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Ethics Policy

Overview

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 and guidelines set out in our code of ethics.

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.

Sourcing

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.

Portions of our ethics policy were republished from The Texas Tribune.