Writers Guidelines

NewsFundr’s mission is to bring the highest quality news to every community, provide a platform in which readers have a voice, and for journalists to have the unfettered ability to report the news ethically, accurately, fairly, and with context. NewsFundr is committed to the following guidelines to foster the highest quality journalism possible.

Journalists must have a minimum of three years of newsroom experience and pass a review by our Journalism Board of Advisors to be invited onto the NewsFundr platform.

Journalists must abide by the Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics and follow AP Style.

All stories must have a minimum of three sources.

Accuracy trumps speed in all instances. Verification before publication is required.

Sources shall not be granted “quote approval” before publication.

Anonymous sources: We discourage the use of anonymous sources in the strongest terms possible. If extenuating circumstances exist where a journalist believes the use of an anonymous source is unavoidable and necessary, they must disclose that person’s identity to at least one person. In the past, that would have been the editor. Since NewsFundr has no editors, that person will be the journalist liaison. Contact [email protected] for more info.

Mugshots: We live in an age where a mugshot lives on the internet forever, even for individuals found not guilty, or who have charges against them dropped. This can have negative consequences long after the fact. Journalists should maintain an awareness of this, and be diligent with follow up on cases, updating readers where appropriate. Only mugshots provided by law enforcement should be used.

Images: Every story should be accompanied by at least one high-quality image. Multiple images preferred. Original images are expected and preferred.

Stock images and video: The use of stock images and video should be rare, clearly labeled, and in accordance with licensing guidelines. NewsFundr does not provide access to any stock services.

Social Media images: The Terms of Service of each social media platforms do NOT permit the use of images by others, including NewsFundr reporters. However, “Fair Use” does allow for images to be used if the subject is considered newsworthy. Use such images with caution.

Outside work and compensation: NewsFundr journalists are not restricted from writing for other publications, however, all work related to their NewsFundr beat shall be reserved exclusively for NewsFundr, unless advance permission is granted. Journalists shall not accept any form of compensation outside of NewsFundr, for their work on NewsFundr. To license your work contact [email protected]

Transparency: NewsFundr journalists should be models of the transparency they demand. In all cases possible, journalists should share their research to support their work, such as including related documents, photographs, audio and video files, and unedited interviews with their stories.

Corrections: NewsFundr journalists have an obligation to correct their work whenever errors are brought to their attention, and to alert readers who may have read the incorrect version of the story. When a journalist needs to make a substantive correction, it should be placed prominently at the top of the first page of the story. Corrections should also be published as standalone articles, to ensure they filter through RSS feeds. Journalists should also share the correction on all social media and digital channels used to promote the original story.

Journalist Discipline and Termination: All accusations that a journalist has violated the Code of Ethics or Writers Guidelines will be investigated to determine their veracity. A full report will be given to the Advisory Board. Should the board determine a serious violation took place, the journalist will be permanently removed from the platform.

Guidelines subject to change. Updated January 1, 2017