These policies are meant to guide FTC Publications, Inc. journalism as we deliver news and information in a rapidly changing media environment. These guidelines are a “living document” that we will continually update based on feedback from our journalists, our readers, and from our perceptions of our changing needs. Each case is unique. These guidelines should not be understood as establishing hard and fast rules or as covering every situation that might arise. It is not possible to purchase news coverage from FTC Publications. Coverage is based on the story, and the public’s interest.
Conflict of interest
FTC Publications is pledged to avoid conflicts of interest or the appearance of conflict of interest wherever and whenever possible. We have adopted stringent policies on these issues.
Accepting Gifts or Payments
All employees of the news organization are prohibited from receiving gifts and trips. They also should not seek or accept preferential treatment because of their positions in the Media. Exceptions to this rule are few and obvious since some employee-hosted meals may be accepted when they happen occasionally, with no ulterior motives involved.
The only exception is for seats not sold to the public, as in a press box, or tickets provided for a critic’s review. Media credentials that our journalists use are strictly for editorial purposes, and no commercial endorsements would be provided to the issuer. Issuing a media credential does not guarantee positive coverage, or any coverage at all.
We don’t accept any form of payment from governments, government-funded organizations, political groups or trade associations. We are not allowed to take money for anything that could be seen as an endorsement on our content and we should avoid accepting payments from individuals who lobby the government in order to influence issues that might affect us in some way during coverage.
The exceptions to the reporter’s privilege include many organizations, including broadcast institutions and educational facilities. The only exception is if a reporter has been covering an institution or its events.
In order to maintain impartiality, we avoid involvement in partisan causes and organizations.
We remain objective by ensuring that relatives are not subject of our policies but their employment or involvements can affect our objectivity. This is why family members should disclose any business ties with a company they work for or people near them who may be involved in social issues so as not to compromise integrity.
Sometimes you’ll see news articles from journalists other than our own. We have faith that these outside professionals will help us cover the world and abide by journalistic standards. When this happens, the journalist and their home affiliation will be disclosed.
With the emergence of social media, there are many ways to communicate with friends and family. Although this is beneficial for our personal lives, we must be careful not to let it affect our integrity.
FTC Publications’ journalists are constantly mindful of the reputation and credibility they have with readers. The opinions of their personal social media do not reflect the opinions of FTC Publications, Inc.