Home > IHSPA News > IHSPA’s Core Values Stand Test Of Time

IHSPA’s Core Values Stand Test Of Time

Diana Hadley

A reporter on a recent radio broadcast described a situation and asked her interviewee what was wrong with the response from the people involved. With incredulity that is hard to describe on the printed page, the woman said, “Well, it just isn’t true.”

In an era when false statements are just repeated more often and louder until people accept them, it was a refreshing splash of cold water —and it reminded me of the IHSPA core values and how they have met the test of time.

I remember the retreat that focused on creating an IHSPA mission statement. With the help of a facilitator the group struggled with wording that would both reflect the history of IHSPA and lead and inspire members far into the future. Everyone took the task so seriously that shaping the perfect phrase was difficult.

Toward the end of the day the group finally agreed on four words: truth, courage, freedom, and integrity. That’s it. Just four words.

Over a decade later, we still embrace those words. The IHSPA core values test can quickly solve many questions as they help lead us through tough coverage and ethical decisions. Is the story true? Is the overall integrity of the reporting appropriate, fair and balanced? Is the story important enough to test the freedom to print it? And does the staff have the courage to fight the fight the story might require?

Theses were good questions for student journalists in the 20th Century, and they still work for the 21st Century.  In the past year, Indiana’s student journalists have tackled many big stories with an effort that reflects IHSPA core values.  That effort will be featured in the 2012 spring issue of Dow Jones Adviser Update as a collection of education stories from three of our IHSPA high schools.

As issues that affect schools and students continue to evolve, feel welcome to share your school’s coverage with IHSPA.

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Categories: IHSPA News
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