As journalists, we seek the truth and strive to present a responsible and fair glimpse of the world. The newspaper is our powerful vehicle, and we endeavor to face the public with respect and candor.
Our power must be used responsibly. Our notebooks and cameras are tickets into people’s lives, sacred worlds and complex institutions.
Our job is to intensely scrutinize the activities of others as watchdogs that challenge authority and give voice to the voiceless. Our own actions should withstand equally intense scrutiny. We should be transparent.
Transparency is won through accuracy, compassion, intellectual honesty and an introspective mission to convey complete, contextual views of our world. When we are transparent, we conduct our professional lives as if all our colleagues and our readers are watching over our shoulders.
Our goal is to begin and end each day with a primary obligation to the public’s right to know.
With every ethical scar, we threaten a delicate relationship with readers. Ethical breaches violate hard-earned trust and shatter our credibility.
To properly understand and reflect the community, we must live thoroughly and wholeheartedly in it. The constant tension of demanding a better society, while still living in it, is an obligation of a passionate and compassionate journalist. We should be independent, without being detached.
Ethics is the constant process of examining and drawing these lines. It is a communal effort, and we should hold each other accountable in the protection of our values. These values must come through a discussion with our conscience, our colleagues and our leaders, both for the public interest and our own professional education.
NEWS GATHERING: ACCURACY, FAIRNESS AND SOURCING
Nailing our stories can be as simple as phoning three people – or as grueling as spending months chiseling away the nonessential, the rumor, the red herrings.
Our aim is to deliver the facts with precision and context.
We believe in getting not only both sides, but “all” sides.
The best stories are multi-sourced. Facts are triple-checked. Issues are balanced with diverse views and sources.
They are, simply, as complete as possible.
The Daily Cyprus expects the information in its pages to be accurately attributed. Anonymous sources are a last resort. In the public interest, however, anonymous sourcing can be a vital tool to exposing hidden truths while protecting those who may be harmed for reporting them.
The use of anonymous or confidential sources in a story must be approved by the Managing Editor/News or the Editor. Reporters must be able to characterize the source’s accessibility to the information and the source’s credibility, and will be expected to disclose the source’s identity to editors.
Before an anonymous source is used, great weight should be given to whether the source’s information could or should be substantiated by other sources. We should ask ourselves whether the source’s information serves a personal agenda that overrides the greater public interest.
We should disclose to readers our sourcing techniques when writing stories without traditional styles of attribution.
When an anonymous source is used, a reason, if possible, should be cited in the story for protecting the source’s identity (fear of job loss, fear for safety, etc.).
Plagiarism and Originality
Plagiarism is the act of stealing work – whether it is writing, reporting or photography – and passing it off as one’s own.
Attribution is crucial. Proper credit is necessary if we can’t independently verify the information.
Acts of plagiarism or fabrication announce to the world that the writer did not have the honesty, skill, savvy or energy to do the work that someone else performed. Information, quotes and passages from another publication must be attributed.
Daily Cyprus news photography must be genuine in every way. Photographs must not be staged or posed. They must not be altered, barring exceptional circumstances, and then only with approval of the Managing Editor/Presentation, the Managing Editor/News and/or the Editor, and with full disclosure to readers.
Nothing should be added to or omitted from scenes, and only traditional adjustments (such as cropping, dodging, burning, contrast and saturation) are acceptable. If colorizing techniques are used, the practice should be disclosed.
The newspaper’s intervention in a photograph, such as in an illustration, should be unmistakable to the reader. Readers should understand our role in arranging portraits, especially in fashion or home-design shots and other interpretive photography.
Stories should not be shown to sources or people outside the newsroom prior to publication.
However, it is sometimes acceptable to allow a source to review portions of stories for purposes of accuracy. For example, an engineer might be sought to review a technically descriptive passage in an environmental story that details how sewer piping allows toxic chemicals to flow into public waters.
Such exceptions should be approved beforehand by the Managing Editor/News.
We make mistakes. Correcting them promptly is vital to our credibility.
When an error is discovered – whether it is detected by a member of the public or a staff member – it should be discussed immediately with your supervisor and corrected as soon as possible.
If there is a dispute over whether something is incorrect, a supervisor should be consulted to resolve it. Correction forms should be filled out and turned in to your supervisor.
When significant inaccuracies are committed by an editorial employee, or a pattern of errors in stories is detected, a department head or above should be informed of the problem immediately.
We should be honest in carrying out all of our work. We should clearly identify ourselves in all situations.
If deception might be necessary to obtain critical information, it must be approved in advance by The Editor or Managing Editor/News. The information sought must be vital to the public interest and all other approaches to obtaining the same information without using deception must be exhausted.
At the heart of credible journalism is independence from the subjects we cover.
If and when Post editorial employees have a personal connection to a story or potential story, or anticipate such a personal connection, that connection should be fully and immediately disclosed to a department head or other senior editor.
Daily Cyprus editorial employees should not engage in activities that openly or discreetly bring advantages or special favours to themselves, their families or friends as a result of Post employment.
Post employees should avoid engaging in professional activities that could create even an appearance of a conflict of interest or suggest that:
- An employee made financial gains by acting on information gathered through his or her work at The Post and acted before the information was made public
- A story was written in order to influence a company’s stock price
- An employee is so deeply invested in a stock or the market generally that his reporting is biased
- A reporter or editor is trading favour in exchange for stock tips or the opportunity to invest in a company early on