Lake and McHenry County Scanner is an independent, private news organization. Our mission is to provide our readers with impartial, informative reporting, and with an outlet for civic engagement and discourse on local issues like government and crime. This mission drives the values set out in our code of ethics and editorial guidelines.

We also strictly follow the Society of Professional Journalists’ Code of Ethics principles of seeking the truth and reporting it, acting independently, minimizing harm and being accountable and transparent.

Accuracy and Attribution

Our reporting on all platforms will be truthful, transparent and respectful; our facts will be accurate, complete and fairly presented.

Our analysis will represent our best independent judgment, not our preferences or those of our sources. There will be no hidden agendas in our endeavors.

When we make a mistake — and from time to time, we will — we will work quickly to fully address the error, correcting it within the story and detailing the error on the story page. If you find an error, email info@lakemchenryscanner.com.

Our journalists will not republish stories, images or other content from outside sources without permission and credit. Plagiarism, fabrication and misappropriation of intellectual property are all grounds for immediate termination.


We will try our best to identify all of our sources, granting individuals anonymity only when the information is critical to the story, we are certain the source is reliable and there is no other way to obtain the information. We will not say that a person declined comment if they are already quoted anonymously.

As much as possible, we will identify in our reporting any bias we know our sources have. Anonymous sources should know that the reporter will share their identity with a senior editor, who will also keep that information confidential.

Our journalists will never misrepresent themselves or mislead a source to get an interview or a story, and they will always identify themselves as journalists. They do not use hidden cameras or microphones, go undercover or pay for interviews.

Multiple efforts will be made to contact the primary subjects and sources of criticism in our stories.

Impartiality and Conflicts of Interest

At Lake and McHenry County Scanner, our editorial decisions are made by journalists alone.

Journalists may not work on stories or projects in which they have a vested interest, financial or personal. They should avoid investment in companies or industries they regularly cover.

Journalists seeking secondary employment or freelance work to supplement their income must be cleared by an editor to ensure the work does not conflict with their responsibilities.

Lake and McHenry County Scanner employees, contractors and interns will not accept any gift with more than a nominal value from any company, individual or institution that could have an interest in our reporting. We always pay our own way when traveling for editorial or business purposes.

All employees, contractors and interns with any responsibility for reporting or editing the news will refrain from partisan political activity of any kind, including making political contributions or displaying partisan signage.

Advertising and Sponsorships

Lake and McHenry County Scanner accepts advertising and sponsorships that do not compromise our editorial integrity. All sponsorships are clearly marked in our publication as such. We reserve the right to remove any advertiser and sponsor content that does not align with our company or undermines our integrity.


We require bylines, credit and datelines to always be listed in each story in transparency for our readers.

Other Policies

Our other policies not listed on this page can be found below:

Portions of this page were republished from The Texas Tribune.