Background and Editorial Policy

The Daily Trojan is the student newspaper of the University of Southern California. It is a forum for student expression and is written, edited and managed by university students.

The first edition of this newspaper was published in 1912, and over the course of its 97 years it has been recognized for continuously and consistently providing an atmosphere of free and responsible discussion and intellectual exploration of USC which has helped to both inform and entertain the university community.

While the university is the publisher of the Daily Trojan, all day-to-day operations are handled by the student editors and staff. Unlike many university newspapers, the Daily Trojan receives no financial support from the university or from Student Senate funding allocations and is wholly supported by advertising revenue.

The editor of the Daily Trojan is nominated to the student media board by a staff election. The student media board consists of the current editor and editorial advisor of the Daily Trojan, the general manager of KSCR, the director of the Student News Service, equal representatives of the faculty of the School of Journalism and the staff of Student Affairs, the president of the Student Senate and the vice president for Student Affairs, who chairs the committee.

The editorials that run in the ‘Opinions’ section each day are the opinions of the Daily Trojan and its editorial staff. The subjects and opinions are researched, determined and written by the editorial staff. The opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the student body and/or university.

The unsigned column represents the view of the Senior Editors and does not necessarily represent the opinions of the Daily Trojan staff. Other commentary and opinion pieces published on the ‘Opinions’ pages are exclusively the opinions of their authors, including letters, editorial columns and cartoons.


Letter Policy

Letters to the editor are welcomed on any topic related to USC or to the contents of the Daily Trojan. All materials submitted must be signed and include the writer’s name, year in school or position, major or department, USC identification number and a phone number and/or e-mail address where the writer may be reached. Anonymous letters and any letter without this information will not be printed.

Letters must be brief (500-600 words), and can be delivered to the offices of the Daily Trojan in Student Union 400, e-mailed to letters@dailytrojan.com, or sent to: Editorial Director, Daily Trojan, USC Student Union 421, Los Angeles, CA 90089-0895. Longer letters may be considered as guest columns.

Letters from groups must have the name and phone number of a contact person for the group, and should be signed by each person whose name appears on the letter.

All letters are subject to editing for space and clarity.


Forums and Comments Posting Policy

Thank you for your participation in the Daily Trojan Forums. To safeguard USC’s Principles of Community while fostering a healthy campus dialogue, we require users to follow these basic posting guidelines:

Right to Delete Posts

Any postings that the Daily Trojan deems incongruent with its policies – including messages that are defamatory, obscene, abusive or in violation of copyright or trademark laws – are subject to editing or deletion. Although the Daily Trojan cannot reasonably expect to review every forum posting and is not responsible for any posted content, it reserves the right to monitor forums and remove posting privileges of users who violate these terms. All messages must be written in English.

Posting Rules

Interactive areas, discussion boards[…], and the Daily Trojan Forums are intended to encourage public debate. We expect participants to differ — judgment and opinion are subjective[…], and we encourage freedom of speech and a marketplace of ideas. But by using these areas of our website, you are participating in a community that is intended for all our users. Therefore, we reserve the right to remove any content posted on our site at any time for any reason. Decisions as to whether content violates any Posting Rule will be made by the Daily Trojan at its sole discretion, after having received actual notice of such posting. Without limiting our right to remove content, we have attempted to provide guidelines to those posting content on our site. When using our website, please do not post material that:
• contains vulgar, profane, abusive or hateful language, epithets or slurs, text or illustrations in poor taste, inflammatory attacks of a personal, racial or religious nature, or expressions of bigotry, racism, discrimination or hate.
• is defamatory, threatening, disparaging, grossly inflammatory, false, misleading, deceptive, fraudulent, inaccurate, unfair, contains gross exaggeration or unsubstantiated claims, violates the privacy rights of any third party, is unreasonably harmful or offensive to any individual or community, contains any actionable statement, or tends to mislead or reflect unfairly on any other person, business or entity.
• violates any right of the Daily Trojan or any third party.
• discriminates on the grounds of race, religion, national origin, gender, age, marital status, sexual orientation or disability, or refers to such matters in any manner prohibited by law.
• violates any municipal, state or federal law, rule, regulation or ordinance, or attempts to encourage such an evasion or violation.
• unfairly interferes with any third party’s uninterrupted use […] of the Daily Trojan.
• advertises, promotes or offers to trade any goods or services, except in areas specifically designated for such purpose.
• uploads copyrighted or other proprietary material of any kind on our website without the express permission of the owner of that material.
• uses or attempts to use another’s account, password, service or system except as expressly permitted by the Terms of Service.
• includes images, photos, or articles or other content that constitutes, promotes or encourages illegal acts, violation of any right of any individual or entity, violation of any local, state, national or international law, rule, guideline or regulation, or otherwise creates liability.
• uploads or transmits viruses or other harmful, disruptive or destructive files.
• disrupts, interferes with, or otherwise harms or violates the security of our website, or any services, system resources, accounts, passwords, servers or networks connected to or accessible through our website or affiliated or linked sites.
• “flames” any individual or entity (e.g., sends repeated messages related to another user and/or makes derogatory or offensive comments about another individual), or repeats prior posting of the same message under multiple threads or subjects.
(Adapted from the Los Angeles Times Forums Policies with permission.)


