The Runner is Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s student newspaper. It was founded in 2008 via a student referendum and began publishing in 2009. Since then it has served the KPU community as a freely-distributed, year-round news and culture publication that remains committed to dependable journalism. It is published by the Polytechnic Ink Publishing Society, a non-profit society funded by KPU students.
All submissions to The Runner are subject to editing for style, quality, length, and legality. The Runner will not publish material which the editors deem to be problematic or discriminatory. The views expressed within the publication are not necessarily those of The Runner staff or of the Polytechnic Ink Publishing Society.
The Review Process
Commissioning Work and Receiving Pitches
In order for work to appear in The Runner, all material must be commissioned by an editor. In order for work to be commissioned, a contributor must either be assigned a pitch by an editor or have their pitch accepted by an editor. Lists of the editor-drafted pitches are sent to contributors via email on a weekly basis. Work submitted to The Runner that was not previously approved by the editors is not typically considered for publication.
The Runner’s editors will, however, occasionally publish unsolicited work as “Open Letters” or “Letters to the Editor” in order to facilitate dialogue with its readership, particularly within the KPU community. Those letters are still subject to editing for style, quality, length, and legality prior to publication, at the discretion of the editors.
Once a piece has been commissioned, the contributor assigned to the story is encouraged to contact the editors with relevant questions, concerns, and comments.
All submissions must adhere to the editor’s expectations for the work as laid out in the pitch. If a contributor wishes to alter the details of their work prior to submission, they must get their alterations approved by a corresponding editor.
The corresponding editors are:
1.) Written submissions – The Coordinating Editor & Managing Editor
2.) Photo submissions – The Photo Editor
3.) Art Submissions – The Art Director
Contributors have until the approved deadline to submit their work to the editors. If a contributor believes that they will be unable to submit their work by the appointed deadline, they should contact their corresponding editor to ask for an extension. All deadline extensions must be approved by the editors. If a contributor does not receive an extension and fails to submit their work by the deadline, their work may not be published in The Runner and the contributor may not receive payment for their work, at the discretion of the editors.
As stated above, all submissions to The Runner are subject to editing for style, quality, length, and legality. In addition, The Runner will not publish material which the editors deem to be harmful or discriminatory.
The editors will not, however, revise a story for any of the following:
1.) To explicitly change the voice of the author
2.) To alter quotes that were provided to the author via interviews for any reason other than clarity
3.) To alter or omit views which are not shared by The Runner’s staff
Editors may require contributors to provide citations for claims made in an article or outside sources to substantiate an author’s views or criticisms.
If the editors deem a work to be unfit for publication, they will contact the contributor to explain their reasoning. In some cases, the contributor will be given an opportunity to rewrite the article to meet The Runner’s standards under a deadline determined by the editors. In other cases, the contributor will not be paid for the completion of the article deemed unfit for publication. This decision is at the discretion of the editors.
The editors will share the final, edited version of the submitted material upon the request of the contributor.
The editors may need to revise material after publication, typically as an update to reflect an ongoing development or to correct wrongful information. When a change is made post-publishing, the editors will inform the contributor of the alteration to their work.
Style and Quality
All material published by The Runner must adhere to the most recent version of the Canadian Press Stylebook and The Runner’s Style Guide. When there is conflicting information between these two sources, the editors will defer to The Runner’s in-house style.
In addition to revising all material to fit these style guides, the editors will look to revise for quality, accuracy, clarity, sentence structure, format, tone, and readability, among other factors.
The length of each article published by The Runner depends upon which section the story falls under. Below are the expected word counts and interview requirements for each category:
NEWS: word count of 500-600, 2 interviews or more
CULTURE: word count of 500-600 at least 1 interview
OPINION: word count of 500-600
SPECIAL FEATURE: word count of 1,000-1,200, 2 interviews or more
FEATURE: word count of 1,500-2,000, more than 2 interviews
When necessary, and with sufficient communication between the editors and contributors, these expectations will be amended to suit the content of the story or the needs of the publication. All contributors are expected to work within these boundaries while drafting and submitting a story unless they have received explicit direction from the editors to do otherwise.
The editors of The Runner are responsible for ensuring that material published by the newspaper is not libellous, slanderous, or otherwise illegal. Any baseless claims, accusations, or insults produced by writers will not be published.
In order to prove the factuality of articles published in The Runner, writers are encouraged to submit interview audio, notes, relevant correspondence, photos and video, or any other resources used as proof of claims made in their writing. Writes are also encouraged to reach out to any and all individuals mentioned negatively in their articles for comment.
All legal issues within PIPS are to be handled by the editors of the publication and the Operations Manager, with possible help and communication from the contributor of the material being discussed.
All original written or graphic material commissioned for and published in The Runner is the intellectual property of the publication and thus the Polytechnic Ink Publishing Society. By submitting an original article to The Runner, the writer of said article grants the publication rights to edit, retitle, and reprint the piece, as well as rights to give others permission to reprint it.
In order for a contributor to post elsewhere work that is the intellectual property of PIPS, they must first receive permission from the editors to do so. Original PIPS material can not be republished without the consent of the editors for two weeks after the original date of publishing. Contributors may not submit work completed for other publications to The Runner without explicitly stating that it has been published elsewhere.
If the editors of The Runner deem a story submitted to them to be unfit for publication, they may ask the writer of the piece to resubmit said piece. The re-submitted work must meet the requirements and standards outlined in this booklet.
In the resubmission request issued to the writer, whether through a face-to-face interaction or other means of communication, the editors must explain the reason for the request, outline what the writer needs to do next, and provide a deadline for resubmission.
Protection of Sources
The Runner does not accept quotes from anonymous sources unless preserving the anonymity of the interviewee has previously been cleared by the editors. The Runner’s policy is to only permit citing anonymous sources if publishing the identity of the source would pose a threat to their safety or reputation.
Individual reporters may choose to accept information off the record, but must not use such information in their reporting without having it confirmed by identified and reputable sources. When in doubt about whether or not to accept off-the-record information, consult the editors. However, The Runner does not encourage accepting off-the-record information unless it is imperative to reporting a story of public interest.
Instances of when a source may be considered at-risk if identified include:
1.) If they are reasonably concerned about having physical, mental, or emotional harm inflicted upon them.
2.) If they are reasonably concerned about losing employment opportunities or other positions crucial to their quality of life.
3.) If they are reasonably concerned about being brought to court, arrested, or otherwise reprimanded by law authorities.
4.) Other exigent circumstances identified by the editors of The Runner.
Conflicts of Interest
Contributors to The Runner are required to be honest and transparent with the editors of the publication by informing them about conflicts of interest that are relevant to their writing as quickly as possible.
If a writer is involved in a conflict of interest, such as being related to, friends with, or employed by an interview necessary to the story, opportunity to write that story must be given to other, unbiased contributors first. If, after this opportunity is given, the story has still not been claimed, it is up to the editors to decide whether or not the contributor involved in a conflict of interest may can ethically the piece.