtesy, programs and people prominently featured in an article are usually given the opportunity to preview portions of the story that concern them in order to check the accuracy of quotes and facts. The final decision on changes to the article belongs, however, to the editors.
Words that are generally agreed to be obscene should not be included gratuitously in PCM articles, letters or notes, and will be edited out if their omission does not damage the integrity of the text. Such words will be published only when they are an integral part of a quotation, title or other cited passage that adds essential meaning or context to an article. It is not the policy of PCM to replace characters with asterisks or to otherwise disguise objectionable words.
Photographs that purport to depict an actual event should not be manipulated in any way other than cropping and correction for color, sharpness, brightness and contrast. Photographs used as illustrations of features are subject to greater manipulation, but should be labeled "Photo illustration" if they involve substantial alterations to the image that may not be obvious to the reader.
Departments of the magazine are established in order to package
recurring types of information, such as letters and alumni travel
opportunities, or smaller stories about areas of special interest,
such as sports, college history and development. Some departments --
such as Pomona Today, Bookshelf, Class Acts and Class Notes -- will
appear in every issue. Others -- such as Expert Advice and View Point
-- may appear intermittently, on the basis of the availability of
space and of the relative newsworthiness of available stories.
The purpose of the letters column is to provide a forum for members
of the extended College community --
primarily alumni, parents, students, faculty, staff, donors and friends with a strong connection to the
College -- who wish to engage in free and civil discourse on issues relating to the magazine and the College.
It is not a forum for lobbying on unrelated issues, self-promotion or personal attacks. PCM endeavors to print all letters to the editor from correspondents with a clear tie to the
institution involving meaningful responses to previous issues of the magazine or thoughts about
issues of importance to the College. When space does not permit the publication of all letters,
the editors will choose which letters to publish based upon inherent interest to the readership and
representation of diverse opinions. The magazine will not publish anonymous letters or letters that,
in the opinion of the editor, are defamatory, level serious allegations against identifiable individuals
or groups, or purport to speak for others who are not a party to the correspondence.
The magazine also will not publish letters dealing with the particulars
of a disciplinary action or hearing or the circumstances leading up to
it. When a letter raises
significant questions about a previously published article or about some aspect of the institution, an
appropriate respondent may be invited to reply in the same issue. When a topic inspires an exchange of
opinions, the editors may cut off debate after a reasonable period of time, usually no more than three
issues after the publication of the article or letter from which the debate originated. With rare
exceptions, letters should be no more than 400 words in length. All letters received by the magazine
are subject to being edited for brevity and clarity.
To be included in Class Notes, information about alumni activities should be submitted to
firstname.lastname@example.org. With rare exceptions, information more than two years old will not be included. Selection of notes is at the discretion of the Class Notes editor, based upon such factors as perceived interest to classmates and frequency of previous submissions. All notes selected for inclusion are rewritten in Class Notes style and are subject to editing for length, style and clarity. Final decisions concerning the Class Notes belong to the PCM editors.
To be included in Scrapbook, photos should be submitted to
sufficient information for a caption. PCM endeavors to print as many
alumni photos as space permits. Photos are selected for inclusion
based upon photographic quality and intrinsic interest to our
readers. Photos submitted electronically must be at least 1000 pixels
by 600 pixels. Final selection of photos for this department is at
the discretion of the PCM editors.
PCM publishes full death notices of current and former trustees and faculty, active staff members and alumni
of extraordinary significance to the College. The length of full death notices is normally limited to no more than 750 words. The magazine does not print survivor lists and usually does not print cause of death. Death notices of all other alumni are edited for length at the discretion of the Class Notes editor, generally no more than 150 words. The magazine will not publish a death notice without confirmation of the death from a family member or official source.
PCM accepts and publishes no advertisements.
Through fact-checking and proofing, the editorial staff of PCM endeavors to avoid publishing erroneous information. However, when an error in PCM is discovered, the editor will decide whether it is of sufficient importance
as to require a published correction.