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.
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 KXSC (formerly 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.
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 402, e-mailed to [email protected], or sent to: Editorial Director, Daily Trojan, USC Student Union 402, 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.
Content Use and Management Policy
Any and all text, audio, photos, videos, art, designs, code and any miscellaneous files (collectively, “Content”); that are created, with knowledge and intent of said Content being published, by any and all staff employed by the Daily Trojan (“Staff”); or submitted, with knowledge and intent of said Content being published, by any individual not employed by the Daily Trojan (“Contributor”), and that are submitted to, published on or otherwise used on the Daily Trojan’s print newspaper, website (dailytrojan.com), print newspaper, social media, podcasts, videos, and miscellaneous promotional material*** (collectively, “the Publication”) are under the complete and exclusive ownership of the Daily Trojan and USC Student Publications (collectively, “the Organization”). This change in rights to the Content (“Transfer of Ownership”) takes place the moment that the Staff/Contributor submits the Content.
*** Miscellaneous promotional material includes, but is not limited to, flyers distributed in print form across campus; email newsletters sent to subscribers; flyers that are not printed but digitally distributed to other individuals or campus organizations. The Daily Trojan reserves the right to use Content in any medium not listed in this Policy at its own discretion, after the Transfer of Ownership, without prior consent from the Contributor.
All Staff employed by the Daily Trojan, who have completed the Organization’s logon form (which is required without exception for employment), have, in doing so, acknowledged that they have read, understood and agreed to the USC Student Publications Reprint/Reuse Agreement (reprinted below for convenience), which further details the rights of the Organization with regards to Content.
USC STUDENT PUBLICATIONS REPRINTS/REUSE AGREEMENT
Requests for reprints or reuse of text or materials, including photographs and graphic images created for or published in the pages of the Daily Trojan newspaper and El Rodeo yearbook, must be approved by the Director of Student Publications. All text and materials, including photographs and graphic images are the property of USC Student Publications, acquired from resources and equipment owned and provided by the university, i.e. hardware, software, cameras, film, etc.
All Contributors, in submitting Content to the Publication, in doing so acknowledge this Content Policy (“Policy”) and, therefore, that they relinquish all rights to said Content, and are fully aware of, and agree to, to the Transfer of Ownership. Contributors who submit a Letter to the Editor (LTE), especially, are subject to the terms outlined in the LTE Release Form, which is required for said LTE to be published.
The Organization is not, at any point after the Transfer of Ownership takes place, obligated to comply with requests to have Content be altered, edited or deleted entirely after the fact.
Requests to entirely delete Content, especially, will NOT be considered or granted, EXCEPT IF AND ONLY IF the Staff or Contributor in question expresses a substantiated belief that the content remaining on the Publication poses a significant threat to their safety. Requests on the basis that the Staff or Contributor regrets submitting the Content, or has since had a change in opinion from what was expressed in the Content, or any other reason, other than substantiated legal issues or substantiated threat of harm, will NOT be considered or granted in any circumstance.
- The kinds of Personal Information we collect from users of the Site and how that information is collected;
- How we use your Personal Information;
- The circumstances under which we disclose Personal Information to third parties;
- How you can access, update or delete any Personal Information collected about you by us; and
- The mechanisms we have implemented to protect your Personal Information.
We are committed to protecting users’ privacy. Keeping the Personal Information you share with us on the Site secure and ensuring your understanding of how we collect, use, disclose and maintain your Personal Information is important to us. We maintain reasonable physical, electronic and procedural safeguards to protect your Personal Information and while no data transmission over the Internet is 100% secure from intrusion, we have used and will continue to use commercially reasonable efforts to ensure the protection of your Personal Information.
YOUR CALIFORNIA PRIVACY RIGHTS
If you are a California resident and request information about how to exercise your third party disclosure choices you must send a request to the following address with a preference on how our response to your request should be sent (email or postal mail). Send an email to the Privacy Administrator at [email protected] or you may contact us via regular mail at:Daily Trojan
University of Southern California
3601 Trousdale Parkway
Student Union 402 – MC 0895
Los Angeles CA 90089-0895
c/o Privacy Administrator
All requests sent via regular mail must be labeled “Your California Privacy Rights” on the envelope or post card and clearly stated on the actual request. For all requests, please include your name, street address, city, state, and zip code. Please include your zip code for our own recordkeeping). We will not accept requests via the telephone or by facsimile. We are not responsible for notices that are not labeled or sent properly, or do not have complete information.
