Beacon Policies & Procedures

Corrections Policy

The Beacon publishes corrections of significant errors of fact. All requests for corrections must be submitted in writing here.

The Beacon does not remove content unless it is inaccurate and/or it endangers a person's safety and/or causes irreparable serious harm. The editor-in-chief makes the final determination on altering and removing content.

Members of The Beacon staff who do not take appropriate steps to correct significant errors of fact they are aware of are subject to disciplinary action.

Ethics Policy

All Beacon staff are expected to adhere to the Code of Ethics of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ).

Members of the Society of Professional Journalists believe that public enlightenment is the forerunner of justice and the foundation of democracy. Ethical journalism strives to ensure the free exchange of information that is accurate, fair and thorough. An ethical journalist acts with integrity.

The Society declares these four principles as the foundation of ethical journalism and encourages their use in its practice by all people in all media.

Seek the truth and report it- Ethical journalism should be accurate and fair. Journalists should be honest and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting information.

Minimize harm- Ethical journalism treats sources, subjects, colleagues and members of the public as human beings deserving of respect.

Act Independently- The highest and primary obligation of ethical journalism is to serve the public.

Be accountable and transparent:- Ethical journalism means taking responsibility for one’s work and explaining one’s decisions to the public.

Click here to read the entire SPJ Code of Ethics and its position papers.

Interview Policy 


Story ideas and tips

The Beacon encourages the UP community to submit story ideas and tips at this link. We do not guarantee we will pursue every idea submitted. 

While ideas can be submitted anonymously, key sources for the story will ultimately have to speak on-the-record, with exceptions made for certain individuals (ie: crime victims and other exceptions to the Beacon's policy on anonymous sources.)

Opinion Submission Policy

The Beacon welcomes a free and *respectful exchange of ideas and encourages all in the UP community and its alumni to submit written commentary.

Letters to the Editor generally do not exceed 250 words. Those with longer opinions are encouraged to submit guest columns.  Recommended length for guest columns is approximately 500-800 words. 

The Beacon reserves the right to edit any contributions for errors of fact, punctuation, spelling, grammar, length or style, and may reject submissions for any reason without notification. Editors will contact the writer before publication if significant revisions are needed.

Click here to submit your letter or column.

The Beacon’s receipt of a submission does not guarantee publication.

All contributions must include the writer’s address, email address and phone number for verification purposes. University students must include their major and year in school.

The Beacon does not accept submissions from a group unless the writer(s) are listed individually.

Pieces meant solely to publicize campus events without a broader purpose are not appropriate for the Opinions section and should be submitted as story ideas instead.

*Bottom line: Keep it classy and respectful. This is our digital living room. No profanity, inflammatory name-calling  or cheap shots. 

Editorial Board 

The Beacon editorial board is made up of the:

  • editor-in-chief 
  • news and managing editor
  • multimedia editor
  • living editor
  • sports editor
  • opinion editor
  • community engagement editor
  • copy editor/senior reporter

The editor-in-chief, who is appointed by the president of the University of Portland based on recommendations from the Presidential Advisory Committee on Student Media, appoints all editorial board members. 

All Beacon editorials represent the opinions of the majority of the Editorial Board, not that of the entire Beacon staff or the University of Portland.

 Beacon Editing Procedure

  1. Reporter submits first draft of story.
  2. Section Editor (News, Living, Sports) reviews story and sends it back to reporter for additional reporting and/or revisions 
  3. Reporter submits revised draft to Section Editor for review and additional revision, if necessary.
  4. Section Editor sends story to Editor-in-Chief, who either sends it back to the section editor and reporter for further revisions and/or reporting -OR- submits it to the copy editor.
  5. After Copy Editor edits the story for content, AP Style, grammar, spelling, punctuation, syntax, etc, it goes back to the editor-in-chief for a final look.
  6. Following final approval from editor-in-chief, section editor posts the story online.

Throughout the process, the student media adviser is available to coach and advise as needed.

Role of student media adviser 

 The student media adviser is a university employee who trains and advises Beacon staff on best practices in journalism and ethics, provides professional development opportunities for The Beacon staff, and helps ensure institutional continuity amidst student staffing changes, due to graduation, studies abroad, etc.

The student editor-in-chief, who is appointed by the University president on the recommendation of the Presidential Advisory Committee on Student Media, makes final publishing decisions and is ultimately responsible for all Beacon content. For more context on the role of the adviser and best practices in student media, see the College Media Association’s Code of Ethical Behavior.