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The Student News Site of James Buchanan High School

The Rocket Flame

The Student News Site of James Buchanan High School

The Rocket Flame

The Student News Site of James Buchanan High School

The Rocket Flame


Mission Statement

The Rocket Flame is a student-created online publication and The Citadel  is a student-created yearbook.  Both publications serve to document the story of the school year at JBHS and provide a sense of pride amongst students, staff, and the community.   The James Buchanan High School Student Media staff produces the online newspaper and yearbook while learning the roles of professional journalists and will uphold all press standards in the creation of the publication and abide by ethical and legal practices set in place by press laws.


Establishing Structure

Tuscarora School District Board Media Policy

Here is a link to the official policy on student expression as expressed by the Tuscarora School District School Board.

JB Student Media Policy Statement

The Rocket Flame newspaper and Citadel yearbook have both been established as a public forum for student expression. Content in student media should reflect all areas of student interest, including topics about which there may be dissent or controversy. Student journalists and the editorial board have the right to determine all content of student publications.

The purpose of a school newspaper and yearbook is to inform, educate, and entertain the audience while documenting the year in a broad, fair, thorough manner.  The target audience includes the entire student body at JBHS and therefore content will focus upon meeting the needs of these students.

Students will not print material, opinionated or otherwise, that is libelous, irresponsible, advocates illegal activity, or which the editorial board deems in poor taste.

Adapted from ©Whitney Student Media

The Role of the Adviser

The JB Student Media adviser is a professional teaching staff member that is a certified English teacher.  The adviser guides the yearbook staff to make editorial decisions about content and helps to ensure that the publication remains a public forum.

The adviser is there to help aid in the educational process in producing the yearbook and teaching journalistic practices.  He/she should keep up-to-date on current trends and educate the staff accordingly.

The adviser may caution and act as a sounding board, but has no power to censor or veto student decisions except for constitutionally valid reasons.

The Role of Student Media, Editor/Staff Makeup & Prior Review

The editorial board will consist of two to three editors who will serve as the leaders and decision-making team for all JB Student Media publications. These editors are chosen by the faculty adviser and the previous year’s editors and must have been enrolled in the class at least one year prior to being selected.

The editorial board will be responsible for all final content decisions.  The Rocket Flame and Citadel are established as a designated public forums for student expression in which students make all final content decisions without prior review from school officials.  Both publications will strive to avoid publication of materials deemed by the editorial board to be obscene, materially disruptive to the learning process, an invasion of privacy, or a violation of copyright.  The adviser will serve as a guide and educator in the journalism curriculum.

Sources will be able to review their quotes at the time of the interview, but will not be able to arbitrarily demand to read a reporter’s completed story or perform editing on the story prior to publication.  This includes that the yearbook will not be reviewed by administration prior to publication.

The content of the both publications represent only the views of student staff and not the adviser or school officials.

Editor Job Description

As an editor of the JBHS Student Media program, there are certain expectations that are placed upon you.

  • Establishes deadlines and mini-deadlines with the adviser
  • Designs, with the assistance of the adviser, the theme presentation, including title page, opening, and dividers, senior and underclassmen openings & closings, and folio
  • Designs the sports page layout that will be utilized throughout the sports section and the closing
  • Updates the organization and sports calendar each month to inform the staff of reporting opportunities
    • Makes contact with advisers from clubs twice per month to find out potential meetings, events, etc.
  • Plans, along with the adviser, celebration days and mandatory Work Nights
  • Finalizes page ladder and student page assignments
  • Plans fundraising ideas, along with the adviser
  • Aids adviser to plan and organize group photo days for clubs and sports photos
  • Confers with staff on stories that need rewriting/clarification, photo edits/changes, changes to theme incorporation, fonts, etc.
  • Edits stories, captions, headlines and other elements before submitting pages to the plant
    • Helps check the spelling of all student names and grade levels
  • Organizes and conducts formal staff meetings every Monday to relay important information, get a status report, and improve staff morale
  • Establishes a system to track deadline progress
  • Communicates with adviser to promote learning, planning strategies, production tracking and other decision-making
  • Works with staff photographer and staff for photo selection
  • Tracks coverage by student and topic to best guarantee all-inclusiveness and meeting our goal of picturing students 3+ more times
  • Helps organize, advertise, and maintain records for the yearbook fundraiser and business/parent advertising in the book
  • Makes all final content decisions

Staff Conduct

The JB Student Media is a team and is only as strong as its weakest link.  All staff members are expected to complete their assigned pages, photos, etc. by the assigned deadlines provided at the beginning of the school year, as well as attend mandatory work nights and events they are covering.  Staff members or editors could be dismissed if one of the following violations occurs:

  • Continuously missing mini-deadlines/deadlines
  • Plagiarism
  • Quote falsification
  • Vandalism, theft, or damage of equipment
  • Pessimistic attitude towards staff member or adviser
  • Two probationary periods in one academic year
  • Failing to fulfill job as outlined in job description
  • Submitting a page not designed by yourself/by someone outside the staff

Major infractions will include an immediate dismissal from the staff. Minor infractions will result in a probationary period along with a written warning that must be signed by a parent/guardian.  If a second probation is incurred, the staff member will be dismissed.

