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Ethics and Editorial Standards


  • Be honest, accurate, and truthful.
  • Provide accurate context for all reporting.
  • Seek out voices that can contribute important perspectives on the subject you’re writing.
  • Ensure that sources are reliable. When possible make clear to your audience who and what your sources are, what motivations your sources may have and any conditions people have set for giving you information unless there is a potential or creditable threat preventing such. When unsure of information, leave it out or make clear it has not been corroborated.
  • Correct errors quickly, completely, and visibly. Make it easy for your audience to bring errors to your attention.
  • Clearly distinguish fact from opinion in all content.

Conflicts of interest

  • Avoid any conflict of interest that undermines your ability to report fairly. Disclose to your audience any unavoidable conflicts or other situational factors that may validly affect their judgment of your credibility.
  • We do not allow people to make us dishonestly skew us reporting.
  • We do not allow the interests of advertisers or others funding your work to affect the integrity of your journalism.


  • While we may disagree with some of the subjects or non-christian theology we cover we consider how our work and its permanence may affect the subjects of your reporting, your community. This will not stop coverage of topics that are theologically and politically opposed to our Christian Conservative lens.

Professional Conduct

  • Don’t plagiarize or violate copyrights.
  • Keep promises to sources, readers and the community.
  • If you belong to a news organization, give all staff expectations, support and tools to maintain ethical standards.

Nature of our Journalism

  • We encourage journalists to express opinions in their news coverage, but their facts must be accurate.
  • Our reporters may express personal opinions in their own accounts on social networks.
  • We encourage our journalists to express opinions about journalism matters, advocating for freedom of information and joining the conversation within the profession about important issues.
  • 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 view any bomb threat in our community as newsworthy and will report it as quickly as possible.
  • We will not publish bomb threats if a request is made by responsible community officials.

Concealing Identity

  • We give our staffers free rein to go undercover or not to identify themselves in their reporting because we are an aggressive, investigative news organization and believe that only by not appearing to be journalists will we get access to material that would otherwise be hidden from the public.

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.
  • We always assume that government snoops, law enforcement or hackers might access our regular communication channels when we grant confidentiality to a source. We should use technology such as encryption software or “burner” cell phones to protect confidentiality.

Children: Coverage, Images and Interviews

  • We identify children who are connected with a crime as perpetrators, victims or witnesses only if the child’s identity is already widely known.
  • We do not require parental permission to photograph or interview children in breaking news situations.
  • We consider granting confidentiality if we’re covering a story about a sensitive issue that could cause a child to be stereotyped, judged unfairly or put in harm’s way, even if the child doesn’t request it.

Hostage Situations

  • We believe our primary responsibility in covering hostage situations is to our readers; we will carry any statements and imagery that we consider newsworthy and within our general guidelines (on gory material, etc.), whatever effect it has on the situation.


  • Our organization never pays for interviews.
  • Our organization will provide interview subjects with lists of questions in advance upon their request, but the source must make a strong case for justifying the request.
  • When reporting on an interview, we do not require our staff to state the type of interview (i.e., whether it was in person, by telephone, video, Skype or email.)

Sources: Reliability and Attribution

  • We use links, if available, for source attribution in online stories.
  • We include source attribution in online stories themselves as well as links, if available, that provide additional information.
  • We consistently include clear attributions throughout a story, even if something has been established as fact.


  • Our staff members should take reasonable steps to ensure the accuracy of the information that we publish and note our 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).
  • We will cover stories from a Christian Conservative lens and our work will result in a balance towards that view.

Online Commenting

  • We believe that all public commentary is worthwhile, and we do not edit or change online comments in any fashion.
  • We review every comment by every commenter.
  • We have a system that permits individuals to “flag” comments for potential problems, and we review those “flagged” comments in a systematic and timely fashion.
  • We permit comments on all articles.
  • We allow anonymous commenting.
  • We allow pseudonyms for commenting as long as a user has registered an account with us.


