Update your Staff Handbook or Editorial Policy with Your Staff’s Statement on Using AI. Here’s a Template to Help You Get Started

I’ve been talking with my staffs this year about working up a statement to include in their editorial policy on how they would be using AI. Professional publications around the country are issuing such statements and policies to be transparent with their readers and high school staffs should be doing the same.

I thought coming up with a policy from scratch might be too daunting of a task for the crew so I found a policy from Dragonfly Editorial I liked and shared it, and a couple other policies, with my staff.

The discussion that followed the policy review was a really good one for my staff and got them thinking how they were already using AI and where some of those boundaries should be.

Dragonfly Editorial ended up giving the staff permission to use their policy as a guide to base their own on. You can see the final policy the FHN Media editorial team adopted here in their editorial policy. If you scroll down to section J, you can see the section on “Regarding AI Usage.”

Dragonfly Editorial actually agreed to allow me to share the template I used with my students. You all are free to use it and adapt as well. You can find that template policy here. As a courtesy, if you end up adopting something based off this template, please make sure to credit Dragonfly Editorial for the original inspiration.

Regardless of how your staff decides to come up with a policy, it is a discussion each staff should be having and transparency with readers is always a good thing.

Aaron Manfull

Aaron is in his 26th year of advising student media. He is currently the Director of Student Media at Francis Howell North High School in St. Charles, Missouri. He is the Journalism Education Association Digital Media Chair and co-Director of Media Now. He is the 2023 JEA Teacher Inspiration Award Winner and is a former Dow Jones News Fund National Journalism Teacher of the Year. He is one of the authors of the textbook "Student Journalism and Media Literacy." You can find him on X and Instagram @manfull. He's a proud father. A transplanted Iowan. And an avid Hawkeye Fan.

Aaron Manfull has 868 posts and counting. See all posts by Aaron Manfull

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