If an editor is suspended, he/she will be removed from the editorial board.

Dismissed staff member may receive a grade of an F.

All dismissals  will be voted on by members of the editorial board and the adviser after a meeting with the student on probation about their infraction.

*Adapted from ©Francis Howell North Yearbook

Ownership of Content

Student bylines will be published on all pages associated with them.

Photo credits will also be posted on all photographs for photographs not provided by staff members.

Planning & Gathering

Controversial Coverage

Controversial issues will present both sides to keep bias at a minimum.  The point of the news is to inform and not endorse a side of a topic.  If a controversial topic is covered in either publication, the editorial board must consider the journalistic purpose and if there are points of view being omitted in coverage.

Adapted from ©Francis Howell North Yearbook

Interviewing & Verification

Accuracy and details are of the utmost importance.  Fact-checking procedures should be utilized.  Spelling of names, places, and organizations should be checked and double-checked to ensure these details are accurate.  When gathering information for story content, it is necessary to utilize multiple sources in order to gather all the facts in a story.

All interviews should be conducted on the record and staff members should always identify themselves as a member of the JB Student Media staff when conducting an interview, whether it is via text, e-mail, social media, video messaging, or in-person.

Staff members must gain permission of the interviewee to record each interview.

E-mail and social media means may be used as resources, including websites, email, and social media. The adviser is encouraged to help students develop skills to evaluate usage of electronic information; the adviser is not responsible for approving online resources.

Adapted from ©Whitney Student Media

Prior Review & Naming of Sources

Sources may not demand to read an article prior to publication or to perform editing on a story.

Media staff members will identify all sources as long as doing so will not endanger the source in some way.  This is the only way that a source will go unnamed in either publication.  If using an unnamed source, reporters will not reveal the name of a source within the boundaries of the law.

Publications will not be reviewed by administration prior to publication.


JB Student Media is committed to accuracy. All story elements, including quotes, statistics, photos, and content, should be verifiable and precise.  Staff members must turn in all source material to editors when submitting their story drafts and demonstrate multiple sources were used to verify information presented in the story. This includes a recording of each interview conducted in full.  All quotes must be verified for accuracy and they will not be changed or patched.

Producing Content

Writing process

All writing for both the yearbook and online newspaper will be produced by the JB Student Media staff enrolled in the journalism publications course.  Students will research subject-matter, gather information from various sources, interview a minimum of two sources for each story.  Stories will undergo a vigorous revision process that will be edited by another staff member and the editorial board.  Quotes will be fact-checked for accuracy and interviews will be submitted electronically for verification.


Direct Quotations

Direct Quotations will be utilized and not be tampered with unless to fix glaring grammatical mistakes.  Direct quotations will be utilized and placed in quotations.  All stories along with quotation usage will be approved by the editorial board.  Quotation patching will not take place in the text without contextual reference and will not be used to alter the truth and content of the quote and the context in which it was delivered.  Said will be the only attribution verb utilized.


JB Student Media publications may not print copyrighted images.  Photos taken by professional photographers other than Myerly & Lowe, our school photographer, MUST include a release from the photographer (see Photography Release Form, attached).

Students make all content decisions, and the media staff reserves the right to reject photos or text or to ask the customer to make changes to conform to school and publication standards.  No photos/advertisements containing alcohol or any container that could be used for alcohol, tobacco, weapons, profanity, discrimination, or nudity will be accepted. This includes any photos in a bar setting.

JB Student Media does not endorse all products or services offered in advertisements.

Please note: the Citadel and The Rocket Flame are produced by students in an academic environment.  We will choose fonts and colors that compliment your ad and that fits in with the overall design of the yearbook for Senior Advertising.

Errors in business and senior advertisements will be addressed in the following manner:

  1. a)      Correction of minor errors with a reprint or reprints of the ads on stickers.
  2. b)      Partial repayment up to cost of the book for misspelled names or major errors.
  3. c)      Complete refund only in cases of errors that are deemed to destroy the intent of the ad.

Businesses will be held to the same expectations as senior tributes. Citadel yearbook  will not be responsible for errors in printing caused by submissions that do not meet published specifications.

©Whitney Student Media

Social Media

Please see our Social Media policy here.

Use of Profanity

Writing will avoid offensive or distasteful content as determined by the editors. Profanity is considered beneath the writing caliber of the staff. Innuendo will not be tolerated. Source material that may be considered offensive will be evaluated by the editorial board.  Quotes containing profanity may be altered at their discretion and photos containing profanity may be removed.


Any current student, faculty, staff member, or building administrator who dies during a school year will be recognized in the Citadel if it is prior to deadline publication and will be treated in a tasteful manner.

The portrait of the person will appear in the people section as it would under normal circumstances. The birth date and date of passing will appear next to the person’s name, unless the death occurs after the book’s final deadline, which is generally March 15.  A cause of death will be published only after obtaining parental permission and at the discretion of the editorial board.  Suicide will not be listed as a cause of death.

