Community Guide

About the DP

The Daily Pennsylvanian, Inc. is a student-run media organization covering the Penn community and larger Philadelphia area. Founded in 1885, The DP, Inc. publishes The Daily Pennsylvanian newspaper, 34th Street Magazine, and Under the Button, as well as five newsletters: The Daily Pennsylvanian, The Weekly Roundup, The Toast, Quaker Nation, and Penn, Unbuttoned. 

Funding: The Daily Pennsylvanian, Inc. is a non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation which receives no funding from the University of Pennsylvania. We maintain partnerships and pursue new ventures that grow our capabilities, influence, and sustainability. 

Mission statement: As the leading independent student media organization at the University of Pennsylvania, The Daily Pennsylvanian, Inc. seeks to inform and drive conversation while providing enduring student experiences in journalism and leadership. 

How to join: At the start of each of Penn’s academic semesters, The Daily Pennsylvanian, Inc. recruits students to join its Editorial, Business, and Engineering departments, as well as its Institutional Advancement team, which works closely with professional staff and alumni on fundraising campaign design, volunteer engagement, among other media content generation and management ventures. More information can be found on this page.

Organizational structure:The DP, Inc. consists of two principal student-run divisions — Business and Editorial — and employs four professional staff members. 

The President, Business Manager, and Executive Editor refers to the top three officers of the Corporation. The professional staff includes a General Manager, Director of Sales and Marketing, Office Manager, and Director of Development which provide training and support to student staff members. The Diversity & Inclusion Coordinator also provides training and support to student and professional staff members. 

The Editorial Board is responsible for the content of the DP and its publications, and includes editorial departments within the Daily Pennsylvanian, 34th Street Magazine and Under the Button, as well as the design, social media, photo, copy, video and podcast editors. The Business Board is responsible for all the business affairs of the DP, including advertising, ad design, technology, marketing analytics & promotions, circulation, and accounting. 

The Corporation has an Executive Board that is responsible for dealing with long-term and operational issues, and sometimes with advising day-to-day operations. The Executive Board is also tasked with carrying out strategic initiatives of the Board of Directors, making major decisions outside of the Board of Directors’ purview, and running elections. 

The Board of Directors — which consists of five student directors and four Daily Pennsylvanian alumni, along with the General Manager as a non-voting member — concentrates on long-term planning, major decisions and the annual budget. The President of the Daily Pennsylvanian heads the Executive Board and chairs the Board of Directors. 

Policies and ethics

Editorial ethics: At the DP, Inc. we are committed to journalistic excellence that prioritizes accuracy, fairness and tenacity for our readers. We strive to deliver news and information that creates impact and understanding in a digitally-focused world, and is inclusive of the broad spectrum of viewpoints and diverse backgrounds of the Penn and Philadelphia communities. 

Conflict of interest: A conflict of interest exists when a director, officer or staff member has any actual or potential involvement, interest or relationship, either directly or indirectly, in any proposed transaction of the DP, Inc.. Members of the DP, Inc. are barred from reporting on organizations of which the reporter is a part of, and on individuals with whom the reporter has a vested personal or financial relationship with. 

Before being elected to internal board and board positions, staff members are also asked to be transparent about their involvement with student government groups, political groups and clubs, and any other groups that may conflict with their position or beat.

Corrections:

The DP: Official corrections must be issued when an article contains a factual error(s), is framed in a way that indicates harmful biases and/or incomplete reporting, or misquotes or mischaracterizes a source’s views. Minor errors, such as a typo or misspelling, can be fixed by the article’s primary content editor and do not require an official correction. Corrections appear at the bottom of an article and state what the previous version of the article included, the information that has been corrected and clarified, and an acknowledgement that the DP regrets the error.

34th Street: We issue corrections when there has been a factual error that impacts a core claim of the piece or misrepresents a person or group of people, and they provide a record of where inaccurate information was published. A correction will always appear, italicized, at the bottom of an article, and it will identify exactly what piece of information was incorrect and how it was amended. Clarifications might be used in situations where information requires an update after publication, or when the error is primarily due to unclear wording.

Anonymity:

The DP: The DP only grants anonymity to sources in cases of necessity where sufficient and reasonable risk of harm (e.g. fear of retaliation, safety) is demonstrated by the source. Otherwise, we discourage the use of information from anonymous sources in articles. In cases of anonymous sources, the identity may only be known to the reporter and their editor.

