Ethical Journalism Policy and Mission Statement
The Mission statement for The Post Millennial is defined by the following document outlined and released on 07/23/2019.
The Post Millennial’s operations are based on the ongoing development of utilizing verified research and unambiguous reporting to establish a credible record of reliability and trust with our readers.
The organization holds no interests in bolstering our base at the expense of our journalistic integrity. Our priority is firstly, and always firstly, informing our viewers on relevant events, immediate or cultural, and is not beholden to the private interests or agendas of private owners or investors.
Truth, even when inconvenient, is at the forefront of our daily operations.
Our ethical policies are applicable for the conduct of all staff actively involved in the publication of content on The Post Millennial’s platform.
If there is ever a notable discrepancy which we have overlooked, do not hesitate to contact an editor. It was not intentional, and we deeply appreciate the notification.
Failure in maintaining The Post Millennial’s policies may lead to disciplinary actions for a staff member, including dismissal, regardless of what working relationship an employee has established with the newspaper.
The Importance of Separating News, Editorials, and Opinion Pieces
The Post Millennial is vigilant in its separating and distinguishing of news from editorials and/or opinion columns. We acknowledge that all forms of journalism are important in maintaining a diverse content base. However, those articles listed as “news” are to be just that: strictly news, and not intended to inflame or embolden any one point of view during an ongoing debate or instance of discourse. The reporting of facts, regardless of what politics they support, is at the heart of The Post Millennial’s operations.
This is in keeping with the ethical policy of many mainstream sources.
The labels are designed as follows, and are in line with the terms used by the New York Times:
Exclusive News: Reporting done by our team on the ground.
News: Important information sourced from other reputable news organizations.
Analysis: Interpretation of the news based on evidence and data breakdowns.
Opinion: A column in the Opinions section.
Review: A professional critic’s assessment.
All staff members must attribute all original sources of information. This means that all facts, quotations, and any other content produced by any party, other than our own team of journalists, columnists, and editors, must be properly sourced or hyperlinked.
Breaking this rule and committing plagiarism is a fireable offence.
All reporters hold primary responsibility for fact-checking their stories before submission. With that said, in keeping with national standards of journalism, all submissions will be put through a rigorous multi-level review process that involves multiple editors before publication is approved. This is to avoid both plagiarism and the utilization of non-verifiable sources.
While publicly known, verified facts may require no attribution, information which may not be obvious to our viewers is expected to be identified using credible sourcing.
The validity of information disseminated by alternative platforms is not guaranteed, regardless of established credibility, and such information is to be fact-checked before used. This is to ensure accuracy and to prevent potential retractions. Furthermore, it will allow The Post Millennial to prevent the spread of misinformation, which is, in accordance with our ethics policy, even more important than unintentional inaccuracies.
Conflict of Interests
The Post Millennial’s staff is dedicated to maintaining the newspaper’s credibility and integrity and, thus, has pledged against engaging in conflicts of interests which may compromise such maintenance. All staff are expected to report to senior staff members well before engaging in such actions. Disciplinary action may follow a conflict of interest.
Protecting our Neutrality
All staff must receive executive approval before speaking to or giving statements to outside companies or otherwise engaging in public assemblies in which the staff member’s acts can be viewed as representing The Post Millennial. While working for The Post Millennial, the company’s reputation is expected to be maintained, not jeopardized, by staff members. If an appearance is deemed useful and not harmful, a staff member may receive approval, as well as potentially having various expenses paid by the company.
No speaker’s fee offered by outside sources within the media industry should be accepted by any staff member. However, a speaker’s fee, honorarium, expense reimbursement or offer of free transportation may be accepted if it is offered from outside organizations with no history of lobbying or political activity, such as an educational institute or non-profit group. Speaking fees exceeding $4,000 require consultation with a Senior Editor before accepting.
Gifts from outside organizations are to be rejected in most instances, but staff members are still free to accept any gifts or discounts that are publicly available. An exception is for seats not sold to the public, as in a press box.
Identity Disclosure Policy
A staff member should not impersonate another individual in their journalistic pursuits. Staff members are expected to be forward with their identity and disclose their status as journalists while functioning in an investigative role.
One exception may be made, pending the approval of the Editor-in-Chief, if the journalist is operating within or entering a country which may bar their journalistic activity or otherwise treat them with aggression or violence. However, if such a situation arises, they are still expected to not illegally impersonate authority figures, regardless of context.