University of Southern California
3601 Trousdale Parkway
Student Union 402 – MC 0895
Los Angeles CA 90089-0895
c/o Privacy Administrator
GENERAL PRIVACY INFORMATION
1. Collection and Use of Personal Information: When we use the term “Personal Information” we mean information such as your first/middle initial or name and last name, street address, town or city, state, zip code, telephone number, instant-messenger nickname, blog or other personal website URL, university, status, e-mail address and any other information that would allow someone to identify you or contact you. Personal Information also includes information about your personal preferences, survey responses and your transactions or relationship with us, if you have been a user of the Site or you have provided this type of information to any Daily Trojan website. For example, to the extent we offer such services, if you order any of our various Products (in addition to your name and contact information) we will also collect and maintain your billing address, shipping address, Product selections, your credit card or other payment instrument information, your order number, and information about your computer’s internet address and website which may have referred or directed you to the Site (e.g., the referring URL). Your credit card or debit card number is classified as “Sensitive Personal Information” and is collected via a secure transmission.
We collect Personal Information about you when you visit the Site and input information, whether you are registering to use any services, features or functions of the Site, participating in Promotions ordering or purchasing Products or in the course of any other exchanges of information, transactions and activities. We may use the information we obtain from you, including Personal Information, to tailor your experience on the Site, to display content we think may be of interest to you, or to let us customize what you see when you visit the Site according to your preferences.
a. Collection of Personal Information During Registration. Company operates and provides email and database services that enable users to receive information, news, content and services that they are interested in receiving. During registration (and possibly at certain other times to enable your use of other features or functions or for security purposes), you will be required to provide us with certain information about you in order for us to allow you to use the features and functions of the Site, which may include access to college newspapers, news feeds, chat rooms, message boards, advertisements, registration and member profile pages. To register as a member of the Site, you are required to select a user name and password (together, the “User ID”), plus an email address, first and last name. Additional Personal Information requested during the registration process (but not required) may include, but is not limited to college or university name, affiliation, class year, certain contact or demographic information, gender, zip code, cable/satellite provider, ethnic information, and annual income. We will allow you to change your password, as well as certain Personal Information or Sensitive Personal Information you have given us in order to keep this information current. Among other things, this information helps us securely identify you as a registered or permitted user of those features and functions, and helps us to present selected content to you and to send you information, service enhancements, and/or promotional materials that you have agreed to receive from our Advertisers.
All member benefits are free. As a registered user of the Site, from time to time, we may also provide you with certain options to subscribe to a selection of free email newsletters and other periodic information. You may select such options by opting-in at the time of registration or by responding to an offer or invitation at a later date. You will also have the right to opt-out (unsubscribe) or change your preferences at any time by email [email protected] or contacting us by writing to the address above.
b. Collection of Personal Information During Registration or In Connection with Certain Features and Functions. During registration (and possibly at certain other times to enable your use of other features or functions or for security purposes), you will be required to provide us with certain information about you in order for us to allow you to use the features and functions that we may offer on the Site, such as chat rooms, message boards, registration and member profile pages.
c . Collection of Personal Information in Connection with Promotions such as Contests and Sweepstakes. To the extent we offer user registration on the Site, registration as a member of the Site is not always required to enter Promotions such as contests and sweepstakes. There may be a separate registration process which will require the submission of your first and last name, street address, city, state and zip code, email address, telephone number. Additional Personal Information may be requested depending on the specific Promotion, but submission of such information may be optional. The Promotion’s entry page and/or Rules will provide the specific requirements. You may also have the opportunity to opt-in to special Promotions or offers from our Advertisers in connection with many of these types of Promotions.
d. Use of Personal Information in Connection with Promotions and Offers; Opt-out Procedures. We and/or our Affiliates, may contact the Site’s registered users or other users that have registered for or participated in various Site events, Promotions, or transactions, or we may send offers for the purchase of goods and/or services that may be of interest to users.