Opinion pieces published in the DP must be attributed to a specific individual in the byline, even if it is written and/or signed on behalf of a group. No pieces published in the DP’s Opinion section can be published anonymously or under a pseudonym.

34th Street: We primarily grant anonymity in cases where a source is speaking about a sensitive topic (e.g. sexual assault, eating disorders), and this will be established before the interview is conducted and must be approved by the Editor-in-Chief. We may grant anonymity for non–sensitive topics if a source asks, but there must be a compelling reason to do so (e.g. safety or fear of retaliation). The source’s identity will only be known to the writer and their direct editor for fact-checking purposes. 

Retractions: We do not retract stories once they have been published. This is our policy in order to preserve and take ownership of our reporting. If information published in the article is proven to be incorrect, inaccurate, or unfair, we would then edit the story accordingly and issue a correction and/or an Editor’s Note beneath the article. 

Image manipulation: Image manipulation is the digital alteration of an image that fundamentally alters the tone, context or subject of the image. It also refers to the overt staging of a photo of a person or event. It does not include basic edits made for color balance, exposure, contrast or clarity.

The Daily Pennsylvanian, Inc. avoids image manipulation unless it is using it to illustrate a certain concept or idea. The Daily Pennsylvanian will identify any image that has been digitally altered and correctly label any visual element according to the following categories:

  • Design is a stylized visual media that may incorporate an altered or unaltered image or photo sourced from the public domain, sourced from staff photographers at The Daily Pennsylvanian, or sourced from non-DP staffers directly.
  • Photo is an image taken by a staff photographer of the Daily Pennsylvanian or sourced from the public domain that has not undergone visual manipulation. A photo may be processed without damaging its integrity.
  • Photo illustration is a combination of design and photo, as defined above, with the consent of both the photographer and the designer.

Why is this our policy?

As derived from The Daily Bruin, we believe that “the role of a photojournalist is to document an event, person or place as it is. Manipulating images betrays this value by potentially influencing the ways people digest news information. Digital manipulation, as well as engaging in staged opportunities, can be used to falsify or alter the perception of the subject of the image.”

While we aim to limit our image manipulation practices, we reserve the right to manipulate images and photos, under the guidance of the executive editor of the company, to convey an idea that could otherwise not be represented through an unaltered digital medium.

Reviewing content before publication:

The DP: We do not allow sources to review content before publication. We may, however, in specific circumstances, allow sources to review direct quotes from a prior interview with the DP. 

34th Street: We may occasionally allow sources to review content before publication in cases where the nature of the content is sensitive (e.g. sexual assault, dealings with administration), purely to confirm any relevant factual information. This will always be done in person or via Zoom, and is distinct from general fact–checking which may be done via email or phone.

Publication process:The Daily Pennsylvanian, 34th Street Magazine, and Under the Button each have unique content production and publication processes. All content published on web, social, and print platforms undergoes multiple edits, primarily from a content editor and copy editor. Questions regarding the information below can be directed to the Executive Editor or the publication’s Editor-in-Chief, whose emails are listed here

The DP:

News: Reporters for the DP are assigned story ideas by their primary content editor, after which they research, conduct interviews, and write their article. The draft is then edited and fact-checked by a primary content editor who may send the article back to the reporter for revision. The editor and reporter(s) may do this until the article is determined to be accurate, fair, and well-reported. 

After the initial round of edits and revisions done by the primary editor, the article is then sent to a secondary content editor, typically another editor within the same department or the DP Editor-in-Chief, who will suggest overarching edits typically relating to the flow and structure of the article. The article is then reviewed and fact-checked by a Copy editor, and returned back to the primary content editor for publishing. Reporters are also asked to read and approve of the final article before it is published. 

Sports: Sports involves interviews with athletes, coaches, and other athletic staff. Contacts between Penn sports and DP reporters are facilitated through Penn Athletic communications, which grants reporters interviews by phone, email, and in-person interviews. On occasion, when a story is highly sensitive, the DP will go around athletic communications to preserve anonymity or to source interviews that the university is hesitant to allow happen.

Opinion: Staff Columnists pitch a column idea to the Opinion editor or Opinion deputies before they start writing the piece, after which the editor works with the columnist to brainstorm and further develop their topic. After a pitch is approved by the editor, the columnists submits a first draft to the editor; the final draft goes through at least two rounds of edits before it is sent to the copy department for final review before publication.

