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Introduction to The Daily Bruin Community Guide

Welcome to the Daily Bruin Community Guide. We developed this resource to help our readers navigate the policies, values and goals that inform our work as a newspaper. 

The Daily Bruin exists to provide a service to the UCLA community and future Bruins. That relationship, between a paper and its readers, is a two-way street. On our end, that means bringing you the most up-to-date, accurate information possible in a fair and respectful manner. We have a responsibility, both as facilitator of information and training ground for future professional journalists, to constantly examine ourselves and find ways to improve.

Our readership’s earned trust is paramount. We hope this guide gives you a decent picture of where we’re at so that you can let us know where there’s room for growth. Thank you for joining us as we push the Daily Bruin forward.

 

Table of Contents

About the Daily Bruin

How we’re funded

Diversity Report

How to join

Learn more

Policies and ethics

Jargon glossary

Column vs. op-ed vs. editorial

Update vs. correction vs. editor’s note

PRIME vs. Enterprise vs. The Quad

Reader commentary moderation

Equity, diversity and inclusion reforms

Contact us

 

About the Daily Bruin

Funding:

As a member publication of UCLA Student Media, the Daily Bruin’s finances are governed by the Associated Students UCLA Communications Board. Budgetary reports are made public on a monthly basis. Records are available from the 1989-90 academic year through the present. 

The Daily Bruin is funded in part by student fees. In 2016, students approved the Daily Bruin and Bruinwalk.com referendum. The $3 student fee helps fund the Daily Bruin, Bruinwalk.com, the BruinLife yearbook, UCLA Radio and the seven community newsmagazines, Al-Talib, FEM, Ha’Am, La Gente, NOMMO, OutWrite and Pacific Ties.

 

Diversity:

In 2019, the Daily Bruin published its first Diversity Report, which aimed to provide a holistic view of the Daily Bruin’s demographics and to show the areas in which we need change. 

Factors analyzed included ethnicity, gender, financial aid qualifications and whether students were in-state, out-of-state or international students. Every staffer had a chance to participate anonymously.

Now, The Bruin is focused on expanding the diversity report and improving data collection every year. For the 2020 survey, we expanded questions to learn about students’ majors and transfer status.

The Daily Bruin is committed to reforming its hiring and retention efforts to foster a staff that better reflects UCLA’s student population. The Bruin is implementing several diversity and inclusion measures, which can be viewed in this guide’s Progress Tracker

 

How to Join:

    1. Fill out this form to stay up to date about our fall and winter quarter recruitment cycles. Updates include application releases and deadlines, application workshop dates and points of contact for questions. 
    2. Follow @dailybruinappinfo on Instagram.
    3. Visit our Student Media website once applications are live.
    4. Submit an application.
    5. We conduct one round of interviews at the beginning of the quarter before announcing new hires.

 

How to Learn More:

Behind the Bruin is a series that aims to shed light on the inner workings of the Daily Bruin, from explanations of when and why we use anonymous sources to how we redesigned our main website for a more digital-forward, user-friendly experience. 

Copy Shop is a series written by our copy editors that focuses on the minutiae of the Daily Bruin’s copy editing process. Our editors explain why we use certain language, how we address issues of sensitivity or why you’ll never see the oxford comma in our content. 

Press Pass provides our readers with an inside look at the Daily Bruin’s institutions, traditions and practices. From details about our recruitment processes to explanations of our editor in chief selection process, this series hopes to humanize the people behind the publication. 

The Daily Bruin Editorial Board About Page explains the purpose of our editorial board and what it hopes to accomplish, as well as specifics about the members of the board and the selection process for board members. 

Subscribe to our newsletter for regular news updates throughout the year.

Feel free to reach out via email or social media – our contact information is at the bottom of the Community Guide!

 

Policies and Ethics

Media Ethics for Readers

The Daily Bruin, like most journalistic publications, holds its members to a rigorous code of ethics in addition to established media law. As journalists, this is our way of upholding the mission of the Daily Bruin. 

 

Mission Statement

The fundamental mission of the Daily Bruin is to keep a record of the history of UCLA.