Disclaimer

Published daily except Saturday, Sunday, examination week and university holidays by the University of Southern California in Student Union 400, University Park MC-0895, Los Angeles, California 90089-0895.

Mail subscriptions are $235 per year. Typeset by the Office of Student Publications at USC. Printed by News Publishers’ Press in Glendale, Califorina.

Editorial Matter

Editorial opinions expressed in the Daily Trojan do not necessarily reflect those of the University of Southern California, its faculty or student body. Complaints concerning the editorial content of the Daily Trojan should be made to the editor in Student Union 420, (213) 740-8829. Any complaints not resolved through this means may be placed before the Student Media Board by contacting the Office of Student Publications in Student Union 400, (213) 740-2707.

Advertising Matter
Except as clearly implied by the advertising party of otherwise specifically stated, advertisements in the Daily Trojan are inserted by commercial activities or ventures identified in the advertisements themselves and not by the University of Southern California. Advertising material included herein is solely for informational purposes. Such printing is not to be construed as a written and implied sponsorship, endorsement or investigation of such commercial enterprises or ventures. Complaints concerning advertisements in the Daily Trojan should be directed to the Office of Student Publications, in Student Union 400, (213) 740-2707.

Daily Trojan Online
Reference to other websites, companies, and products on this page and elsewhere on dailytrojan.com is purely for informational purposes, and does not serve as or imply any endorsement by the University of Southern California or the Daily Trojan. The Daily Trojan and the University of Southern California, its students, agents and employees shall not be held responsible for any damages that occur as a result of the use of this website or any other sites or products referenced therein.


Guidelines for Operation

The University of Southern California recognizes the Daily Trojan as a valuable aid in establishing and maintaining an atmosphere of free and responsible discussion and of intellectual exploration of the campus. It is recognized as one of the principal means of bringing student concerns to the attention of the faculty and the administration and of formulating student opinion on various issues on the campus and in the world at large.

The University of Southern California, as the publisher of the Daily Trojan, bears the legal responsibility for the contents of the newspaper. The University of Southern California, through the President of the University, delegates to the student editors and managers of the newspaper, the day-to-day operation of the Daily Trojan and with it the responsibility to be governed by the canons of responsible journalism, such as the avoidance of libel, indecency, and undocumented assertion. It is understood, and it must be so stated in each issue of the Daily Trojan, that the opinions expressed in the newspaper are not necessarily those of the college, university or student body.

In order that these policies shall be carried out, the Student Media Board of the University of Southern California, with the approval of the President of the University, has set the following rules and procedures for the staffing and operation of the Daily Trojan.

1. The Student Media Board shall be chaired by the Vice-President of Student Affairs and shall consist of equal numbers of faculty of the School of Journalism (including the editorial advisor to the Daily Trojan) and staff of the Division of Student Affairs (including the Director of Student Publications). The membership shall include also the editor of the Daily Trojan, the general manager of KSCR, the president of the student government association, and the director of the student news service.