Guest columnists submit their written columns to the editor, who then decides whether the column will be scheduled for publication or not. After approval, the submitted piece goes through at least two rounds of edits before it is sent to the copy department for final review before publication.

34th Street: Street writers pitch and write once a week (except Features and Focus, whose writers work on four and two week schedules, respectively), and all their work is reviewed by at least one junior editor, a copy editor, and a managing editor before being published on our website. For more sensitive or factually dense stories, sources may be re-contacted prior to publication for fact-checking purposes.

UTB: Under the Button staffers have their pitches reviewed and assigned each week by one of the two Senior Editors. Once a pitch is assigned and written by the staffer, the article is edited for style, errors, and appropriateness by the Senior Editors prior to publishing. The UTB Editor-in-Chief reserves the right to nix any sensitive or inappropriate content. 

Diversity, equity and inclusion

The Daily Pennsylvanian, Inc. is dedicated to providing an equitable workplace environment where all staffers can succeed and increasing our coverage in areas we have previously been lacking, especially in our coverage of marginalized communities. Below we have outlined the company’s primary initiatives in addressing equity and inclusion both in the workplace and on campus.

If you have feedback on our initiatives or ideas for other areas where the DP, Inc. can improve, please contact the Diversity and Inclusion Coordinators, whose emails are listed here

Diversity and Inclusion Coordinator:

Diversity and Inclusion Coordinator is an elected board position that is focused on implementing and executing equity and inclusion initiatives. Responsibilities include leading diversity committee meetings, holding trainings on journalism best practices, meeting with community stakeholders, assisting editors with coverage, and overseeing the DP Fellows Program. The role became an official board position in spring 2022 as part of a company-wide push to prioritize equity and inclusion initiatives.

Diversity Committee:

Our diversity committee, overseen by the Diversity and Inclusion Coordinators, is dedicated to implementing the bulk of our initiatives focused on improving internal culture at the DP, Inc. and our relationships with communities on campus. 

Current committee projects include updating the diversity style guide, which dictates the language we use to refer to marginalized communities, and implementing reporting forms for sexual misconduct and discrimination within the organization. 

The committee is also focused on implementing source tracking, which tracks who our publications interact with for coverage, and maintaining this community guide so that information about our operations is transparent to the Penn community. One of the committee’s most important initiatives is the institutional memory project, which tracks how we have harmed communities in our coverage so we are conscious of our mistakes moving forward. 

Penn students, alumni, and other current or former community members can fill out this form to share any negative experiences with the DP, Inc. The purpose of the form is to collect information to inform our coverage and interactions with communities on and around campus.

In addition to committee projects, affinity groups currently exist for Black staffers, LGBTQ+ staffers, and multiracial staffers.

DP Fellows Program:

The DP Fellows Program, launched in 2021, aims to engage students from historically marginalized groups who are interested in journalism and media. As part of the program, up to five undergraduate students receive $4,000 annual stipends to work on our staff. Fellows are marched with alumni mentors and meet regularly with each other for discussions, community-building, and development of a group project. Each fellow also receives financial support to attend a professional conference during their fellowship year. Fellows are evaluated anonymously and selected by a committee of DP alumni and student staff members based on their application. 

Applications for the 2022 cycle are closed. Applications for the 2023 cycle will open in spring 2023. Applicants must demonstrate financial need, be enrolled full-time, commit to working at the DP, Inc. for at least 10 hours per week, and be graduating in 2024 or 2025. Apply by Jan. 30 to be considered.

Demographic Survey:

In order to have fair and accurate coverage, it is important that our company’s demographics reflect that of the Penn community. We have previously published our company’s demographics as editorials in 2018 and 2019, and a survey was last conducted in spring 2021. Staffers who fill out the survey form are asked to self-identify their race and ethnicity, religion, gender, sexuality, whether they are first-generation and/or low-income, their geographical location, their school and graduating year, and are given the option to disclose if they have a disability.

Past demographic data has revealed that our organization has consistently lacked Black, Indigenous, and Latinx staffers as well as LGBTQ+ staffers, particularly transgender students. An overwhelming majority of staffers also do not identify as first generation or low-income. While the DP, Inc. has attempted to reach out to affinity groups on campus in our recruitment process, it is clear that making an inclusive and welcoming workplace will require large-scale and long-term effort.

The demographic survey for the 2021-2022 school year will be conducted this spring.