The Daily Bruin promises to report what it believes is the truth, and would never intentionally lie. In addition, representation is of utmost importance. The Daily Bruin promises to be fair and just to the best of its ability and to represent people of all backgrounds as they wish to be seen.

We’ve spotlighted some key standards of Daily Bruin media ethics below in an effort to clarify the metrics we use for internal decision-making.

 

Anonymity

A source offers information for an article, but requests for their name to be withheld from publication.

Our policies:

    • Anonymity is a measure of last resort, when other efforts to find the information through attributable means are exhausted.
    • We do not grant anonymity unless the following criteria are met:
      • The information is important enough to incur possible skepticism of readers.
      • The source has a strong and legitimate reason to request anonymity, such as the potential to lose their job, incur bodily harm or have their life change in a
        significant manner.
      • The editor in chief has approved anonymity.
      • A clear understanding is reached between the source and the reporter
        about what information can be attributed and what cannot be. 
      • The source must understand that the reporter(s), a supervising editor and the editor in chief will know their identity.

Why is this our policy?

The Daily Bruin strongly limits the use of anonymous sources to prevent harm to The Bruin’s credibility in the eyes of readers. We use anonymity only when it is truly warranted to protect at-risk sources. 

 

Balance

Articles in The Bruin should fairly present all possible sides of an issue. 

Our Policies:

    • Daily Bruin content should contain comment from all relevant individuals/groups/entities named in the article and as many entities as possible that are concerned with the issue at hand. 
      • When it is impossible to obtain all sides of a story, the article should explain the reason (e.g. the individual chose not to comment, didn’t return phone calls, was out of the country, etc.). 
    • The Daily Bruin requires at least three cited sources in every piece of Daily Bruin content. 
    • No one individual/group/entity should receive disproportionate focus in comparison to their counterparts in Daily Bruin content. 

Why is this our policy?

Balance and fairness are essential to maintaining credibility. The Bruin does not seek to make decisions on relevant issues. Our role is to inform readers. 

*Note: If campus-affiliated individuals/groups/entities feel they have not been covered with adequate balance in The Bruin, they are invited to contact us. The best means to reach us are listed at the bottom of this guide.

 

Conflicts of Interest

If a journalist is affiliated with an interest group, club or business they seek to report on, their resulting work is more likely to be biased or perceived as biased by our readership.

Our policies: 

    • Members of the Daily Bruin are barred from:
      • Accepting gifts, materials, money and meals from sources.
      • Participating in any other form of exchange that would provide individual benefit to the reporter.
      • Reporting on individuals with whom the reporter has a personal, financial or romantic relationship.
      • Reporting on any area of interest tied to their outside occupation or sources of funding.
    • Members of the Daily Bruin may not be involved with:
      • Student government, including the Undergraduate Students Association Council, the Graduate Students Association, the Associated Students UCLA Board of Directors or the On-Campus Housing Council.
      • Politically oriented groups or clubs, including Bruin Democrats, Bruin Republicans and other groups that are publicly perceived as political. 
    • Members of the Daily Bruin must avoid:
      • Attending protests based on political affiliation. If staff members participate in nonpartisan protests, they are barred from writing about or reporting on that topic during their time at The Bruin.
      • Publicly donating to partisan candidates or causes, both on campus and off campus.
      • Displaying overt preference in any areas of coverage.
        • For example, posting a “Biden 2020” logo to social media accounts or wearing a “Beat USC” T-shirt to a UCLA football game.
    • Members of the Daily Bruin must abide by the following guidelines on their public, Daily Bruin-affiliated social media accounts.
      • Members are not permitted to express their views about politics, the University of California, UCLA administration or UCLA sports (for sports writers).
      • Members may repost or retweet opinion pieces, but should not add unique commentary on the issues. (e.g. “I completely agree!” or “Vote them out 2020.”)
      • Members may repost, retweet or compose information-based posts on partisan topics. They should not engage in opinion-based discussion on said posts.
    • Note: Opinion columnists at the Daily Bruin have more leeway to engage in partisan causes and organizations. All involvements remain at the discretion of the editor in chief. 

Why is this our policy?

