Leading the way in scholastic journalism & media education since 1924

Conflict of interest policy

A conflict of interest is defined as an actual or perceived interest by a JEA staff member or JEA elected/ appointed board member or committee chair in an action that results in, or has the appearance of resulting in, personal or professional gain. Staff members, officers, board members and committee chairs are obligated to always act in the best interest of JEA. This obligation requires that any staff member, officer, board member or committee chair, in the performance of organization duties, seek only the furtherance of the JEA mission. At all times, these individuals are prohibited from using their job title or the organization’s name or property for private profit or benefit.

A. As a general rule, the officers, board members and committee chairs of JEA should neither solicit nor accept gratuities, favors or anything of monetary value from contractors/vendors. As long as reported, this is not intended to preclude: 1) bona-fide organization fund raising-activities; 2) paid employment with journalism workshops or courses sponsored by colleges, media organizations or businesses; 3) nominal gifts and meals provided by vendors related to the routine practice of doing business; or 4) compensation for writing educational articles.

B. Officers and board members may serve on the boards of scholastic media organizations as long as those organizations do not have a financial partnership relationship with JEA that would present an actual or perceived conflict of interest.

C. No staff member, officer, board member or committee chair of JEA shall participate in the selection, award or administration of a purchase or contract with a vendor where he/she, an immediate family member, a partner, or an organization of which any of these individuals is an officer, director or employee has a financial interest without disclosure to the board that a conflict of interest may exist.

D. Disclosure—In order to ensure transparency in JEA decision-making, staff members, officers, board members and committee chairs must disclose all possible conflicts of interest, including those outlined above, on an annual conflict of interest disclosure form that will become an official JEA record. The conflict of interest disclosure form will be posted on the JEA website as part of the organization’s official documents.

E. Board Action—When a conflict of interest is relevant to a matter requiring action by the board, the interested person(s) shall call it to the attention of the board. When there is a question as to whether a conflict exists, the matter shall be resolved by vote of the board, excluding the person(s) concerning whose situation the doubt has arisen.

F. Record of Conflict—The official minutes of the board shall reflect that the conflict of interest was disclosed and whether or not the interested person(s) participated in the final discussion and vote.

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