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Editorial Policy

Capitol News Connection Code of Ethics:

Capitol News Connection strives to achieve the highest standards of journalistic integrity through its news coverage. It is the responsibility of all broadcast journalists to gather and report information of importance and interest to the public accurately, honestly, fairly, and impartially. All journalists must be free of obligation to any interest other than the public’s right to know the truth. CNC’s news reporting will not permit bias through distortion, withholding, or manipulation of facts or program elements. Because facts can be subject to different interpretations, CNC staff strive to present all information in an ethical manner that conveys – fairly and honestly – a range of views.

All journalists employed by Capitol News Connection accept these standards and will:

Strive to present the source or nature of broadcast and multimedia news material in a way that is balanced, accurate, and fair to ensure and maintain public trust.
They will evaluate information solely on its merits as news, rejecting sensationalism, or misleading emphasis in any form.
They will guard against using audio or video material in a way that deceives the audience.
They will not mislead the public by presenting as spontaneous news any material, which is staged or rehearsed.
They will clearly label opinion and commentary.
They will promptly acknowledge and correct errors of fact, bias, or omission.
Avoid the reality or perception of all conflicts of professional and personal interests. They will decline gifts, favors, commissions, privileges or special access, which would influence or appear to influence their judgments.
Strive to eliminate personal, station, or community bias, and balance matters of race, creed, religion, ethnic origin, gender, and sexual preference. They will identify people by race, creed, nationality, religion, ethnic origin, or sexual preference only when it is relevant.
Avoid making false representations to obtain materials from those who might otherwise object to discussing matters with reporters, producers, editors, independent contractors, interns or volunteers under the bureau’s direction.
Responsibly evaluate the newsworthiness of all broadcast items and guard against undue pressure from non-news personnel. Make no promises or guarantees to report, promote, or advance materials without true news value.
Respect the dignity, privacy and well being of people with whom they deal.
Recognize the need to protect confidential sources. They will promise confidentiality only with the intention of keeping that promise.
Honor legitimate requests to hold or embargo newsworthy material provided in advance.
Inform news sources when conversations are being recorded or taped.
Avoid participation in any event that compromises professional integrity and future news or public information assignments. They should conduct their personal lives in a manner that protects them from conflict of interest, real or apparent.
Avoid employment that involves work for politicians, corporations, companies, sponsors, underwriters, community organizations, advocacy groups, or station donors, which strain professional obligation and public trust.
Strive to report fairly, courageously, and responsibly on topics of controversy. They will report with honesty and candor on political, social, and economic tensions, disagreements and divisions.
Respect everyone’s right to a fair trial.
Require all news employees, independent contractors, producers, editors, hosts, reporters, aides, interns and volunteers under the Bureau’s direction to adhere to these standards.

By accepting and adhering to these ethical standards, CNC will maintain a standard of excellence, which enhances the value of the news delivered – providing a fair, accurate, and balanced source of information and analysis to news stations, listeners, and communities. This code provides the public with a trustworthy product that is beyond reproach.

In pursuit of fairness, accuracy and balance:

Have the people affected or harmed by the story been given ample opportunity to reply? If harm is inevitable, have I sought to minimize it where possible?
Have I provided listeners sufficient background and context to understand the story fully? Are there major questions left unanswered? Is there anything I know that I am not telling my listeners, which – if they knew it – would change their view of the story?
Might my personal feelings have affected my handling of this story in any way? Do I have relationships with sources or subjects that would compromise my ability to cover the story fairly or allow someone to claim my ability was compromised?
How confident am I about the credibility of this information? Do my sources have vested interests in getting this information out? Is there a disinterested, independent source of this information with whom I could check?
If I am using anonymous sources, is there another possible source of the information? Can I make a compelling case to my listeners for using the anonymous source?
Have I attributed, documented, and double-checked all the basic facts of the story? Did my tape editing distort the essence of the actuality or of the event?
Have I sought out all relevant points of view on the story, and avoided creating “artificially polarized” sides? Have I edited the story so that all sides are heard, and in proportion to their importance to the story?
Am I presenting the news and views of all segments of the community I serve? Do I continue to “round up the usual suspects” in choosing sources, or have I brought in new sources with new perspectives?
Does the diversity of our staff match the diversity of our community?
If I’m broadcasting a “subjective” program with a point of view, have I let my listeners know?

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Capitol News Connection is emerging as the only source for trusted, original investigative journalism on how the U.S. Congress impacts you where you live and work – with balanced, engaging, in-depth multimedia coverage you just cannot find anywhere else. We give you a powerful voice, an interactive platform to help set the news and policy agendas via Ask Your Lawmaker.