Negotiamini Media
Truth is Powerful

Ethics Policy

Negotiamini Media is fully committed to ethical publication practice.

  • We encourage journalists to express opinions in their news coverage, but their facts must be accurate.
  • Our journalists, salespeople and executives work to ensure that advertisers, sponsors and contributors have no influence over editorial content.
  • We encourage involvement in the community, politics and the issues we cover, but we disclose these involvements in our coverage.

Bombs and Other Threats

  • We will consult with local officials to determine whether a bomb threat is credible before we publish a story, but we will reserve the right to publish regardless of what officials say.

Concealing Identity

  • We have a blanket ban on undercover reporting in the belief that deception is never appropriate in newsgathering, and other ways can always be found to get the story.

Confidential Sources

  • We recognize that many sources cannot talk to us freely. We grant confidentiality if we think the source has a good reason. We will use information and quotes from unnamed sources we consider reliable.

Children: Coverage, Images, and Interviews

  • We avoid identifying — by name or photo — children who are connected with a crime as perpetrators, victims or witnesses.

Hostage Situations

  • We will cooperate with authorities’ recommendations in covering hostage situations.

Interviewing

  • Our organization never pays for interviews.
  • Our organization will provide interview subjects with a general idea of our questions in advance.
  • Articles and reports must state the method of interviewing (i.e., whether it was in person, by telephone, video, Skype or email) regardless of the situation or context.

Sources: Reliability and Attribution

  • We may use sources with a conflict of interest in stories, but details that signal the conflict of interest should be included (e.g. a scientist who conducted a study about a drug’s effectiveness when the study was funded by the manufacturer).
  • We include source attribution in online stories themselves as well as links, if available, that provide additional information.

Accuracy

  • Our staff members must take responsibility for the accuracy of all information that we publish, using an accuracy checklist before publication.
  • We should not publish rumors or other information we have not verified.
  • Reporters should fact-check before publication but should not preview any of the actual text of a story with sources.

Balance and Fairness

  • To ensure fairness, we believe in covering not only the most powerful voices on an issue, but also those who are not normally heard (e.g. in election coverage, mainstream and non-mainstream candidates).
  • If an issue generates debate — even if one perspective on the issue has been credibly established as fact — we will seek out and report dissenting views in a proportionate way.

Online Commenting

  • We allow commenting only with a verified identity, such as a Facebook login.

Quotations

  • We will not alter quotes in any way.

Withholding Names

  • We do not publish names of sexual assault victims unless they agree to speak on the record.
  • In breaking news stories, we do not publish the names of dead people until authorities have notified their families and released the names.
  • We withhold the names of mass killers to deny them the attention they appear to seek. Other than names, we cover other details of these crimes based on their newsworthiness.
  • We will consider potential harm to sources facing intolerance in their societies before naming them in stories.

Financial Interests

  • Our journalists should immediately disclose to a supervisor any interests they have in a company they are asked to cover. Supervisors should consider putting another journalist on the story.

Community Activities

  • Our journalists should disclose community involvements, particularly those involving topics they might cover, both in general statements we will publish on our website and in stories relating to their involvements.
  • We will provide factual coverage in a neutral voice despite our organization’s involvement in the issues we cover. We will disclose our affiliation for transparency reasons, but the affiliation should not be evident from a promotional voice or content.

Gifts, Free Travel and Other Perks

  • Our journalists should accept no gifts from subjects or potential subjects of our coverage. If gifts sent to journalists cannot be returned, we should donate them to charity.

Personal Ethics Statements by Staff

  • Our journalists should work precisely to our company ethics and standards; personal ethics statements are, therefore, not necessary.

Plagiarism and Attribution

  • We must always attribute all sources by name and, if the source is digital, by linking to the original source.

Political Activities by Staff

  • Our journalists should avoid coverage of an issue or campaign if a family member’s political involvement would call into question the integrity of a journalist’s coverage. If avoiding such a family conflict is impossible, we will disclose the family member’s involvement in related coverage.
  • Our journalists should disclose community and political involvements, particularly those involving topics they might cover, both in general statements we will publish on our website and in stories relating to their involvement.

Social Networks

  • We encourage staff members to retweet, reblog, share and otherwise pass along things they find interesting on social media. We trust them to provide the context where appropriate.
  • Staff members should note in their social media profiles that retweets or shares are not endorsements.
  • Staff members should always identify themselves in social media profiles, and, if they are using the profile for professional purposes, they should identify themselves as working for our organization.

Awards and Contests

  • We will accept awards only from journalistic organizations, with judges who are journalists.