Jargon glossary

The Daily Pennsylvanian: The Daily Pennsylvanian is the University of Pennsylvania's independent student media organization. We provide relevant news and opinions about the University of Pennsylvania and from around the Philadelphia metro area.

34th Street Magazine: 34th Street Magazine is the arts and culture magazine of the Daily Pennsylvanian. Entirely student–run, we serve a thought–provoking mixture of gossip, food reviews, movie recs, student life pieces, humor and in–depth features.

Under the Button: Under the Button is Penn’s daily source for humor and satire. We cover the stories other news outlets are too afraid to, or are otherwise barred from covering due to editorial standards.

Columns: An opinionated article written to offer an argument, viewpoint, or purposeful story. Columns can be written by both DP staff and guest columnists who are not in the DP but part of the Penn community. Columns are usually 650-850 words. Longer columns can also be written, but will likely not be publishable in our print editions. 

Editorials: Editorials represent the majority view of members of The Daily Pennsylvanian Editorial Board, which meets regularly to discuss issues relevant to Penn's campus and topics relevant to the local community. Participants in these meetings are not involved in the reporting of articles on related topics.

Letters to the Editor: Letters to the Editor follow the same guidelines as guest columns with one major difference. The word limit for Letters is 300. All submissions become property of the DP and are subject to editing for style, clarity and space concerns. Anonymous submissions will be read, but not printed. 

Corrections: The Executive Editor, or Editor-in-Chief of DP, Street, and UTB, are authorized to issue corrections and Editor’s Notes on articles. Minor errors, such as a typo or misspelling, can be fixed by the article’s primary content editor and do not require an official correction. Official corrections must be made when an article contains a factual error(s), is framed in a way that indicates harmful biases and/or incomplete reporting, or misquotes or mischaracterizes a source’s views.

Editor’s Note: An Editor’s Note is a note placed at the bottom of an article that provides clarification to any correction, retraction, or change made to an article that has already been published. Editor’s Notes are written and approved by the Executive Editor or the publication’s Editor-in-Chief.

Retractions: Only the Executive Editor can formally retract a piece of content from The DP, Street or UTB. Requests for retraction, both internally and externally, must be brought to the Executive Editor, as well as before the DP’s Executive Board for consideration by vote.

Contact us

Want the DP to cover your event? Email Assignments Editor Delaney Parks with the date, time, location and an event description. Please submit events seven days in advance for maximum likelihood of a reporter being assigned to cover your event.  Events submitted fewer than five days before an event will usually not be accommodated.

Have story ideas? 

For news tips: newstip@theDP.com 

For sports tips: dpsports@theDP.com 

For 34th Street Magazine tips: streettips@34st.com 

For Under the Button tips: tips@underthebutton.com

Interested in publishing an opinion piece or submitting a letter to the editor? We want to hear from you! Check out the submission guidelines and contact Opinion Editor Asaad Manzar with your idea for an opinion column or letter.

Staff directory: For more information about contacting a specific member of the Daily Pennsylvanian staff, please visit our staff directory.

Report an error: Please email Executive Editor Pia Singh to report an error.

Report a bug: Please email Technology Manager Raunaq Singh to report a bug on the website.

Have an issue with a staffer? Contact President Alessandra Pintado-Urbanc.

Buying photographs: Most photographs which appear in the pages of The Daily Pennsylvanian, 34th Street Magazine or on theDP.com may be purchased as digital copies. If interested, please contact Office Manager Christine Knooren.

Placing an advertisement:  For information about advertising in any of The Daily Pennsylvanian, Inc.'s publications, visit our advertising information page. Questions? Contact Director of Sales & Marketing Katherine Ross.

Phone: To reach The Daily Pennsylvanian, Inc. by phone, call (215) 422-4640. Our business hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and our production hours are from 5 p.m. to midnight.

Mailing address: The Daily Pennsylvanian, Inc. offices are located at: 4015 Walnut St., Philadelphia, PA, 19104.

Fax: To reach The Daily Pennsylvanian, Inc. by fax, please dial (215) 422-4646.

Social media: 

Instagram: www.instagram.com/dailypenn 

Facebook: www.facebook.com/dailypenn 

Twitter: www.twitter.com/dailypenn 

*This guide was last updated on April 12, 2022. It is inspired by The Daily Bruin Community Guide, created by the student newspaper at the University of California, Los Angeles.