Editorial Policy Guidelines
The character and philosophy of the WashingtonNewsZ’s news and information are shaped by the editorial guidelines and objectives outlined below. These have been discussed and comprise the broad rules governing all editorial content in our media platforms.
Divided into four parts, they deal with broad and specific issues of policy, professional, operational and administrative guidelines as well as journalistic conduct in the sourcing and compilation of news, features, documentaries as well as editorials and commentaries.
While placing obligations on the Group and every member of the editorial staff, they require the unmitigated personal and philosophical commitment of all editorial executives and staff.
The Board of WashingtonNewsZ’s Editorial Committee are mandated to meet regularly to monitor progress in the achievement of these objectives and the policy guidelines as established and required by both the Group’s Board.
We believes its news and information outlets have a vital role to play in the development of ideal community. This belief is based on the acknowledged responsibilities and influential power of a free Press in a modern society.
Freedom of expression the birthright of all
It is a fundamental constitutional right to have the freedom of opinion and expression. This includes the right to hold, receive and impart opinions. The press shall, to this end, have the right to report and publish freely and the right to be accorded the fullest possible facilities for access to public information. Freedom of the press shall mean and include that freedom from restraint which is essential to enable proprietors, editors and journalists of our publications to advance the public interest by publishing facts and opinions without which any democratic society cannot develop, progress or make responsible judgment.
The basic principle to be upheld is that the freedom of the press is indivisible from and subject to the same rights and duties as that of the individual and rests on the public’s fundamental right to be informed and to freely receive and disseminate opinions.
Investigative journalism is an integral part of journalism and the only means of ensuring a corrupt-free society and shall be practised without fear or favour.
Code of Practice
Editors are responsible for the use of material submitted by journalists employed by The WashingtonNewsZ. They should also satisfy themselves as far as possible that material contributed by non-staff members was obtained in accordance with this code.
– REPORTING NEWS
– FACT AND OPINION
In circumstances where complete confidentiality is assumed as a condition of obtaining the story, that situation needs to be respected and considered according to the existing legal framework. In general, journalists have a moral obligation to protect confidential sources of information.
Obscenity, taste and tone in reporting
The media should not publish anything that is obscene, vulgar or offensive to public good taste. A story, photograph or drawing/cartoon of questionable taste should have significant news value to justify its usage. Generally, what is in good taste is to be determined by the prevailing social norms.
In general, the media should avoid prejudicial or pejorative references to a person’s race, tribe, clan, religion, sex or sexual orientation or to any physical or mental illness, handicap or political orientation. These details should be eschewed unless they are germane to the story. Everyone should be accorded equal treatment as news subjects or sources and journalists should not deliberately deny the right of any group to exposure in the media.
The public’s right to know often needs to be weighed vis-à-vis the privacy rights of people in the news. Intrusion and inquiries into an individual’s private life without the person’s consent are not generally acceptable unless public interest is indisputably involved. Public interest must itself be legitimate and not merely based upon prurient or morbid curiosity. Things concerning a person’s home, family, religion, tribe, health, sexuality or sexual orientation, personal life and private affairs are covered by the concept of privacy excepting where these impinge or can reasonably be presumed to impinge upon the public well being.
The editor shall assume responsibility for all matter, including advertisements, published in the print media or broadcast on radio or television.