Ethical Conduct Standards

We recognize that our independence and integrity are of the highest importance. Employees and other representatives of Injustice Watch are provided the following guidelines as part of the employee handbook.

Injustice Watch employees and representatives:

  • Are expected to follow all laws, and to act in legal and ethical ways at all times, and are expected to be mindful at all times of the need to conduct themselves ethically.
  •  Are expected to ensure that any product of their work is accurate, and a fair representation of their reporting.
  • Should not provide gifts of value or inducements to sources or potential sources. It is improper to pay for information. What constitutes an “inducement” is not always clear: It is acceptable to take a source to lunch, for example.  But Injustice Watch representatives are expected to practice caution in any situation that could create the appearance of having paid for information. If in doubt, ask the Executive Directors.
  • Should not accept anything of value from sources.
  • Should not misrepresent themselves.
  • Should take care not to discuss unpublished work or research outside of the initiative. This applies to research being done by other members of the team, as well as one’s own work.  It is generally inappropriate to discuss the topics of research, or the substance of that research, with friends or family; but especially in public settings or on forms of social media.
  • Should not plagiarize, or engage in any other conduct that falls short of professional standards.

Professional news organizations generally bar participation in outside activities, to avoid even the appearance of conflicts of interest that can undercut the journalism. We recognize that an absolutely ban can be overbroad, and too restrictive.  As a result, Injustice Watch will follow the following policy: All outside activities are to be reported to the executive directors, and Injustice Watch representatives will be prohibited from being involved in any aspect of reporting on subject matters that may represent actual or potential conflicts.

At all times, Injustice Watch representatives should consult with the executive directors. Further guidance is available from the SPJ Code of Conduct.