Sharing Bwog’s Standards And Practices Policy
In the interest of full disclosure, Bwog has reformulated our Standards and Practices. As a publication we aim to honestly report events without bias or judgment and these new practices reflect that aim. These standards are formed with consideration given heavily to and adapted from the Society of Professional Journalists’ Code of Ethics, a group dedicated to free media and its own critical self-regulation. As always, the comments section is meant to act as a forum for discussion on these policies and our decision to release them to our readership.
Taylor Grasdalen, Editor in Chief
1. Seek truth and report it.
- Test and research all sources’ information.
- Never misrepresent or distort through story, quotation, or image.
- Never plagiarize.
- Tell the story of the diversity and magnitude of the human experience boldly, even when it is unpopular to do so.
- Examine your own cultural values and avoid imposing those values on others.
- Avoid stereotyping by race, gender, age, religion, ethnicity, geography, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, or social status.
- Support the open exchange of views, even views you find repugnant.
- Give voice to the voiceless; official and unofficial sources of information can be equally valid.
- Distinguish between advocacy and news reporting. Analysis and commentary should be labeled and not misrepresent context.
2. Minimize harm.
- Show compassion for those who may be affected adversely by news coverage. Use special sensitivity when dealing with inexperienced sources or subjects.
- Be sensitive when seeking or using interviews or photographs of those affected by grief, or involved in sensitive or tragic issues.
- Recognize that gathering and reporting information may cause harm or discomfort.
- Pursuit of the news is not a license for arrogance.
- Recognize that private people have a greater right to control information about themselves than do administrators and those seeking power, influence, or attention.
- Only an overriding public need can justify intrusion into anyone’s privacy.
- Show good taste. Avoid pandering to lurid curiosity.
- Defer to Editorial Board (Editor in Chief, Managing Editor, Internal Editor) when in question.
3. Act independently.
- Research proactively and prolifically, though all work published on Bwog must first be drafted and edited by a second individual. Exception given to breaking news, which may be immediately published at the allowance of the Editorial Board.
- Avoid conflicts of interest, real or perceived.
- Remain free of associations and activities that may compromise integrity or damage credibility.
- Disclose unavoidable conflicts.
- Be vigilant and courageous about holding those with power accountable.
4. Be accountable.
- The majority of work to be published on Bwog must be accredited to an author. Exception given to Bwoglines and articles otherwise simple notifications, as well as anything your parents or future employers shouldn’t find.
- Admit mistakes and correct them promptly.
- Abide by the same high standards to which we hold others.