Monday, November 30, 2015   

Ethics Statement

Our goal at The Standard is to cover the news as truthfully, fairly and impartially as possible, and to treat our readers and the people and institutions we cover openly and with respect. The foundation of our work is trust: we expect our readers to trust the information we provide them and our sources to trust the accuracy of our reporting. Trust can only come about if we adhere to the highest ethical standards.

Accuracy. Even the smallest of mistakes undercuts the credibility and integrity of our stories. When we do make mistakes, we correct them, whether a source or a reader has complained or not.  

Fairness. We do not print charges affecting the reputation or integrity of people or institutions without giving them a chance to reply.

Sources. Just as we want companies and governments to be transparent in the way they do business, we must strive to do the same. That means that we make clear to our readers the sources of our information, and that we press our sources to go on the record at all times. In our reporting, we always make clear to those we contact that we are journalists.   

Opinion. We want our stories to be analytical, placing events in context and reflecting more than just the contents of our notebooks. But analysis, bolstered by facts and argument, is very different from mere opinion. We run opinion pieces, but they must be labeled as such.

Conflicts of interest. We do not accept gifts or favors from those we cover. On occasion, we may accept free travel or accommodations in the course of our work, but this must be disclosed in any stories that result.  

Editorial staff may not trade in the stocks or bonds of companies they cover, nor may they use non-public information garnered in the course of their work to guide their investments.

While we want our employees to exercise all their rights as citizens, involvement in politics, work with pressure groups, and holding office in outside organizations can compromise our integrity as journalists and should be avoided without prior approval from a supervisor.  

Plagiarism. The use of language or quotes taken from another writer or publication without  proper credit is theft and will not be tolerated.

Free-lance work. Editorial staff are permitted to do work for non-competing publications, though the writer should be clearly identified as an employee of The Standard. Before undertaking freelance work, notify a supervisor first. 

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