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HPM Ethics Policy NOV 2011

HPM Ethics Policy NOV 2011

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Published by: jeremybernfeld on Nov 21, 2011
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11/21/2011

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Harvest Public Media
Local Journalism Center
 
 
 
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Harvest Public Media
Local Journalism Center
I.
 
Summary
Harvest Public Media’s
Code of Ethics and Practices closely adheres to a code adopted by NPR. Many sections of this
document are taken verbatim from NPR’s code. Additional material and inspiration for the NPR and
Harvest PublicMedia codes came from a number of sources, including The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times,Dow Jones, Society for Professional Journalists, American Society of Newspaper Editors, the CBC, CNN, PRNDI,the Poynter Institute, and several journalism experts.
II.
 
Statement of Purpose: Credibility
As a news organization we are always testing and questioning thecredibility of others. We have to stand that test ourselves.The purpose of having a code of ethics and practices is to protect thecredibility of Harvest Public Media by ensuring high standards of honesty,integrity, impartiality and conduct of staff. We accomplish this by thefollowing:a)
 
articulating the ethical standards we observe in pursuing andpresenting stories, b)
 
setting rules and policies that prevent conflicts of interest,c)
 
establishing guidelines for outside work and activities that mayreflect on Harvest Public Media, andd)
 
establishing policies and procedures to ensure that the activitiesof Harvest Public Media that fall outside journalism
 — 
corporateunderwriting, foundation funding, marketing and promotionalactivities
 — 
do not jeopardize our journalistic independence or involve Harvest Public Media reporters,editors, hosts or producers in activities inappropriate to their role as journalists.
III.
 
Who and What This Code Covers
This code covers everyone who works for Harvest Public Media in a journalistic capacity. The code also applies tomaterial provided to Harvest Public Media by independent producers and freelance reporters. Harvest Public Mediaexpects its outside contributors to be free of conflicts of interest on stories they cover, to be fair and accurate, and topursue stories in a manner consistent with the ethical journalism principles stated in this code.
Because contributors in this category are not employees of Harvest Public Media’s partner stations, the remedy
fordealing with a conflict of interest or other violation of the principles of this code is rejection of the offered material aswell as any future story proposals similarly affected by the conflict. As with Harvest Public Media journalists, outsidecontributors must disclose potential conflicts of interest when they accept an assignment or make a story pitch, andHarvest Public Media editors must make sufficient inquiries of those persons to satisfy themselves that thecontributors have complied with this code.
Partner stations
 
KCUR: Kansas City, Mo(lead station)
 
KBIA: Columbia, Mo.
 
Kansas Public Radio:Lawrence, Kan.
 
Iowa Public Radio: DesMoines, Iowa
 
NET: Lincoln, NE
 
High Plains PublicRadio: Garden City,Kan.
 
 
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Interns and volunteers will adhere to the provisions of this code for the duration of their time at Harvest PublicMedia.The code applies to all platforms for Harvest Public Media content, including online and print, and The HarvestNetwork.
IV.
 
Statement of Principles
Our coverage must be fair, unbiased, accurate, complete and honest. As Harvest Public Media journalists, we areexpected to conduct ourselves in a manner that leaves no question about our independence and fairness. We musttreat the people we cover and our listeners with respect.
1)
 
Fairness means that we present all important views on a subject
 — 
and treat them even-handedly. Thisrange of views may be encompassed in a single story on a controversial topic, or it may play out over a bodyof coverage or series of commentaries. But at all times the commitment to presenting all important viewsmust be conscious and affirmative, and it must be timely if it is being accomplished over the course of morethan one story.
2)
 
Unbiased means that we separate our personal opinions
 — 
such as political ideology
 — 
from the subjectswe are covering. We do not approach any coverage with overt or hidden agendas.
3)
 
Accuracy means that each day we make rigorous efforts at all levels of the newsgathering process to ensureour facts are not only right but also presented in the correct context. We make every possible effort toensure commentaries are correct in assertions of fact.
4)
 
We attempt to verify what our sources and the officials we interview tell us when the material involved isargumentative or capable of different interpretations. We are skeptical of all facts gathered and report themonly when we are reasonably satisfied of their accuracy. We guard against errors of omission that cause astory to misinform our listeners by failing to be complete. We make sure that our language accuratelydescribes the facts and does not imply a fact we have not confirmed.
5)
 
Honesty means we do not deceive the people or institutions we cover about our identity or intentions, andwe do not deceive our listeners. We do not deceive our listeners by presenting the work of others as ourown (plagiarism), by cutting interviews in ways that distort their meaning, or by manipulating audio in a waythat distorts its meaning, how it was obtained or when it was obtained. The same standards apply to
photographs used on Harvest Public Media’s web site. Honesty means owning up publicly and quickly to
mistakes we make on air.
6)
 
Treating the people we cover and our listeners with respect means we recognize the diversity of the stateand region on which we report, and the diversity of interests, attitudes and experiences of our audience. Weapproach subjects in an open-minded, sensitive and civil way.
V.
 
Conflicts of Interest
A “conflict of interest”
occurs when private interests benefit from the influence or activities of a professional person ina position of trust. All of us are in positions of trust when it comes to both our audience and the people andinstitutions that we cover. Avoiding actual and apparent conflicts of interest inspires confidence in Harvest PublicMedia as an independent and fair news gathering organization.

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