    • Conflicts of interest of any kind threaten truthful, unbiased reporting. This happens firstly through the actual potential to affect a journalist’s reporting. This happens secondly through perception: Readers may rightly point out the journalist’s conflict of interest and thus invalidate the necessary credibility of the work.

 

Corrections

Please refer to “Corrections” under the Jargon Glossary.

 

Image Manipulation 

Image manipulation is the digital alteration of an image that fundamentally alters the tone, context or subject of the image. It also refers to the overt staging of a photo of a person or event. It does not include basic edits made for color, exposure, contrast or clarity. 

Our policies: 

The Daily Bruin must avoid image manipulation unless it is using it to illustrate a certain concept or idea. To maintain transparency about image manipulation as well as to avoid inappropriate editorial impacts of manipulated images, the Daily Bruin must:

    • Identify any image that has been digitally altered as a “photo illustration.”
    • Identify any staged image that illustrates a concept or idea as a “photo illustration.”
    • Require that any manipulated image is approved by the Photo editor. 
    • Report inappropriate or otherwise concerning photo illustrations or manipulated images to the editor in chief.

Why is this our policy?

The role of a photojournalist is to document an event, person or place as it is. Manipulating images betrays this value by potentially influencing the ways people digest news information. Digital manipulation, as well as engaging in staged opportunities, can be used to falsify or alter the perception of the subject of the image.

 

Impact, Timeliness, Audience

The Daily Bruin makes a determination on every story on whether it is newsworthy and fair to publish.

Our policies:

The Daily Bruin must consider the following three aspects in its determination of if and when to publish information.

    • Audience: who the article, photograph, headline, graphic or illustration is intended for. Reporters must ask themselves why their work should interest readers. 
    • Impact: what effect the story will have on readers. The Bruin covers issues of relevance to students and the broader campus community. Our priority is to report on topics that have a connection to UCLA. We must also consider any harms publication may impose on our sources. If a person is put at serious risk by our reporting, we should consider our options to protect them, including granting anonymity to alleviate this problem (see above). 
    • Timeliness: how newsworthy or salient a topic is. Content must always be applicable to present circumstances. Breaking stories are written with the understanding that students should be made immediately aware of an issue. 

Why is this our policy?

The Daily Bruin strives to publish timely news that is relevant to the UCLA community. Our duty as a campus newspaper is to inform our readership on matters that directly affect students, faculty and/or affiliated individuals. We are not a national outlet and we don’t try to take the place of one. 

 

Minors

Our policies: 

    • The Daily Bruin may occasionally report on, interview or photograph minors. In these cases, the editorial staff must take into consideration the following:
      • Consent of a Parent/Guardian: Daily Bruin staffers are strongly encouraged to get permission from a parent or guardian when interviewing, photographing or otherwise interacting with a minor for a story. 
      • Minors who are accused of or are witnesses to a crime: The Daily Bruin will not publish the names of minors accused of or who have witnessed crimes (including sexual assault) unless parental consent is obtained or the name of the child is already publicly available. 
      • Photographs of minors: Daily Bruin staffers are instructed to avoid photographing minors unless they are absolutely necessary to the narrative. In the cases the Daily Bruin uses photographs of minors, parent/guardian consent is required.
    • All uses of minor sources must be approved by the editor in chief.

Why is this our policy? 

The goal of having narrower rules around minors is to reduce any potential harm to minors that may come with publicity.  

 

On the Record, Off the Record

Our policies:

    • For Publication
        • Interviews that are on the record are those in which the source gives explicit consent to be taped. Information obtained from on-the-record interviews can be published in an article as long as it is accurately attributed to the appropriate source. 
          • If a source seeks to retroactively “take back” information from an on-the-record interview, the Daily Bruin makes a case-by-case determination of whether it will abide by the request.
    • When information is not for attribution, the reporter and source agree that the Bruin has permission to publish the information if it does not name its specific source. This term is interchangeable with anonymity, which is explained in depth above.
    • Not for Publication
    • Interviews that are off the record or on background are those in which the source does not give explicit content to be recorded or cited. Information from off-the-record interviews will not be published unless obtained from another source. Daily Bruin reporters use off-the-record information only to improve their understanding of a topic at hand or to find new leads for investigation.

Why is this our policy?

