We are committed to adhering to the highest ethical standards in everything we do. We are proud to be a part of an industry that has a reputation for being open, honest, and transparent, and we want to uphold that reputation by practicing these values in both our internal dealings and with our clients.
To ensure that we’re always doing business in an ethical way, we’ve put together this Ethics Policy, which outlines our commitment to ethical behavior. This policy applies equally to all employees of Astral Citizens, regardless of role or location.
Our goal is always to provide you with the most accurate, up-to-date information in a fair and ethical manner. We want our stories to be useful and relevant to everyone who reads them, so it’s important that we apply the same standard of fairness and accuracy when writing about different groups of people or situations. All the content on our site is produced by professional journalists who are expected to adhere to a code of ethics that includes respecting sources’ privacy rights, as well as protecting them from harm if they ask us not to disclose their names or other information.
These guidelines explain what we consider to be ethical journalism and how we will apply those standards to stories
- We will not publish material that we know to be false as true.
- We will not publish material that we know to be false, or that we have doubts about, as factual or true.
- When in doubt as to whether something is true, we will err on the side of caution and seek out additional sources for confirmation.
- We will not knowingly publish defamatory material about individuals or groups without a public interest justification for doing so, and even then only after taking steps to ensure the story is accurate and balanced. If there are significant reasons for doubting its truthfulness, we should be able to explain why it might be untrue or misleading.
- We recognize that publishing content likely to cause serious harm may require us as journalists or editors to make difficult decisions about whether it could nonetheless serve an important public interest purpose if published with sufficient safeguards in place (for example by ensuring adequate coverage of other perspectives).
Ethical journalism means treating the subject of an article with the same level of respect with which you would treat your neighbor, your family or yourself
Ethical journalism means treating the subject of an article with the same level of respect with which you would treat your neighbor, your family, or yourself. It is not only a matter of accuracy and fairness, it also involves being honest and transparent about what you’re doing.
If you are writing about someone else’s life, you must be respectful of their privacy. And if someone has shared something personal with you in confidence, don’t repeat it without obtaining their permission first. You should also remember that everyone has the right to defend themselves from negative stories or commentary that may appear in the media—even if they’re public figures like politicians or celebrities—and respect those rights at all times.
The public has a right to know what is happening in their communities
The public has a right to know what is happening in their communities, and we will do our best to make sure they do.
Many sources in a story may have different perspectives on a topic, but it is always our responsibility to ensure that each side of an issue is presented fairly
It is our responsibility as journalists to report on all sides of an issue fairly, and our duty to ensure that all perspectives are presented accurately. We will strive to achieve this goal by:
- Using appropriate language and tone in covering stories related to sensitive topics such as race, gender, religion, or immigration status.
- Not assigning blame when describing a situation involving multiple parties; rather than saying “the victim,” “the suspect,” or “the perpetrator,” it’s more appropriate to say something like “the person involved.”
In tough situations, it’s good to seek out more than one expert opinion
When it comes to presenting expert opinions, it is important to have more than one. It is also important for those experts to be backed up by facts and presented in a way that is understandable to the average reader. If you are writing about health issues, for example, you should seek out an opinion from someone who works in medicine as well as one who works in public policy and politics. You should also make sure that both sides of the argument are presented fairly; if a reader sees one side being referred to constantly or quoted often while another side isn’t mentioned at all, they may assume there’s something unfavorable about them—and they could be right!
We do not allow commenters to threaten others or engage in personal attacks
We have a zero-tolerance policy for threats and personal attacks of any kind. We do not allow commenters to threaten others or engage in personal attacks.
We will remove comments that violate our policies, which can include anything from repeated violations of our Community Guidelines to specific policies such as the following:
- Personal attacks on other commenters, writers, or their family members
- Comments that are abusive, racist, or otherwise discriminatory toward someone else’s race, religion etcetera (this includes “jokes”)
We may ban users who violate our policies more than once if they continue to break them after being warned by moderators or staff members. In extreme cases, we may remove comments we believe are abusive or clearly violate our policies even if they were not reported as such by another user.
We reject hate speech, even when it is intended as satire and directed at something other than the author
Hate speech is a form of bigotry that should not be tolerated at any level, including satire and humor.
We know that you are good people, and we know that you did not intend to spread hate, so we do not think that this was your intention. However, it is our duty as an employer to protect our employees from being bullied or harassed while they are doing their jobs—even if the harassment comes from a fellow employee or manager who should know better than to engage in such behavior (and even if it happens online). We cannot allow someone’s misinterpretation of satire as an excuse for their own prejudice and bigotry; we cannot allow them access to any platform where they can sling their hateful rhetoric without consequence; and most importantly, we cannot allow ourselves to become complicit in allowing this person’s behavior because they claim they were only joking around.
We will ensure that you are informed about our ethical principles so that you know how we approach news stories and how we handle reader comments
We will ensure that you are informed about our ethical principles so that you know how we approach news stories and how we handle reader comments. We’ll make it easy for you to find these documents on our website, and we’ll give them prominent placement there.
We hope this helps you understand what we’re trying to achieve with our ethics policy. The main idea is that the company wants to make sure no one is doing anything unethical or illegal. We want everyone at this company to be able to trust each other and work together as a team.