You may “opt out” of receiving marketing and promotional e-mails or text messages from us at any time by logging into the Site as a registered user with your User ID and editing the preferences and selections available to you and the information associated with your account. You can also use the opt-out mechanism that is contained in the e-mails we or our affiliates send you, or you can opt-out by sending an email to [email protected] or written mail to:University of Southern California
3601 Trousdale Parkway
Student Union 402 – MC 0895
Los Angeles CA 90089-0895
and including your name, email address and the specifics of your request. However, after you opt-out we or our Affiliates may continue to contact you via email for administrative or informational purposes, including follow-up messages regarding the administration of your account, any services, features or functions you have enrolled in or registered to use, any Promotions you have participated in or have entered, goods and/or services you have ordered, or other transactions you have undertaken with the Site.
In the event that we, or our Affiliates, unknowingly sends an email or text message to a child (a person under the age of 13 years) who has registered with the Site in violation of the Site’s Agreement, the child or the child’s parent or legal guardian always have the right to unsubscribe (opt-out) from receiving future emails or text messages via the unsubscribe mechanism contained in the email or message, or to request termination of the child’s registration and status as a registered user with the Site. The same unsubscribe process is available to a parent or legal guardian of a minor (a person under the age of 18 years old, or the age of majority in your state). Please see the “Review, Update, or Delete Your Personal Information” Section for details.
2. Wireless Marketing Services and Promotional Opportunities: This section is intentionally left blank.
3. Accuracy and Confidentiality: It is your responsibility to give us current, complete, truthful and accurate information, including Personal Information, and to keep such information up to date. We cannot and will not be responsible for any problems or liability that may arise if you do not give us accurate, truthful or complete information or Personal Information or you fail to update such information or Personal Information.
You are solely responsible for maintaining the strict confidentiality of your User ID, if applicable, and for any charges, costs, expenses, damages, liabilities and losses we incur or may suffer as a result of your failure to do so. You, and not us, are solely responsible and liable for your activity, behavior, use and conduct on the Site and for any use of the Site or any other activity or conduct in connection with the Site, by any others who use your User ID, unless and until you notify us that your User ID may have been compromised, misappropriated or improperly taken or used by another party.
Bear in mind that when you submit information to us, it does not guarantee that we will permit you to use any or all of the features or functions of the Site.
- Keeping count of your return visits to the Site or, Affiliates’, Advertisers’ or partners’ sites;
- Accumulating and reporting aggregate, statistical information in connection with the Site;
- Determining which features users like best;
- Saving your user name, your password or other information so you don’t have to re-enter it each time you visit the Site.
a. Co-Branded Services and Features. The Site may also offer co-branded services and features, such as events and Promotions that we put together with another company or our Affiliates (“Co-Branded Partner”). Such services and features may be hosted on the Site and/or our Co-Branded Partner’s website. We may share your Personal Information with our Co-Branded Partner and your voluntary use of or participation in a co-branded service or feature means that you opt-in and give your affirmative consent to both the Site and our Co-Branded Partner to collect and use your Personal Information provided during the registration process and/or in connection with the specific co-branded feature or service for the fulfillment of the feature or service and for marketing or administrative purposes. If you wish to opt-out of a Co-Branded Partner’s future use of your Personal Information for marketing purposes, you will need to contact the Co-Branded Partner directly. The Co-Branded Partner will be identified on the co-branded feature or service. Registered or other users that participate in certain services relating to Postings, such as user video uploads, agree to have certain Personal Information posted on the Site or if such feature is offered in connection with a Co-Branded Partner, on our Co-Branded partner’s website in connection with the display of the uploaded video and posted on any platform that the uploaded video may be posted. Registered or other users that upload videos may also be required to submit additional Personal Information.
b. Operational Service Providers. We also have the right to disclose your Personal Information to third parties for the purpose of administering and maintaining the Site’s services, features, functions and operations. We will refer to these third parties as “operational service providers”. We use operational service providers to efficiently provide the full range of content, activities, services, features and functions we bring you and we request that our operational service providers also protect your privacy and not disclose your Personal Information or Sensitive Personal Information to third party marketers that are not associated with the Site. Additionally, such operational service providers are not permitted to use your Personal Information or Sensitive Personal Information for their own marketing or promotional purposes.
c. Other Non-Affiliated Third Parties. We will make your Personal Information and Sensitive Personal Information available to non-affiliated third parties in the following limited circumstances:
- When we are compelled to do so by a governmental agency, court or other entity (e.g., to respond to subpoenas, court orders or legal process);
- If, in our sole discretion, we believe such disclosure to be necessary or appropriate to investigate or resolve possible problems or inquiries, to protect our business and assets, to defend our interests and/or to comply with our legal and regulatory obligations; or
- In the event of a bankruptcy, merger, acquisition, transfer of control, joint venture or other business combination involving us, or our Affiliates.