No tribute, obituary, or other memorial item will appear in the yearbook.  Families and/or friends or other parties may purchase space for a memorial or tribute to appear in the advertising section of the yearbook and may do so at the “early-bird” pricing, regardless of purchase date, but advertising space is generally only available from October-December and production of the pages is done by the end of January. It is the aim of the staff to handle the events in a fair and sensitive manner.

A formal obituary will appear in The Rocket Flame in a tasteful, professional manner.

Adapted from ©Whitney Student Media

Visual reporting

All photos must contain a caption and explain who, what, when, where, why, and how.  All people must be identified with first and last name and grade level.

Photos will be held to the highest ethical standard of photojournalism and will not be manipulated to include what is not present in the photograph.  Visual artistic effects may be employed for design purposes.

Corrections Policies

The Citadel is a student business that costs $50,000+ and is part of a learning experience in the curriculum.  As a result, there are no perfect yearbooks produced, ever, as they are a student-produced publication.There is no malicious intent, nor lack of care taken by the staff in producing the yearbook.

With that said, is not possible to reprint the book if/when minor errors arise. The staff regrets any errors and learns from constructive feedback provided via thoughtful email messages and phone calls. The process for creating the yearbook is rigorous and involves multiple rounds of careful editing. Because the yearbook is printed once annually, it is not possible to run corrections. If a staff discovers, from any source, that a factual error or major mistake was published and passed the editors, the editor(s)-in-chief will issue a written apology to those affected.

Corrections will be made to The Rocket Flame with a note if an error occurs.

Adapted from ©Whitney Student Media

Portraits Policy

Senior  Portraits

The Citadel will only print Senior portraits for the formal headshot section taken by the designated school photographer, Myerly & Lowe Photography. All senior portraits must arrive to the yearbook staff by the posted deadline (first week of November) that will be set in collaboration by the editorial board, adviser, and photographer.  If a student fails to be photographed by the contracted yearbook photographer, he/she will not appear in the yearbook.

No props of any kind will be allowed in the the senior photos.  These photos will be formal in nature.  Myerly & Lowe will provide the clothing required for the formal shots, including tuxedo/suit options for males and draping options for females.

Other opportunities for publication of Senior photos in a less formal setting will be available to seniors in the following areas of the yearbook: Senior Advertising, the Homecoming Court, Senior Officers.  These photos may be from a different photographer, but must be accompanied by a photography publication release form in order to be published. If a release form is not provided, the photo will not be published.

Students make all content decisions, and the Citadel staff reserves the right to reject photos to conform to school and publication standards.  No photos containing alcohol or any container that could be used for alcohol, tobacco, weapons, profanity, discrimination, or nudity will be accepted.

Photo omissions will occur for students or faculty with the submission of a written note at the beginning of each school year to the main office.

Underclassmen  Portraits

The Citadel will only print underclassmen portraits taken by the designated school photographer,  Pictures Plus Photography.  Two days for portraits will be provided: one day at the beginning of the school year and one make-up day later in the fall.

Portraits will be provided by the school photographer will be used for students in grades 9-11 and for faculty members.  Because of publication deadlines and the possibility of students missing portrait day, the Citadel staff is not responsible for unavailable portraits of students.

Names of students who are not pictured will be listed at the end of the section with updated school lists at the time of publication based upon enrollment. The grade placement of student portraits will be determined by the student’s status at the time of publication around the end of the first marking period.  Grade designations will not be able to be changed after this point.

Photo omissions will occur for students or faculty with the submission of a written note at the beginning of each school year to the main office. The editorial board also reserves the right to review or omit questionable or inappropriate portraits.

Names in the mugs section will appear as the formal name supplied by the office.  Nicknames will not be utilized in the yearbook publication in the formal section of the yearbook. Portraits will consist of one individual only; no other person or props are permitted.


Yearbooks are for sale beginning in October through March, and the price will vary pending a varied rate plan that increases with each mailing that is sent out by Jostens.  If yearbooks are not pre-purchased, there is no guarantee that a student will be able to buy one at the end of the year, as a limited number of extras are ordered.

Exchanges can be made for books for minor flaws if no personalization or signatures have been acquired.  If writing has been made, all exchanges must be approved by the adviser (ex. Pages upside down, missing pages, etc.)

Proof of purchase must be presented by the buyer if there is no record by the staff.  This may come in the form of a purchase receipt from Jostens or a cancelled check.

Students have the opportunity to participate in a yearbook fundraiser during the first two weeks of school where they may earn money off their yearbook.  Each item sold earns $5 off the price of the yearbook.  A yearbook will be ordered for each student participating in the fundraiser and the student is responsible for the balance due by the end of January. Invoices will be sent out in November. Students who do not want a yearbook should not participate in the yearbook fundraiser. Students who do NOT participate in the yearbook fundraiser must purchase their yearbook directly from Jostens.  They may purchase by clicking here.

If a book is not claimed within a calendar year of publication, it will become the property of the JB Student Media and the cost of the book is forfeited.

If a student moves away from JBHS, they may pick up the yearbook in person in the front office or have it shipped to a designated address with proper contact information and $7 shipping fee.

Adapted from ©Whitney Student Media

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