As publisher, I worked on the leadership team of North by Northwestern for several years and often with many editors-in-chief and lead magazine editors.
While North by Northwestern had a style guide assembled over years of editors’ contributions, one of my frustrations was that we did not have a consistent set of editorial policies. Unlike a style guide, editorial policies help to guide and determine decision-making by editors on larger issues, often involving ethical and legal considerations.
Towards the end of my tenure as publisher, I wrote a set of editorial policies derived from:
- my experience handling sensitive issues for North by Northwestern;
- discussions with previous North by Northwestern editors;
- stories from peers at Northwestern and other large university publications and anecdotes from Medill professors and alumni;
- consultations with present and former North by Northwestern editors and contributors.
I also reviewed
- the BuzzFeed News standards and ethics guide;
- the BBC editorial guidelines; and
- the Washington Post policies and standards.
One of my last official acts as publisher was to hand off control and responsibility for the policies to my successor. The document below is the version as of that time.