Our policies aim to guide our journalism in a rapidly changing media environment in which we deliver news and information.
In addition to following these guidelines, we will modify and update them based on feedback from our journalists and readers and our assessment of our changing needs.
This guideline should not establish hard-and-fast rules for all situations and should not serve as a standard for interpreting information learned in different cases.
We are committed to avoiding conflicts of interest or the appearance of conflicts wherever possible.
Our policies on these issues are more stringent than those that are common in the private sector. Particularly:
We are responsible for our expenses. Sources of news are not allowed to give us gifts. Free trips are not accepted.
Due to the positions we hold, we don’t seek or accept any preferential treatment.
There are few apparent exceptions to the rule – a dinner invitation, for example, may be accepted if it is sporadic and innocuous, but not if it occurs repeatedly and its purpose is calculated.
Admission to any event that is not free to the public is not permitted.
Tickets provided for a review or press box seats, which do not go on sale to the public, are the only exceptions. Whenever possible, such seats will be paid for by us.
We do not accept compensation — either honoraria or expenses — from governments, government-funded organisations, groups of government officials, political organisations, or organisations that take positions on contentious issues.
Additionally, a reporter or editor cannot accept payment from any individual, company, or organisation that they cover.
Additionally, we should abstain from accepting funds from individuals, businesses, trade associations, or other organisations that lobby the government or attempt to influence the issues covered by the website.
Broadcasting organisations, educational institutions, social organisations, and many professional organisations are typically exempt from this provision unless the reporter or editor is covering them.
No freelance assignments or honoraria must be accepted that could be interpreted as disguised gratuities in any way. We make every reasonable effort to remain independent of news organisations and special interests.
A journalist ought to be careful not to entangle himself or herself with people whose views would make them a likely subject of journalistic inquiry. No matter how we act personally or professionally, we cannot undermine our profession.
As a journalistic institution, we never get involved in any cause that could harm the objectivity we report and edit – politics, community affairs, social action, demonstrations.
Our rules can’t bind families, but they should understand that their employment or involvement in causes can undermine our integrity, at least on the surface.
Department heads must be aware of family members’ business and professional relationships.