Pharos-Tribune

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October 12, 2005

Ethical Journalism

(Continued)



We will provide a regular opinion page with local editorials, plus local and national content reflecting a wide variety of views.

We will pursue diversity in news coverage and hiring practices.

We will defend the First Amendment rights of all citizens, vigorously pursue open meetings, open courts and access to public records. And we will maintain a keen, honest eye on government and other forces that may threaten the individual or the community.

NEWS DEPARTMENT GUIDELINES

Our newspapers’ reputation rests on credibility. Fairness and accuracy are the foundations of credibility.

Fairness & Accuracy: We will be accurate, fair and timely. At all times, we will set and meet high standards for quality reporting, writing, editing, photos, graphics and design. While we will always strive to be 100% accurate, we are human. When mistakes occur, corrections will be published promptly after their accuracy is determined. Memos from appropriate staffers will explain how the error occurred. This is not a punitive measure but rather seeks to determine how we can avoid repeating the error. Regardless who is at fault, every complaining party must get a response. When an issue involves two or more sides in conflict, all significant interests should be given an opportunity to respond. Fairness in stories requires completeness, relevance, leveling with the reader and straightforwardness ahead of flashiness. Integrity: We will not accept gifts that a reasonable person would perceive to be an enticement to get preferential treatment. For instance, accepting a ballpoint pen from a news sources is significantly different than accepting an expense-paid trip to the Bahamas . Remember, it’s not our intention but public perception that should be the determining factor. Ask if the action could be seen as a public benefit or for personal gain. If it leans toward the latter, avoid it. When in doubt, confer with your supervisor. We accept no free travel from businesses, governments, political parties or anyone else. All expense reports must be submitted immediately after a trip.

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