Ethical Standards

Life is full of choices. You make them and hope for the best. Sometimes you’re right; sometimes you’re not.

Joseph Sisko, “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine”

Everyone attempting to report the news should be transparent about the ethical standards to which they subscribe. I’m just one person, which means I make the guidelines for my coverage.

Here are said guidelines:

Fuck-Ups

They will happen. They’ll be quickly addressed and rectified.

General

If I’m not proud to put my name on it, it won’t go up.

See SPJ Code of Ethics. Also, remember journalists are human and follow their own ethical codes, which may differ somewhat from the general industry standard.

Naming Sources

Names will be spelled correctly. Titles and pronouns will be accurate. Anonymous sources will be avoided unless the omission of their information would be hurtful to the story.

Naming suspects

Never. In a democracy such as ours (the United States, that is), parties are innocent until proven otherwise. Parties ruled guilty will be named as relevant to the story.

Op-Ed Content

Clearly labeled as such. All views and opinions are my own.

Oxford comma

No. See AP Stylebook.

Plagiarism

Unacceptable. All sources will be properly quoted and linked, as applicable.


We have our little square inch of principle and we are standing on it.

Ben Bradlee, Washington Post