    • The Daily Bruin aims to provide its readers with accurate and attributable information whenever possible. However, the Bruin has a duty to protect its sources; it is bound to the principle to do no harm. Providing clear guidelines on reporting standards is crucial to maintaining trust.   

 

Retractions

A source asks the Bruin to remove their name from an article or to remove the article from our archives entirely, at any point from immediately following publication to years later. 

Our policies: 

    • We do not retract information or stories. 
    • Exceptions, granted at the discretion of the editor in chief:
      • The information is proven to be verifiably incorrect, at which point we would issue a correction (see Jargon Glossary).
      • The information was published in violation of contemporaneous Daily Bruin policy, ie. removing the published full name of a minor. 

Why is this our policy?

The Daily Bruin serves as a record-keeper for UCLA’s history. Altering published, true information would be a disservice to our current and future readers, who rely on our reporting as an independent and stable record of events. This policy is in line with those of other credible journalistic outlets. 

 

Reviewing content before publication

Between the interview stage and publication, a source may ask the reporter to see the draft version of an article or media content to make sure they like and/or want to be affiliated with the final product.

Our policies: 

    • Sources may review aspects of the content that are specifically attributed to their remarks. This includes both direct quotes and paraphrases that refer to the source.
    • Sources may not review the content in its entirety before publication.
    • We will not hold a story past deadline if a source fails to respond to the opportunity to review their attributions. 

Why is this our policy?

We want to make sure that our work accurately reflects what our sources tell us. However, we do not want individual sources to attempt to dictate the direction of a piece, which is drawn from a combination of several sources’ views and information, as a matter of journalistic integrity.   

 

Sensitivity Guide

Writers and editors at the Daily Bruin go to great lengths to ensure that we are doing our best to cover sensitive topics with compassion and respect. Our sensitivity guide is a document we constantly update to keep as a reference for when we write on sensitive subjects, including race, gender, sexuality, homelessness and disability status, to name a few. It is compiled from guidelines from professional news organizations, such as the Associated Press, as well as from our staff’s firsthand experiences.

While all writers and editors are responsible for handling sensitive topics respectfully, our Copy section is tasked with being the most discerning on these matters. If a copy editor ever comes across an instance in which a subject is discussed improperly, they will bring it to the attention of other editors. We then work together to come to the best solution, and any new insight we gain is added to our sensitivity guide.

 

Jargon Glossary

Columns, Editorials, Letters to the Editor and Op-Eds

Columns are sourced argumentative pieces that reflect on, challenge, critique and analyze topics pertinent to the UCLA community, the Westwood community and the overall University of California system. The views expressed in a column belong to the columnist alone.

Editorials are short argumentative pieces from the Daily Bruin Editorial Board. Members of the Editorial Board meet regularly to discuss issues relevant to the UCLA community and deliberate on which stances to take as a collective board. The views expressed in an editorial reflect the majority opinion of the board.

Letters to the Editor are submissions from members of the UCLA community that directly respond to a Daily Bruin article. These letters serve to clarify information in or to criticize the given article. The views expressed in a Letter to the Editor belong to the submitting individual or group alone.

Op-Eds are submissions from members of the UCLA community. They are structured like columns in that they make an argument about a certain topic or situation that the writer might have a vested interest or specialize in. The views expressed in an op-ed belong to the submitting individual or group alone.

 

Corrections, Updates and Editor’s Notes

Corrections provide a record of inaccuracies in the Daily Bruin’s published content. Corrections are issued only in the case of inaccurate information. When a correction is issued, the correction text is displayed at the top of an article and the incorrect information is changed to reflect accurate information. Any online post with a correction will also include information about when the post was updated. When the Daily Bruin is printing regularly, corrections are included in our print product for the record. 

Updates are issued when new information is added or when portions of the article are changed for clarification purposes. Information is never removed when an update is issued, and updates will not be issued to correct incorrect information. When a post is updated, the update text is displayed at the top of the article with details about what information was changed or added. 

Editor’s Notes are issued when an article uses harmful stereotypes, racism, sexism, ableism, ageism or other discriminatory language. Editor’s Notes do not refer to incorrect information in an article. When an Editor’s Note is issued, the discriminatory language is removed from the original text of the article, but is reflected in the Editor’s Note for transparency purposes. 