  • We will alter quotes in only to add context by using [] or identifying errors with {sic}.
  • We will allow separate phrases of a quote separated by ellipsis. (“I will go to war … but only if necessary,” the president said.)

Withholding Names

  • We do not publish names of sexual assault victims unless they agree to speak on the record.
  • We will consider potential harm to sources facing intolerance in their societies before naming them in stories.

Financial Interests

  • We will consider a disclosure page on our blog or website that lists our financial interests if we cover business or finance regularly.

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.

Gifts, Free Travel and Other Perks

  • Our journalists may accept free travel and other gifts if they are financially essential, but we should disclose those gifts in our reporting.
  • Our journalists should disclose any gifts they receive to their supervisors and discuss whether something needs to be returned, disclosed, paid for, donated to charity or handled in some other way that protects our integrity.
  • Our journalists may accept a small gift in cases where people are being kind and clearly not trying to influence us. Our gift policy does not require us to be rude; sometimes there’s a common-sense need to accept a small gift.

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 believe a link to a digital source is sometimes sufficient attribution; we need not always name the source in the text if the information is routine.
  • When we are using someone else’s exact words, we should use quotation marks and attribution.
  • When we use substantial material from our archives or from an author’s previous work in a current story, we should note that the material has been published before.
  • Basic facts may be taken from other sources without varying the wording.

Political Activities by Staff

  • We encourage our journalists to be involved in the community, politics and the issues we cover, but we will disclose these involvements in our coverage or bios.

Social Networks

  • Our journalists are free to express opinions on social media.
  • We encourage staff members to retweet, reblog, share and otherwise pass along things they find interesting on social media. We trust them to provide context where appropriate.

Awards and Contests

  • We will assess the nature of the contest and make a decision consistent with our overall contest principles if we win a contest we did not enter.


  • We will refuse any attempt to censor our material, accepting delay as the price for putting out exactly what we want.


  • We will show all changes that have been made to online stories if they involve corrections or rephrasing to fix unclear material.
  • We will post all of your corrections in a single corrections area.

Freelance Work by Employees

  • We allow part-time employees to perform freelance work without prior notice to direct managers.

Handling and protection of freelancers and “fixers”

  • We will publicly credit the work of freelancers, fixers and translators unless doing so poses risk of harm, such as threatening a person’s safety.

Removing Archived Work

  • We will note when the post was updated.
  • 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.

Ai journalism

  • We consider our computer processes to be proprietary. We take full responsibility for our content, including automatically produced content; for editorial and competitive reasons, we do not feel a need to publicize our entire process.
  • We will not disclose that we “tune” our software for certain purposes because it’s standard practice in our area; our human writers have long written kindly about children’s sports, local amateur theater, etc.


  • We will seek diverse pools of candidates for all jobs, but will always seek to hire the most qualified candidate and put qualifications above any EDI, SEL, or other communist policy.

Hate Speech

  • We oppose local, national or international laws to combat hate speech.

Mental Health and Suicide

  • We will cover individual events of suicide as news stories if they involve prominent figures or public means.
  • We will include the method used in a suicide.

Naming suspects

  • We will name criminal suspects if we have their identifications confirmed by sources we trust.


  • We will fully reflect the way sources speak, including their use of obscenities, vulgarities or slurs.
  • We will allow readers to use obscenities in their comments.


  • We view everything on social media and the Internet as fair game for journalists, and everyone knows it, even private individuals. We reserve the right to publish whatever we find online or from public sources.
  • We consider the standard for publishing material about private individuals who are thrust into the public eye as higher than that for public individuals.
  • We believe celebrities and public officials have no right to privacy, and all of their actions, whether in public or private, or in social media, are fair game for publishing.
  • We will voluntarily withhold information we have gathered when requested if we deem the individual’s request to be valid, based on our news judgment and professional standards.
  • We reserve the right to publish material that we have voluntarily withheld if we determine that the material has valid public interest or if we feel that the requesting party has deceived us as to his or her motives.
  • We do not hold back from interviewing individuals in traumatic situations (i.e., accidents, terror incidents, etc.), because the public’s right to know outweighs private individual’s rights. Also, if a private individual in such situations talks to us, that’s the person’s decision.