7. Security & Protection of Personal Information: We maintain reasonable standards of security and confidentiality. However, for most Internet sites, it is possible that third parties may unlawfully intercept or access transmissions or private communications over an unsecured transmission. We conduct financial transactions via secured transmissions but may not always secure other parts of the Site. We also limit access to the Site by our own employees to those individuals who are authorized for the proper handling of such information and any employee found violating our standards of security and confidentiality will be subject to our disciplinary processes. We request that our operational service providers follow the same policy.
8. Phishing: Phishing attacks attempt to steal consumers’ personal identity data and financial account credentials. “Phishers” use ‘spoofed’ e-mails to lead consumers to counterfeit websites designed to trick recipients into divulging Personal Information such as credit card numbers, account usernames, passwords, and social security numbers. WE DO NOT SEND EMAILS ASKING YOU TO PROVIDE OR CONFIRM SENSITIVE PERSONAL INFORMATION OR YOUR USERNAME OR PASSWORD!
If you receive such email communication, please forward it immediately to the Site’s Privacy Administrator at [email protected] and then immediately delete the fraudulent email from your computer.
9. Review, Update or Delete Your Personal Information: Generally, you may review, update or delete your Personal Information or Sensitive Personal Information collected by this Site. You may also correct factual inaccuracies. However, Personal Information that is necessary to check eligibility, such as your email address, cannot be deleted and can only be modified with sufficient verification of the correct information; certain Personal Information, such as email address, cannot be deleted but can be modified.
Deletion of certain Personal Information, such as username, may result in suspension of your account or termination of any registration you may have made. To review, update or delete your Personal Information or Sensitive Personal Information collected by the Site, please send an e-mail to [email protected] or written mail toUniversity of Southern California
3601 Trousdale Parkway
Student Union 402 – MC 0895
Los Angeles CA 90089-0895
including your name, email address and the information to be changed.
If you wish to review Personal Information collected for Promotions such as contests and sweepstakes, you will need to contact the Site’s Privacy Administrator via email with a request at [email protected] and be prepared to provide verification of your identity. Personal Information collected for certain entries are subject to corporate and regulatory recordkeeping requirements and will not be deleted upon the user’s request, unless the entrant is a child under the age of 13 years old.
Children under the age of 13 that are unknowingly registered on the Site are in violation of this Agreement. Parents (including legal guardians) of children that registered on the Site in violation of the Agreement who wish to terminate their child’s membership must use their child’s User ID to gain direct access to the account, and select “EDIT ACCOUNT” or alternatively, you can send us an email to the Site’s Privacy Administrator and provide us with your child’s User ID and request to terminate your child’s account and registration. We will not allow direct access to a user’s account and Personal Information by any person without the user’s User ID (please see above for how to change your preferences or the information associated with your account). If a parent does not have his or her child’s User ID, the parent will be required to send an email to the Privacy Administrator that includes the parent’s name, address, telephone and email address, in addition to the child’s name and email address as registered on the Site, plus the child’s date of birth. The parent must also provide verifiable identification that they are the parent of the ineligible child. Company will send a confirming email to the parent via the email address provided to verify that the parent wishes to terminate his or her child’s account and registration. The parent must then confirm by sending a reply email to the designated return address. Company will then terminate the child’s account but will notify the child of the termination request via email and will identify the name, address and email address of the person making the request.
We reserve the right to deny access, use and registration privileges to any user, including without limitation, a registered user, of any services, features or functions of the Site if we believe there is a question about the identity of the person trying to access the user’s account or any services, features or functions. And if the burden or expense of providing access to your Personal Information is disproportionate to the risks to your privacy, or if the legitimate rights of others would be violated, we may decide not to provide access to such information. In such cases, we will provide to you an explanation of why access cannot be provided and contact information for further inquiries.
Forums and Comments Posting Policy
The Daily Trojan encourages readers to engage with content and respectfully express opinions in the comments section. However, we reserve the right to remove comments if they are deemed by the Senior Editorial Staff as violating the outlined policy.
