Introduction

Content staff at WayneDupree.com are held to the highest standards of ethics and professionalism. These people include journalists, content curators and video producers as well as commentators, editors, and all other employees, contributors, or contractors. These ethical and editorial rules are meant to help content staff make news products that our audience can trust. These standards are also being made public so that the public can know them and hold us to them.

It’s bad for us if our audience doesn’t trust the content we make. They won’t keep reading our content for very long. And if the content we make isn’t true, useful, instructive, or wholesome, our media company can’t be justified by being here. This means that the WayneDupree.com wants its content staff to not only keep, but also build, their readers and viewers’ trust. They should do this by producing content that meets the standards in this document.

Committed To Telling The Truth
  • Our first value as a company is being honest. We should be truthful, accurate, truthful, and honest with each other. We should also be honest with ourselves. We should not change or make up facts, images, sounds, or data.
  • We should give the right context for all of our reporting.
  • In our news stories, we should look for people who have different perspectives on the subject we’re reporting on.
  • The sources we use should be trustworthy. If we can, we should tell our audience who and what our sources are, what motivations our sources might have, and any rules people might have set for giving us information. As soon as we aren’t sure about something, we should leave it out or say it hasn’t been proven.
  • We should fix mistakes quickly, completely, and make them clear. If we write something, we should make it easy for our audience to point out things that are wrong.
  • Reports that are critical of people or groups should give them a chance to respond. We should make a reasonable effort to get in touch with them.
  • We should be very clear when we write about facts and opinions.
  • WayneDupree.com focuses on topics that people from all kinds of backgrounds can relate to. In our writing, we should try to be clear and to write in a way that most people can understand.
Why We Do What We Do
  • For us, it is very important to be honest about our beliefs and how they might affect our coverage priorities. As a values-based news organization, this is very important. We think that we should be honest about the values we have, rather than hide behind a facade of “unbiased” reporting. This is what we believe.
  • WayneDupree.com may choose to write stories that fill in gaps in coverage at established media outlets. This is because the purpose of our website was founded in the context of an established media that is mostly politically liberal.
  • Editorially, WayneDupree.com stands by traditional Christian values that are found in the Bible. It’s important to have these beliefs: that everyone is born sinful, that Christ is the only one who can save us, that every human life is important, that marriage is between one man and one woman, and that racism is wrong in any form. We are mostly conservative on most issues, like abortion, national defense, small government, same-sex marriage, tax policy, and individual freedom.
  • We want our news coverage to be based on facts, not opinions, but content staff are welcome to write commentary or other types of articles that are clearly marked as opinion. Every person has their own thoughts, and we think that our content staff should be honest about their thoughts in the right place.
  • Our content staff can say what they think on their own social media accounts, as long as they follow our rules for social media. If you want to know more, check out the section on Social Media Use by Staff and Content staff for more.
  • We want our content staff to share their thoughts on journalism issues, advocate for free information, and be part of the conversation about important topics in the field.
  • Our content staff, salespeople, and executives should work to make sure that advertisers, sponsors, and contributors don’t have any say in editorial content, unless the content is marked as sponsored content.
  • We want content staff to get involved in the community, politics, and the issues we write about. When these involvements are relevant, we should say so in our coverage.
  • Even though our organization has a stake in the issues we cover, we will report the facts in an objective way.
Who We Hire And Why
  • There are a lot of different ways to tell a story, and we think it’s important to look at them all.
  • We should look for a wide range of candidates for all jobs, but we should always try to hire the best person.
  • Staffers are encouraged to use a wide range of sources, both in specific stories and on the regular beat.
Our Attempts To Be Accurate
  • WayneDupree.com and all of it’s members work hard to make sure that it only publishes information that is true. There are many things we can do to make sure that what we read or hear is true: We should be skeptical of claims, challenge conventional wisdom, and check with experts in the field. We can also talk to other people who know a lot about the subject or look at documents to see if the information is true. We should check the content, such as technical terms, statistics, and so on, against source documents, or make it clear who is giving the information to us. We might share parts of a story with a person who is a first-hand source or an outside expert to make sure they are true.
  • When we write something, we should be sure that it’s true. If it isn’t, we should correct it as soon as possible and be honest with our readers about how big the mistake was. See below for our Corrections Policy.
  • Content staff should ask the following questions when they want to make sure they’re getting the facts right.
    1. How can you tell?
    2. How can you be certain?
    3. Where is the proof?
    4. How does the source know?
    5. What is the documentation that goes with it?
  • All information that isn’t common knowledge or your own personal opinion should come from a source that can be trusted.
  • When possible, we should use original sources, like quotes from witnesses, documents, academic journals, databases, experts, and so on.
  • Social media posts can be used as an original source when you quote and mention that a statement was made by a person or a company on social media. Social media posts should not be used as a source of factual information without more proof that they are real. Images and videos that are shared on social media are more likely to be real, but they can also be faked and should be checked to make sure they are real.
  • Other News Organizations: WayneDupree.com disagrees with a so-called agency Newsguard, which calls itself a “Internet Trust Tool.” We do, however, recognize that there are times when third-party assessments of news sources, especially those that only exist online, are needed. People who have a “green check” from Newsguard are used as sources by WayneDupree.com unless the information from another source is credible and can’t be found anywhere else. To use those sources (which should be very rare), a senior editor must give the go-ahead, and the WayneDupree.com must explain why the source doesn’t have a green check and why it’s still being used.
