CODE OF ETHICS
ALBANY PROPER is an independent, not-for-profit publisher dedicated to reporting on social interest stories within New York’s capital city.
Our work is guided by a Code of Ethics, which draws inspiration from The Marshall Project, ProPublica, and Society of Professional Journalists, among others.
We’re a nonpartisan outlet dedicated to truth, accuracy and fairness. We don’t play favorites for financial or any other reasons – we have no agenda, hidden or otherwise. Our credibility depends upon that.
In our commitment to transparency, this Code of Ethics is made publicly available. The journalism industry is rapidly evolving, so we may be required to make updates to these rules as circumstances require. In that spirit, we reserve the right to revise this page when necessary.
We are a grassroots not-for-profit startup. That means we have no financial support at the moment. In the future we may seek external donors and foundation grant funding to ensure we survive through turbulent journalistic times. We do not and will never accept corporate funding.
Whatever the funding source, our strict editorial independence mandate applies. Donors, no matter how big or small their contribution, will not receive preferential coverage or any other goods or services in exchange for their support. Whenever stories mention any of our funders or members of our board of directors or advisory boards, we’ll disclose relevant relationships. Major funders (those giving above $2,000 annually) will be publicly disclosed.
In the unlikely and unfortunate instance where human error is made, we will update the story to the extent it is necessary to do so. If you find what you believe to be an error, please contact admin at albanyproper.com.
Fabrication – the making up of information, quotes, people or any elements of a story – and plagiarism – passing off someone else’s work as one’s own – have no place here. Cases of either will be dealt with severely.
Our team may improve the technical quality of photos and video or audio recordings through minimal editing, but will not misleadingly alter the substance. All photo illustrations, graphics or animations will be clearly labeled as such.
We will try our best to identify all sources, granting individuals anonymity only when it is necessary to do so. We will seek to identify in our reporting any bias we know our sources have, real or perceived.
Our journalists will never misrepresent themselves or mislead a source to get an interview or a story. Stories are not done in lieu of favors, monetary or other.
Thorough efforts will be made to contact the primary subjects and sources of criticism in our stories. If you feel that your interest in a story was ignored, please contact admin at albanyproper.com so that we can provide our community with anything we may have missed in our reporting.
Ethical journalists treat sources, subjects and colleagues as human beings deserving of respect. The first amendment is not a license for arrogance.
Our journalists must show compassion for those who may be affected adversely by news coverage. We use special sensitivity when dealing with children and inexperienced sources or subjects.
We strive to be sensitive when seeking or using interviews or photographs of those affected by tragedy or grief.
Private people have a greater right to control information about themselves than do public officials and others who seek power, influence, or attention. Only an overriding public need can justify intrusion into anyone’s privacy.
We recognize the court of public opinion further exacerbates the problem of mass incarceration. We must balance a criminal suspect’s fair trial rights with the public’s right to be informed and be judicious when naming those charged with or convicted of crimes.
Impartiality, Independence and Conflicts of Interest
Editorial decisions are made by our journalists alone.
Stories that reference or quote a major donor or corporate sponsor will disclose their status in the story text.
Journalists will not work on stories or projects in which they have a unique vested interest, financial or personal.
Editorial employees may moderate panels or speak at events underwritten by Albany Proper’s donors or sponsors so long as their role is purely journalistic.
Albany Proper employees, contractors and interns will not accept any gift from any company, individual or institution that may compromise integrity or impartiality, or may damage credibility.
CONTACT US with any questions regarding our ethics