We encourage commenters to submit respectful comments that are relevant and related to the article. We also encourage commenters who may feel the content of other comments is in violation of this policy to flag the comments for review by the Senior Editorial Staff.
The Daily Trojan reserves the right to disable the comment section.
Any of the following comments may be subject to removal from the website:
– Contains personally identifying information about the author or subject matter.
– Offensive or derogatory comments based on animus for race, color, national origin, ancestry, religion, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, age, physical disability, medical condition, mental disability, marital status, pregnancy, veteran status, genetic information, or any other protected class.
– Incites or encourages violence or illegal behavior.
– Is determined to be spam or posted without relating to the content in the article.
– Violates copyright.
– Contains content deemed to be obscene or sexually explicit.
– Uses repeated profanity.
– Does not contribute to topics raised in the article.
– Defames a specific person or group (communicates knowingly false statements about a person or group, that injure the reputation of that person or group).
Published daily except Saturday, Sunday, examination week and university holidays by the University of Southern California in Student Union 402, University Park MC-0895, Los Angeles, California 90089-0895.
Mail subscriptions are $250 per year. Typeset by the Office of Student Publications at USC. Printed by Gardena Valley News in Gardena, California.
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.
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.
Code of Ethics
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 reporting to serve our readers with relevant information, entertainment and analysis. Our expectation is that all staff review and abide by the Code of Ethics without exception.
As a freely distributed print and online news outlet, 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 or intentionally misrepresent the beliefs or actions of our sources.
- We do not offer prior review by sources of full drafts of stories or quotes used from interviews.
- Anonymity for sources and writers will be considered on a case-by-case basis at the discretion of the managing board; a request for anonymity must be substantiated by fears of violence or retaliation. Reporters must not guarantee anonymity to a source without first checking with their editor.
- Staff members must not post on the comment boards of Daily Trojan social media accounts.
We seek perspectives from all corners of campus, accurately representing the diversity of thought and identity on campus. Our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion will span our recruiting efforts, the language we use, the sources we interview and the stories we publish.
We will present new information for students that they cannot find in other sources of news. We endeavor to examine and report the full scope of an issue. We will engage readers with entertaining and thought-provoking stories that provide a richer understanding of the USC community and surrounding neighborhoods in South Los Angeles.
In reporting, we must never prioritize speed over accuracy, and we must ensure that even breaking and timely news represents the issue as comprehensively and as factually as possible.
Any and all inaccuracies and misreported facts must be corrected promptly and visibly. Corrections are reported at the bottom of the published story, detailing the scope of the inaccuracy and the time at which the correction is made.
Responsible journalism involves gathering facts and reporting them in a forthright manner. Any story that involves an insinuation of misconduct should always be supported through interviews with multiple sources. Obtaining written documentation is encouraged. Unsupported innuendo and conjecture are to be avoided.
Plagiarism and artificial intelligence
Plagiarism is unacceptable in any circumstance and will not be tolerated. Any and all staff found to have submitted writing, including quotes, taken in whole or in part from other sources without proper attribution will be immediately considered for termination from the Daily Trojan at the discretion of the managing board.
The direct, substantial and uncritical use of generative artificial intelligence — including, but not limited to, any of OpenAI’s GPT models, Midjourney or Bing Chat — without prior knowledge or approval by the section editors and/or managing board is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. Violating behavior may include, but is not limited to, inserting entire sentences or paragraphs of text taken directly from ChatGPT, or submitting AI-generated art for use in an article, without proper attribution to the AI tools used. Any and all staff found to have engaged in violation of this policy will be considered for immediate termination from the Daily Trojan, at the discretion of the managing board.
We must balance the public’s need for and right to information against potential harm or discomfort experienced by sources and readers. The pursuit of accountability and truth must guide our reporting, and we must serve as a watchdog for the entire University community and surrounding communities.
Stories touching on sensitive topics, including violence and misconduct of any kind, must be treated with the utmost discretion and compassion for the affected individuals or groups.
The managing board will take into account the context and goal of including identifiable faces in published photographs of sensitive events.
Conflict of interest
Reporters are discouraged from covering organization(s) they are members of. We must not interview our friends or family for stories. The managing board will exercise editorial discretion to determine exceptions to this rule, such as editorial pieces written in the first person and columns.
No writer must ever use the Daily Trojan space simply to show support of a particular activity or event to which they have a personal connection without disclosing that connection to readers.