2. The editor of the Daily Trojan shall be appointed by the President of the University upon recommendation of the Student Media Board. The editor shall serve one semester.

a. Qualifications: A minimum grade point average of 2.5 shall be required of applicants for the editorship of the Daily Trojan. Applicants must be carrying a minimum of 12 units at the time of application and while in office. Any student who is a senior or above may hold the office of editor.

b. Selection Process: The current editor and the Director of Student Publications shall determine the selection schedule to begin approximately five weeks before the end of the semester. Notices of editor application will run in the Daily Trojan one week. Each applicant will be required to submit an application and a position paper setting forth the policies to be pursued and outlining any suggestions for improvement. Following the application deadline, copies of all materials will be posted in the Daily Trojan City Room. The current editor will appoint a senior editor as the election officer to handle the nomination process. Approximately one week later, each candidate will be presented (in alphabetical order) to the editorial staff for position statements and a question, answer dialogue. Following the presentations, the election officer will distribute ballots. The votes will be counted by the current editor and the election officer in the presence of the Director of Student Publications. The nominee must obtain a majority of the total votes. In case no majority is obtained, there will be a run-off election between the two top candidates. (In case of a tie, the current editor will cast the determining ballot.) The winning candidate will be presented to the Student Media Board as the editorial staff’s nominee to be editor the following semester.

3. The editor shall have complete authority over content and editorial policy of the paper and shall be answerable in these matters only to the President of the University. The editor has final responsibility for judging what is suitable for publication. There shall be no prepublication surveillance of the content of the paper by anyone but the student editorial staff.

4. The editor may be removed only by the President of the University. Only the Student Media Board may institute removal proceedings and only on the grounds of failure to discharge the duties of editor with responsibility and competence. The Board shall hold hearings on the charges and make recommendations for the decision of the President. The Board shall also consider written complaints.

5. The editor shall appoint his subordinates on the editorial staff in consultation with the faculty adviser. He may remove or reassign them in consultation with the faculty adviser. In these matters, the final decision shall rest with the editor.


Code of Ethics

Written by Spring 2002 Senior Staff

The Daily Trojan aims to provide students with vital information each day to allow them to better understand the university and its surrounding area. We rely on truthful and comprehensive research to serve our readers with relevant information, entertainment and analysis. As an independent student newspaper, one of our primary roles is to serve as the watchdog of both students and staff of the University of Southern California.

Credibility
As a freely distributed newspaper, we rely on our reputation to earn and maintain respect from our readership. If we violate that trust, we will lose readers and, in turn, our relevance. This Code of Ethics is designed to set standards for all staff members of the Daily Trojan.

All stories must be backed by research in the style of the section. We do not fabricate quotes nor do we interview our friends for stories. We do not post on the comment boards of our own website. We seek perspectives from all corners of campus, accurately representing the diversity on campus. We will always examine and report the full scope of an issue. We will present new information for students that they cannot find in other sources of news. We will engage readers with entertaining and thought-provoking stories that provide a richer understanding of the way things work on and around campus, as well as a sense of where they live.

Conflict of interest
Reporters should not cover organization(s) they are members of. Even if actual bias does not exist, it presents the appearance of bias because it is assumed that writers would only give positive coverage to their own group(s).

No writer should ever use the Daily Trojan space simply to show support of a particular activity or event.

The Daily Trojan fiercely guards its independence, and while we encourage and appreciate feedback from all readers, we do not risk that independence. Reporters should never think that they “owe” a person or an organization some sort of favor.

In that respect, no Daily Trojan staff member should accept gifts of value from sources (ie: tickets, clothing, lodging). This does not include tickets to entertainment and sporting events that are covered in the Daily Trojan.

Enforcement
Staff members who have questions about this code should speak with a senior editor or the Editor in Chief. These are guidelines, not rules, but they will be enforced, up to dismissal from staff.


Working at the Daily Trojan

The Daily Trojan hires student writers, photographers, artists and editors each semester. All majors are welcome to apply. Applications are made available in Student Union 421 each semester after the selection of the following semester’s editor in chief, and are generally available through the first two to three weeks of the new semester. For more information on positions available and how to apply, please contact the managing editor at (213) 740-5668, or the editor in chief at (213) 740-8829 or dtrojan@usc.edu.


Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do I get the Daily Trojan to cover an event?
    Generally, stories are assigned for coverage by the current assignment editor. To contact the assignment editor, please see the Contact page, and look for the information under “News Desk.” Please click here for more information on how the Daily Trojan determines its coverage.

  • How can I respond to an article in the Daily Trojan?
    The Daily Trojan welcomes letters to the editor. To submit a letter or feedback to editors, please click here to view the Daily Trojan online letter to the editor page. Please remember that all letters are subject to the Daily Trojan letter policy.