Use of Borrowed Equipment
If a staff member borrows equipment or other goods from The Post Millennial, it is expected that they return the item(s) as soon as possible. Books, recordings, digital media, tapes, compact discs, and computer programs may be considered press releases and, thus, be retained by the journalist. If not retained and protected by the journalist, it is expected that the journalist destroys such material or returns such material to the provider. Content cannot be copied, given away, or left where it can be easily stolen.
Fair Trial Policy
Staff members are to avoid instances of diminishing another’s right to a fair trial when reporting on someone accused but not yet convicted of a crime.
This becomes difficult in more scandalous, high-profile cases. Therefore, The Post Millennial relies on the most relevant and recent details pertaining to such a person in order to maintain accuracy and avoid unfounded speculation.
Such speculation could be potentially damaging to persons who are later found innocent, and such persons are often unable to respond at the time of their arrest. Furthermore, utilizing incriminating statements from police may also diminish their image, which may be unfounded. Given the vulnerability of the accused, staff members are to avoid such behaviours.
Confessions are not to be reported until the confession is ruled admissible and entered into evidence or otherwise made public.
The Post Millennial may also choose to distinguish between the accused and those who share a name by including the accused’s physical characteristics, name, age, etc.; though, addresses should remain general so as not to engage in doxing. Those charged with criminal offences will generally have their names published unless there is a legal or ethical precedent not to do so.
We honour court-imposed publication bans which are automatically granted in bail hearings, preliminary hearings, and certain pre-trial motions dealing with the admissibility of evidence.
However, if a ban seems extraordinarily censorious, such as preventing the public from knowing the name of a high-profile person accused of a serious crime or a witness in a case, this policy may change. On the instructions of the EIC, we may oppose such bans in court when we believe it is in the public interest.
Our organization does not shy away from the topic of suicide if it proves to be newsworthy and considered to be in the public interest. With that said, when writing on the topic, we put emphasis on reporting while maintaining a tone of respect and sympathy for those affected. Explicit details, such as gore, should be limited if not omitted completely. These stories must be approved by the EIC before publication.
Serial Killers and Extremists
While The Post Millennial does not avoid writing on serial killers and extremists, we generally avoid using photographs of those involved, unless it is in the public interest, to limit their ability to feel renowned for their violent and horrific acts.
Respect & Diversity
Our organization maintains a respect for freedom as well as diversity of thoughts, religious beliefs, and people from different backgrounds. We hold no diversity quotas, but we expect all staff members to operate as a team and respect each other’s differences to this end.
We do not generally accept take-down requests. We appreciate information regarding any inaccuracies found in our stories and are prepared to make corrections, updates, and/or follow-up coverage should they be warranted. These do not, however, warrant the complete take-down of an article.
A take-down request may be reviewed and accepted if it is discovered that the publishing of publicly available personal data leads to credible personal threats of physical harm.
The Post Millennial is diligent in disclosing all sources used in all stories. We are transparent with our readers when reporting, with the hopes of providing unambiguous, well-reasoned articles. We hold no compunctions over disseminating our sources, unless an issue of confidentiality or safety arises.
Confidentiality for a source may be agreed upon, but it is not usual. Such instances only happen when a confidential source is integral, and they refuse to provide information under any other condition. We understand that such sources may lessen the credibility of the story overall and we understand that it is unlikely readers will readily accept such sources. It is less than optimal, but unavoidable in certain instances. This position is in-line with other news media.
Balance and Sources
Reporters are expected to offer rights of reply to key subjects before publication. This is to allot an individual the opportunity to clarify his/her views, statements, or public image following an event. This policy is in keeping with other policies of fairness.
Key subjects should be contacted within a reasonable amount of time, and articles must document the efforts taken to contact them when they decide or are unable to reply.
Children and Sex Assault Cases
Unless victims agree to be identified and senior editors agree to the publication of such victims, we do not publish the names of victims of alleged sexual assaults.
In accordance with the with the Youth Criminal Justice Act, this policy extends to persons under the age of 18 who have been victims of a crime. This law states that a victim under the age of 18 cannot be identified once an accused who is also under 18 has been charged, unless the victim’s parents consent or the victim consents after turning 18.
Only if the victim’s parents consent to the release of such information or consents after they turn 18 may they, the victim, be identified.
Names of the accused may be published but will be considered on a case by case basis.