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Sunday, January 29, 2023

Editorial Guidelines

Editorial guidelines for People’s Pundit Daily (PPD), independent data journalism you can trust covering politics, the economy and markets. People’s Pundit Daily (PPD) adheres to the guidelines outlined by the Trust Project, an initiative to standardize signals of trustworthiness across the web.

For more information, visit the Trust Project’s website.

Bombs and Other Threats

We will consult with local officials to determine whether a bomb threat is credible before we publish a story, but we will reserve the right to publish regardless of what officials say.

Concealing Identity

We permit undercover reporting on a regular basis, as long as editors are informed in advance and have approved the project based on its news value.

Children: Coverage, Images and Interviews
  • We avoid identifying — by name or photo — children who are connected with a crime as perpetrators, victims or witnesses.
  • We identify children who are connected with a crime as perpetrators, victims or witnesses only if the child’s identity is already widely known.
  • Our journalists always obtain a parent’s permission before interviewing or photographing a child.
Hostage Situations
  • We will cooperate with authorities’ recommendations in covering hostage situations.
  • We will take authorities’ recommendations into account but use our own judgment.
  • Our organization never pays for interviews.
  • Our organization never permits interview subjects to review or revise their comments.
  • Our organization never provides interview subjects with lists of questions in advance.
  • Articles and reports must state the method of interviewing (i.e., whether it was in person, by telephone, video, Skype or email) regardless of the situation or context.
Sources: Reliability and Attribution
  • We refrain from quoting sources who have a conflict of interest relating to the story (e.g. a scientist who conducted a study about a drug’s effectiveness when the study was funded by the manufacturer). These sources may be used for background information, but their voices should not be included in stories.
  • We use links, if available, for source attribution in online stories.
  • We include source attribution in online stories themselves as well as links, if available, that provide additional information.
  • We consistently include clear attributions throughout a story, even if something has been established as fact.
  • We include attributions throughout a story in a chronological account.
  • Our staff members must take responsibility for the accuracy of all information that we publish, using an accuracy checklist before publication.
  • We should not publish rumors or other information we have not verified.
  • We include source attribution in online stories themselves as well as links, if available, that provide additional information.
  • Reporters may read parts of stories to sources in order to check facts or make sure they understand technical points and procedures. But they should not read full stories to sources before publication and should make clear to the sources that they are only checking facts, not providing an opportunity to change the writing or approach to the story.
Balance and Fairness
  • To ensure fairness, we believe in covering not only the most powerful voices on an issue, but also those who are not normally heard (e.g. in election coverage, mainstream and non-mainstream candidates).
  • We will be alert to situations where the most accessible spokesmen are at the extremes of issues, but most people are somewhere in the middle.
  • In breaking news situations, we will wait to publish or air a story until comments from key sides of an issue have been gathered.
Online Commenting
  • We edit comments to remove potentially libelous language or hate speech, as we define it, but we do not change spelling or grammatical errors.
  • We do not permit anonymous comments at all.
  • We require commenters to use their full and complete names and to give us their email addresses, and employ an automated response system that confirms the email addresses.
  • We permit comments on selected articles.
  • We will access and review the identity of a registered commenter only when subpoenaed by law enforcement.

See Commenting Rules & FAQs

  • We will clean up random utterances such as pauses, “um” or “you know” unless they materially alter the meaning.
  • We will allow separate phrases of a quote separated by attribution. (“I will go to war,” the president said. “But only if necessary.”)
Withholding Names
  • We do not publish names of sexual assault victims unless they agree to speak on the record.
  • In breaking news stories, we do not publish the names of dead people until authorities have notified their families and released the names.
  • We should always be careful about identifying kidnap victims if the person may be in danger.
  • We withhold the names of mass killers to deny them the attention they appear to seek. Other than names, we cover other details of these crimes based on their newsworthiness.
  • In covering active police or military operations, we will withhold such details as location or tactics planned, until after the operation, to avoid endangering police, troops or civilians who could be affected.
  • We will consider potential harm to sources facing intolerance in their societies before naming them in stories.
Awards and Contests

Generally, we will accept awards only from journalistic organizations, with judges who are journalists. However, in the rare event we win a contest we did not enter that is not from a journalistic organization, we will proceed as follows:

  • We will first assess the nature of the contest and make a decision consistent with our publishing and overall contest principles.
  • Before considering whether to accept, we must conclude such an award will not skew our reporting.
  • If we cannot make such a conclusion, we will either publicly decline the award by issuing a statement or sending a letter to the sponsors, or simply disregard the award, neither accepting it nor publicizing the fact it was given.
  • We will not write or design content for the sake of winning contests.
  • We will give our own awards the same kind of coverage that we would give others in the community who win awards of similar importance or prominence.
  • We will refuse any attempt to censor our material, accepting delay as the price for putting out exactly what we want.
  • In military situations, we will be respectful of requests related to security and respect for troops, but reserve the right to make our own decisions.
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