An upbeat website for a downtown school

the Southerner Online

An upbeat website for a downtown school

the Southerner Online

An upbeat website for a downtown school

the Southerner Online

Editorial Policy

The Southerner Editorial Policy

Public Version 1.0


929 Charles Allen Dr. NE, Atlanta, GA 30309


Mission Statement


The Southerner’s mission is to provide accurate, relevant and necessary news to the community surrounding Midtown High School with professionalism, respect and integrity. The Southerner posts information online daily through a website and social media outlets and in print 8 times a year. Student editors and reporters determine and produce all content of The Southerner by exercising the protections of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution with guidance from a faculty advisor to ensure that content meets journalistic standards.


The views expressed in The Southerner do not necessarily express the opinions or the policies of Midtown High School’s faculty, administration, adviser or students. The Southerner welcomes signed letters to the editor, guest commentaries and encourages members of the Midtown community to contact us with any news leads or story ideas.


Freedom of the Press


The Southerner is an open forum,  student-run publication giving a voice to the student body without censorship, prior review or guidance by the school’s administration. Thus, all the opinions of the newspaper and website reflect the opinions of the newspaper’s editorial board and not those of the school. The student preserves and exercises the right to investigate and report on issues pertaining to the Midtown and the local community. 

  • The students do not relinquish the right of American citizens to print information without disruption.
  • The only filter in which The Southerner goes through prior to print is that of the adviser.
  •  The intent of the publication is to provide an open forum to 


Standard of Content


The Southerner staff abides by all standards set forth in the Code of Ethics established by the Society of Professional Journalists and guidelines set by scholastic press organizations including Georgia Scholastic Press Association, Southern Interscholastic Press Association, National Scholastic Press Association, Columbia Scholastic Press Association, Quill & Scroll and the Journalism Education Association.


Letters to the Editor


The editorial board reserves the right to edit or refuse submitted letters or guest commentaries. All letters and guest commentaries reflect the opinions of the writers. Reasons for refusal may include length, clarity, libel, obscenity, material disruption of the educational process at Grady High School or violation of copyright laws.


Libel, Plagiarism, False Quotes


The Southerner does not tolerate libel, plagiarism, the inclusion of false quotes, fabricated information. 

  • Staff writers are required to explain all sides of a story pertaining to criticism within the school and community, excluding opinion stories. 
  • Staff writers are required to present notes and recordings to adviser and school administration from interviews if a warranted claim of falsified information or plagiarism is presented.  
  • The Southerner does not condone unwarranted libelous criticism of members and organizations within Atlanta Public Schools. 
  • Libel is not a protected right pertaining to freedom of speech.
  • If a member of the staff intentionally reports inaccurate information then, to the discretion of the editorial board, they will be suspended or removed. 




The Southerner does not, under any circumstances, print profanity or obscene information. 

  • The word “hell” or “damn,” is allowed to print in quotes if deemed necessary by the editorial board.
  • If profane language is needed to be discussed in an article then words like racial slurs will be referred to as the category of language instead of the words themselves. 
  • Editors reserve the right to edit out words deemed profane or vulgar or remove quotes that are inappropriate. 


Outside News and Writing 


The Southerner accepts news tips and “letters to the editor” from students and members of the Grady community. 

  • The editors reserve the right to deny print to letters to the editor that lack journalism integrity: honest, accurate, balanced, factual, fair and warranted
  • The Southerner will deny all letters intended to libel, gossip and criticize in an unwarranted* matter. 
  • The Southerner reserves the right to deny the investigation and reporting of news tips that indicate libel, falsehood, malintent, length, clarity, libel, obscenity, material disruption of the educational process at Grady High School or violation of copyright laws as determined by the Editorial Board.




Corrections to errors in grammar, spelling or misidentification will be corrected as soon as the staff recognizes or is notified of the error. 

  • The newspaper version of the Southerner has a section for corrections to prior editions. 
  • The sole purpose of the correction section in the newspaper is to identify the grammatical, spelling and contextual errors. 
  • This section is not used for writers to retract or clarify opinions on topics, which is reserved for the editorial section. 


Staff Removal From Publication 


Because The Southerner is an understanding platform for young, learning journalists, removal from the publication is not a solution for general misconduct. However, if a student produces intentionally inaccurate information, continues to refrain from writing stories or causes a legal or ethical dilemma, then steps should be taken with the teacher, principal and parents to find solutions which may include a change in the pathway. 


You may contact the Southerner by email at [email protected] to submit story ideas, letters to the editor or provide feedback on coverage. Adviser Del Ellerton can be contacted by email at [email protected].

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Editorial Policy