Censorship

  • We will allow a censor to change our material if we’re convinced there’s a good reason to do so.

Corrections

  • If a mistake is made in a social media post, we will delete the original post and publish a corrected version with an indication that the new post is a correction.
  • We will show all changes that have been made to online stories if they involve corrections or rephrasing to fix unclear material.

Freelance Work by Employees

  • We permit freelancing by full-time employees, but they must receive explicit permission to do so from their direct manager before undertaking such work.

Handling and protection of freelancers and “fixers”

  • We will publicly credit the work of freelancers, fixers and translators.

Removing Archived Work

  • We will correct any errors we learn of in our archived content and note the corrections.

Reporting On Your Organization

  • We will follow the same process we use for covering any other organization when our organization has done something newsworthy. We will assign a reporter, and let that reporter contact sources within our organization. The story will then be edited like any other; senior executives should not see the story before it is published or broadcast.

Robot journalism

  • We will publish a statement with all automatically produced stories, explaining that they are the work of robot journalism.

Diversity

  • We will seek diverse pools of candidates for all jobs, but will always seek to hire the most qualified candidate.

Hate Speech

  • We report on hate speech and actions but include original offensive expressions only when specifically necessary for audience understanding of the case.

Mental Health and Suicide

  • We will cover mental health and suicide as broad public health issues as consistently as we cover other health matters.
  • We will not detail specific means of suicide in news stories or obituaries.
  • We will not use sensational headlines on stories about suicide.
  • We will not use graphic images on stories about suicide.
  • We will opt for everyday images of a person who dies by suicide (such as a school photo) instead of images of people grieving.
  • We will Include contact information for resources for people in mental health crises. (e.g. “The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline in the United States is available 24 hours a day at 800-273-8255.)
  • We will not include the method used in a suicide.

Naming suspects

  • We will not name criminal suspects until charges have been filed.
  • We will not name juvenile suspects in criminal cases.

Obscenities

  • We will replace obscenities, vulgarities and slurs with a descriptor (e.g. “an anti-gay slur”).

Privacy

  • We respect individuals’ right to privacy and do not use content we discover online from private individuals without receiving their permission.

Race and Gender

  • We will seek out people in the groups we cover to gain perspective on our coverage and terminology.
  • We will use racial, ethnic, gender and sexuality identifiers when specifically germane to a story but not otherwise.
  • We will Identify transgender people by the gender they express publicly.

Sensational Material

  • We will refrain from running sensitive material specifically or solely for the revenue purposes, such as increased digital traffic.

Audio

  • Audio cuts of newsmakers that we broadcast must be completely faithful to the original. Verbal stumbles by the speaker may not be edited out.
  • Our journalists may never combine sound from different sources in such a way as to create an audio scene that never happened.

Data Journalism

  • We will never pay for data, as it may be tainted by financial motives.
  • In collaborative projects, we insist that all parties are clear on shared ethics, values and roles.
  • We will make original data available for download when it is not covered by a usage agreement that bars such public posting. Any usage agreement will be disclosed publicly.
  • We will secure data to the best extent possible to prevent hacking.

Interactives

  • We will structure our interactives so there is only one way in, to give all users a consistent experience.

Photo and Video

  • When documenting private or traumatic moments, we will seek permission from subjects before shooting photos or video.
  • We will use drones to capture images in public areas only.
  • We will not ask subjects to pose or to re-enact an event.
  • We will edit or manipulate images only if doing so doesn’t affect the news content of the image or the meaning viewers will make from it.

User-Generated Content

  • We will not distribute UGC content unless we’re certain we have the rights to do so. The only exception might be an urgent situation where a rights-holder cannot be found.
  • If we cannot find the rights-holder in an urgent situation and use the UGC, we will make continued efforts afterward to locate and reach an agreement with the rights-holder.

Virtual Reality Journalism

  • Producers should never stage-manage a VR production.

Accepting money

  • Our funder(s) will not be able to see our stories before publication.

Clickbait and Metrics

  • We will accurately reflect the content of related stories in headlines and social media posts.
  • We will not use metric considerations in determining what we cover and how we place stories.

News and Advertising

  • We do not allow advertisements for certain types of products.
  • We do not allow advertisers to have a say in the selection or content of stories and photos.
  • We have specific, consistent definitions of terms like “Advertisement,” “Sponsored Content” and “Message from …” and disclose them to our readers.

Prepared using the Online News Association’s Build-Your-Own Ethics Code project.

Create your own at https://ethics.journalists.org

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