 

The Quad, Enterprise and PRIME

The Quad is the explanatory journalism hub of the Daily Bruin. A vehicle for news analysis and the campus scene, The Quad publishes stories on a weekly basis, with topics ranging from lighthearted cultural trends to the interrogation of large social or political issues. It also oversees the Behind the Bruin, Copy Shop and Press Pass series.

Enterprise is the long-term investigative section of the Daily Bruin. Enterprise allocates resources to deep dives into institutional practices and trends of importance to the UCLA community.

PRIME is the Daily Bruin’s quarterly magazine. Contributors throughout Daily Bruin, from writers to photographers to designers, team up to deliver a printed collection of UCLA happenings and tales from the community. Their content usually consists of long-term features, profiles, personal columns, photo essays or mini graphic novels. 

 

Reader commentary moderation

As a public forum, the Daily Bruin is committed to free and open discussion on our platforms. However, we reserve the right to moderate comments on our online platforms. All moderated comments, including those which are removed outright, will be identified through a response from an official Daily Bruin account with our policy-based reasoning for the decision.

A sample response: “Comments by readers have been removed for [justification], which violates the community guidelines of the Daily Bruin.”

We reserve the right to moderate comments which:

  • Contain an identity-based slur or swear. Slurs based on race, gender, sexuality and disability fall under this category.
  • Contain an incitement or call to physical violence.
  • Contain extreme obscene or vulgar material.
  • Pose an invasion of privacy to a source. For example, comments may not solicit the phone number, address or other contact information of a named or unnamed individual in Daily Bruin content. Any such requests should be directed to a Daily Bruin email account, so our team can obtain consent before personal information is made public.
  • Contain commercial promotion, especially if a product or service is unrelated to the topic at hand.
  • Contain verifiably false information. In this case, an official Daily Bruin account will state which elements of the comment are false and where credible evidence of the information’s falsity can be found.

Additional comments may be moderated at the discretion of the Daily Bruin editor in chief. A justification for any such moderation will be provided from an official Daily Bruin account.

 

Equity, diversity and inclusion reforms

Progress Tracker

The Daily Bruin aims to provide accurate, fair and well-rounded news to our readers. Our coverage inherently falls short of this mission when our newsroom lacks diverse perspectives to see stories in their entireties. The Bruin’s current demographics and organizational structure show room for improvement in at least three key areas: staff training, job accessibility and communication with readers. Our team aims to lay the groundwork for reforms in all of these areas to begin the necessary work of creating a more inclusive and equitable institution.  

If you have feedback on anything in this tracker or anything that is not included but should be, we want to hear from you. Our team can be reached via email, social media or op-ed submission.

 

Contact us

Feedback and ideas:

Submit an op-ed at https://dailybruin.com/submit 

Send a pitch:

Arts & Entertainment pitch: [email protected] 

Blogging pitch: [email protected]

News pitch: [email protected] 

Opinion pitch: [email protected]

Sports pitch: [email protected] 

Other points of contact:

Fill out our community survey

Contact a writer directly through their email listed at the bottom of every article.

We are on:

Facebook – facebook.com/dailybruin

Instagram – @dailybruin

Twitter – @dailybruin

Youtube – youtube.com/UCLAdailybruin

Advertising:

Find more details https://dailybruin.com/advertise.

Email our advertising team at [email protected]

Call our advertising team at (310) 825-2161.

Errors, flags and bugs:

Report an error in our coverage: [email protected] 

Flag a comment

On our social media: Comment with an “@dailybruin” or follow the social media platform’s normal flagging protocols.

On dailybruin.com: Email [email protected]

On BruinWalk: Hit the “Flag as Inappropriate” button on any given review or email [email protected].

Report a bug:

On dailybruin.com: Email [email protected] or click the blue button in the bottom right corner of the dailybruin.com homepage.

On BruinWalk: Email [email protected].

Miscellaneous:

Front office phone: 310-825-9898

Please be advised that we are limiting time in our physical office at Kerckhoff 118, where this landline is located, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Staff organization:

 

 

This page last updated: September 10, 2020 13:49