Race and Gender

  • We will use racial, ethnic, gender and sexuality identifiers in stories about protests or other stories when participants are all, or almost all, from one group — even if the situation isn’t directly related to their identities.

Sensational Material

  • We will run sensitive material that might be offensive to specific members of the audience after internal debate has demonstrated a clear public interest in and value from the publication.
  • We will run sensitive material when it reflects reality.
  • We will run sensitive material with stories without notes of warning.


  • Cuts and programs may be heavily edited and rearranged as needed, as long as there’s a disclosure the audio was edited, the meaning of statements remains the same after editing, and rearrangements of audio do not affect the original meaning.
  • We do not consider it necessary to identify person-in-the-street speakers by name.
  • Our journalists may mix sound from different sources as long as it gives a true picture of what happened (even if it was not all recorded at the same time).

Data Journalism

  • We believe that data is like raw footage and may be purchased if it cannot be obtained through other means.
  • In collaborative projects, we will not insist on shared values, when we believe the outcome would not be otherwise possible to achieve.
  • We will put all data in relevant context.
  • We will secure data to the best extent possible to prevent hacking.


  • We will allow a certain degree of poetic license in reconstructions or previews of events through infographics or animations; not every detail can be knowable for sure.

Photo and Video

  • If we believe we can provide help or mitigate harm by actively participating in a situation (rather than only documenting it), do so and then disclose your participation to your viewers.
  • We will use photos or videos from social media even if we cannot fully verify them, pointing out that they could not be verified.

User-Generated Content

  • We consider UGC an extension of our own journalism. We don’t run such material unless we’re sure it’s authentic.

Virtual Reality Journalism

  • Producers may stage-manage a VR production if that’s the only way to overcome technical obstacles.

Accepting money

  • Our funder(s) may see our stories before publication but may not alter content or veto publishing decisions.
  • Our funder(s) may influence special topics to be covered but have no say in stories pursued and how they are reported and written.
  • Our funder(s) will be used as sources in stories irrespective of their funding.
  • We will publicly disclose funding sources only if they are financing specific topics or reporting.

Clickbait and Metrics

  • We may aggressively court audiences who would be interested in our content, but we will not try to deceive people in headlines, social media posts or marketing.

News and Advertising

  • We do not allow advertisers to have a say in the selection or content of stories and photos.
  • We will allow advertising anywhere on our publication or site.
  • We will assist advertisers in creating advertising material.


  • We do not seek to expose a subject to hatred, ridicule, or contempt, or lower a subject in the esteem of their fellows, cause them to be shunned, or injure the subject in their business or calling with malice.
  • We do seek to provide our audience with facts and opinions that challenge and investigate stories that are religious and political in nature.
  • We believe public officials, current or former, must be held to a higher standard and are therefore a higher level of scrutiny and investigation when necessary for allowing constituents to make knowledgeable decisions when voting.
  • We believe as Christians we should challenge other Christians to become better members within the body of faith.
  • We believe in protected speech and the ability to question viewpoints and theological stances that are anti-christian in nature.
  • We write stories that may cover individuals, businesses, or organizations; who through our investigations, sources and reporting; may be the subject of protected speech, opinions, fair use, and facts that may provide information or intelligence leading the reader to challenge the current narrative of the story.
  • We provide as much publicly sourced (Governmental meetings, notes, publications and videos-open source information- public or free records provided or collected by Federal and state agencies- social media- etc.) information in our investigations and reporting to help corroborate and collaborate opinions and facts.

Copyright © 2024 The Federalist Press.

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