  • If we use written, video, or audio excerpts from news reports, books, magazines, social media posts, or other media, we should give credit and link to the source where possible. This way, our readers can easily find our sources. Not all sources are good sources. Wikipedia and other websites that are written by people are not good sources.
  • Ideally, if we have the resources, other news organizations’ stories can be a signal that we should look for and confirm facts about a story on our own. In this case, we don’t need to give credit to facts that we have found on our own.
  • However, if we don’t have enough money and a credible source is reporting, we will exercise the following options:
    • In the title and in the text, we should make it clear that we haven’t independently checked the facts that were found by a single trustworthy source, but we still want to include them. Report: The Mayor used public money to buy a car for himself.
    • As always, we should give credit where credit is due. If there are a lot of credible sources who have independently confirmed the facts, we can report them without qualifying language.
  • Content staff should be accountable for the accuracy of all information they report, so they should use an accuracy checklist before they put their work online. People who make content should tell their supervisor if they have doubts about the accuracy of information or think there is a good chance the information would be questioned. They should also mark stories as needing a fact check.
  • There are times when it is in the public’s best interest to tell a story about something that we aren’t sure about. If this is the case, we should name our sources and write our stories carefully to avoid spreading false rumors.
  • Content staff may read parts of stories to people who can help them check facts or make sure they know how to do things. But they should not read full stories to sources before they are published, and they should make it clear to the sources that they are only checking facts, not giving them the chance to change the writing or the way the story is told.
Original Work
  • When we quote someone’s exact words, we should put quotation marks around them and give them credit, like they did.
  • If we use news releases as sources, we should cite them and quote them if we use their words in full.
  • In stories where we use a lot of material from our archives or from the previous work of an author, we should say that the material has been used before.
  • This is even true when we get basic facts about the war from another source. “World War II came to an end with Allied victories over Germany and Japan,” for example. We should use different words than the source materials.
  • Use facts from an original source of reporting when you can. If the source is digital, you should give the source’s name and give the reader a link to the original source.
  • Ideally, if we have enough money and time, we should gather and confirm facts ourselves. In this case, we wouldn’t have to give credit to another group. Even in this case, though, we should still give credit to another news source if it broke an original story.
  • If this information isn’t new or interesting (like dictionary definitions, historical summaries, etc.), we don’t need to name the source. We can, however, include a link to the source as a resource for our readers.
  • If our content creators want to avoid plagiarism, they should give credit to the author, link to the source, and put quotation marks on the text they paste into their notes.
  • When the situation calls for it, our editors may use plagiarism-detection software to make sure that the work we put out isn’t stolen.
  • If plagiarism-detection software isn’t available, our editors may do some Web searches of unique parts of a story to see if they came from another source.
  • WayneDupree.com considers plagiarism to be a very serious crime and fraud. All of the time, WayneDupree.com considers plagiarism to be grounds for discipline, up to and including immediate termination of employment or a written contract.
We Do Not Tolerate Hate Speech/Promote Hate Speech
  • When we report on hate speech and other actions, we usually include the original offensive words, but we don’t include obscenities in our stories (see the section on Obscenities below). In some cases, we may decide not to include the original offensive word because we think it’s best not to.
  • This means that we shouldn’t write anything on WayneDupree.com that is racist or makes a person or group of people seem bad or unworthy of respect as human beings made in God’s image.
  • This isn’t the only time we can use language that would be seen as disrespectful in other situations. We can use strong language to describe behavior that is cruel, vicious, or inhumane.
  • We should never post anything that makes people want to hurt each other.
  • We, on the other hand, don’t like laws made by local, national, or international governments to stop “hate speech.” We believe that free speech is an important part of a free society.
How We Correct Mistakes/Fact-Checked
  • As soon as possible, WayneDupree.com wants to let its readers know when there is an error in the story, how big it is, and what the correct answer is. People who write short news summaries and long feature pieces will always be honest and open about their mistakes.
  • Everyone in our group should tell our editorial team if they think we’ve made a mistake in our reporting. Content creators who point out a mistake in their own work are encouraged and praised by us.
  • First, the correct information should be made clear. Second, The information that was wrong before has been changed. Third, at the time the update was made, standardized language should be used in the correction. It should not have any extraneous language, and it should have a serious tone.
  • At the bottom of the story in question, corrections should be shown, unless the incorrect information is thought to have had a big impact on the story as a whole, in which case the correction should be shown at the top.
  • We should point out that articles and commentary have been changed if they need to be corrected or changed to make things clearer. In the case of small typos or mistakes in grammar or style, we should not correct them.
  • We should make a reasonable effort to show all corrections in the place where the wrong information was first shown (e.g., put corrections related to a story on that same story).
  • If we make a mistake in a social media post, we should put up a corrected version and say that the new post is a fix. In this case, we should link to and allow the original post to stay up if it is possible to correct it and add a link. If it isn’t possible to make changes, we should delete the original post and put a screenshot of the wrong one on the correct one.
  • An apology should be made at the start of the story when there are problems that can’t be fixed or solved. The apology should be clear about the problems and how they can’t be fixed. Every mistake should be mentioned in the retraction, as well as what is correct. In some cases, the whole thing that isn’t right could stay where it is if it’s needed. Usually, the content would be replaced with a detailed explanation of why it was wrong. Similar to corrections, retractions should be taken very seriously and should take full responsibility, just like they do for corrections.