The Daily Trojan fiercely guards its independence, and while we encourage and appreciate feedback from all readers, we must not risk that independence. Reporters must never think that they “owe” a person or an organization some sort of favor.
In that respect, no Daily Trojan staff member must accept any gifts of value from sources (i.e. tickets to events not covered in the Daily Trojan, clothing or lodging). This does not include tickets to events that are covered in the Daily Trojan.
As we reckon with an ever-evolving digital landscape, our presence on digital platforms is a perpetually sensitive and significant matter. All in all, we must remember the following when it comes to any interaction on social media and online: (a) The Internet is permanent, and anything we post, whether on official DT accounts or on personal accounts, is also permanent and usable in our favor or much to our detriment. (b) Respect and professionalism are our utmost priority. Lighthearted humor is, of course, welcomed and encouraged, but fun should not eclipse the Daily Trojan‘s primary goal of delivering quality journalism to the USC community.
Daily Trojan staff, regardless of their position, may interact with the Daily Trojan‘s social media content, albeit with the following restrictions:
- Staff may not respond to other commenters, period. All communication from the Daily Trojan, including necessary clarification and corrections, will be at the discretion of the managing board, and will only be posted from the Daily Trojan‘s official accounts.
- Staff may repost content to their own accounts (e.g. via retweeting or adding Instagram posts to their Stories), but may not add commentary unless (a) the post is regarding one’s own opinion piece or column, and the staff member wishes to promote it, or (b) the post is of a colleague’s opinion piece or column, and the staff member wishes to promote the colleague’s work. The commentary itself is also restricted to these subjects; all others are strictly prohibited; violations are subject to corrective action, up to and including termination, at the discretion of the managing board.
- Harassment or cyberbullying of any kind will not be tolerated, and is grounds for termination at the discretion of the managing board.
Staff reserve the right to repost or reuse content on any part of the Daily Trojan‘s website or social media platforms, insofar as the rights of content not owned by the Daily Trojan are respected in doing so. While not required, it is considered courteous to credit Daily Trojan photographers and artists when their work for the paper is used elsewhere.
In all public and private interactions on social media, staff must remember that they represent the publication as a whole, and act as such.
- Posts, private messages, etc. on any platform deemed to be disparaging to the publication or any of its staffers will be grounds for immediate termination, at the discretion of the managing board.
- Discussion of any and all Internal Matters with anyone other than Daily Trojan staffers is grounds for immediate termination, at the discretion of the managing board.
- Internal Matters are defined as follows:
- Any material, content or subject pertaining to an article that has not yet been published
- Any material from an interview with a source that the source has explicitly requested to be taken off the record
- Any material from an interview with a source, regardless of its state as on- or off-record, that was ultimately not included in an already published article
- Any details, including the very fact of, an internal investigation being conducted by the managing board
- Any unsubstantiated rumors, accusations or other remarks made among staff targeting an individual or organization
- Any and all discussions among staff within the Daily Trojan’s internal channels
- Internal Matters are defined as follows:
All staff members must respect and value one another’s differences, and treat others with tact, courtesy and respect.
All staff members must strive to maintain a professional environment characterized by good working relations and an atmosphere of courtesy and mutual respect. Staff members must abstain from and actively discourage all forms of harassment, including verbal, nonverbal, written or physical abuse. The Daily Trojan does not tolerate discrimination of any form, including but not limited to racism, sexism and homophobia.
Staff must never engage in acts of sexual harassment, exploitation or abuse in connection to another member of the staff or anyone outside of the newsroom. All reports of sexual or related misconduct will be considered in full confidence by members of the managing board.
Witnesses to harassment are strongly encouraged to promptly report the incident to a member of the managing board for consideration of further action.
Staff members who have questions about this code should speak with a managing team member. These are guidelines, not rules, but they will be enforced, up to dismissal from staff. Matters that cannot be resolved internally at the Daily Trojan will be referred to the Director of Student Publications, who will communicate with the Vice President for Student Life.
Infringement or violation of the journalistic and/or internal standards outlined in the Code of Ethics can be reported through the incident report form — under anonymity, if requested — and will be subsequently brought up with the managing board for resolution or enforcement of penalty.
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.
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 402 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) 740-5665, or the editor in chief at (213) 740-8829 or [email protected].
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.