Deck_Tom Sawyer

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Deck title: McGraw-Hill’s J-COBE: A journalistic subset of the company’s Code of Business Ethics developed by editors of the Business Information Group in 2008

Session title: "Navigating the Permeable Wall Between Editorial and Sales."

Published in: News & Politics, Business
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Deck_Tom Sawyer

  1. 1. McGraw-Hill’s J-COBEA journalistic subset of the company’sCode of Business Ethics developed by editors of the Business Information Group in 2008
  2. 2. Influences• This journalistic code of ethics was developed with input from:• American Business Media• American Society of Business Publication• Editors, The American Society of Magazine Editors• The Society of Professional Journalists• Business Week• AVIATION WEEK ethical guidelines.
  3. 3. 1) Do Not Plagiarize or “Lift” Information.• Never use someone else’s words without proper attribution.• The source of information must be properly identified.
  4. 4. 2) Graphics and Photography• Graphic materials must be prepared with the same concern for accuracy, fairness, balance and attribution as the text. Do not modify in ways that might mislead readers.• If a photograph or illustration has been altered in any significant way, the extent and technique should be clearly explained in caption/cut line or credit line.
  5. 5. 3) Conflicts of Interest• Reporters and editors should avoid conflicts that may raise doubts about their independence or motivation behind the publication of all or part of a story or any other information, in print or on the Web. (Example: freelance editing for an advertiser.)• Reporters and editors should not work for, or hold financial interest in companies their publications or Web sites regularly cover. Nor should they use their positions to gain personal or commercial favor for themselves or their family or friends. If in doubt, discuss the issue with the editor in charge.
  6. 6. 4) Attribution and Sources• On the record: All material obtained during an interview may be reported, including quotes, and we reserve the right to identify the source.• Not for attribution: Information is usable, but the source cannot be identified.• Off the record: Information tagged cannot be divulged publicly.• Strive to verify information by seeking more than one source.• On stories with controversial issues, reporters have a responsibility to seek multiple sources.• Sources should be identified for readers, except in circumstances to protect sources from the repercussions of speaking to a reporter.
  7. 7. 5) Represent Yourself Openly and Honestly.• Reporters should always identify themselves honestly and never attempt to misrepresent themselves in person, on the telephone, through e-mail or on the Web, in the pursuit of information or to gain access to a source.
  8. 8. 6) Securities Ownership and Trading• Reporters are forbidden to own securities that their editorial operation covers in print or on the Web.• Editorial team members may not edit or write a story or report on a story about a company or industry sector funds—even if they are professionally managed—in which family members own securities.• Reporters and editors are permitted to invest in diversified mutual funds, diversified exchange-traded funds and diversified hedge funds, which may include some holdings in the industry they cover.
  9. 9. 7) Do Not Disclose Content Prematurely.• Reporters are encouraged to fact-check stories and content written for print and electronic delivery. However, they may not show a pre-publication version of a story in any format, video or audio segment, or any other piece of journalism to anyone outside the editorial staff.• There will be rare exceptions, but only an appropriate member of senior editorial management is authorized to grant such waivers, and only then on a case-by-case basis.• As a general rule, reporters should not tell sources when a story will be published or posted on-line, and they should never lead any company or other organization to believe they can expect a cover.
  10. 10. 8) Editors alone are responsible for content.• Good ideas may come from all kinds of sources—business staff members, other editors and the industry. But editors must evaluate those ideas and determine how best to achieve our mission of helping readers do their jobs more effectively.• Publishers, sales and marketing executives, and heads of business units shall have no direct hand in choosing, generating or directly influencing content intended for publication in print products or distribution on-line.• Decisions about the choice of covers, as well as what to publish and the timing belong to the editor-in-chief and managing editor. Furthermore, those decisions are subject to change at any time, based on news judgment and other journalistic considerations.
  11. 11. 8) Editors alone are responsible for content (continued)• Publishers or their equivalent do not have license to influence editorial content in any way. Nor should they make commitments on behalf of editors to cover or write about any subject.• It is not appropriate for publishers or sales staff to solicit stories from industry sources or to dictate the content of stories.• Editors should not release the names of sources contacted for a story, and sales staff should avoid contacting sources who have been interviewed. Sales contact should be addressed to company marketing managers.• Hypertext links that appear within the editorial content of a Web site, including those within graphics, should be placed at the sole discretion of editors.• Web Links in editorial content should should never be paid for by advertisers.
  12. 12. 8) Editors alone are responsible for content (continued)• Editors should control all editorial digital content – including Web site, blogs, electronic newsletters, and digital magazines.• Standards of accuracy, attribution, fairness and balance applying to print publications also apply to a publication’s Internet or other digital presence.
  13. 13. 9) Relationship with Advertisers• Advertisers and potential advertisers must never receive favorable editorial treatment because of their economic value to the operation in general or its parent company.• Non-advertisers should not receive unfavorable treatment or be excluded from articles because they do not advertise.
  14. 14. 9) Relationship with Advertisers (continued)• Reporters and editors are encouraged to have a productive working relationship with advertising sales staff and other colleagues on the business side. However, if editors accompany sales personnel on high-level calls, it should be with the clear mutual understanding that the meeting will result in no preferential editorial treatment.
  15. 15. Special Ad Sections• Publications must make a clear distinction between editorial and advertising in print and online. Editorial- looking sections or pages that are not produced by a magazine’s editors are not editorial content.• They should be labeled “Advertisement,” “Special Advertising Section” or “Promotion” at the top of every page in type as prominent as the magazine’s normal body type.• The layout, design, typeface and/or style of special advertising sections or custom publishing products must be distinctly different from those of the publication itself.
  16. 16. Special Ad Sections (continued)• Special advertising sections in print and online must not be slugged in the publication’s cover, nor included in the table of contents.• In general, the publication’s name or logo may not appear as any part of the headlines or text, except in connection with the magazine’s own products or services.• On the Web, advertiser-sponsored content must be clearly identified as such and not be designed to appear as regular editorial content.
  17. 17. “No touching.”• Great care should be used online, as with printed material, to avoid placement of advertisements in or near editorial content in a way that could confuse readers. Advertisements should not be placed or sold for placement immediately before or after editorial pages that discuss, show or promote the advertised products.
  18. 18. Editorial review• In order for a publication’s chief editor to be able to monitor compliance with these guidelines, every effort must be made to show all advertising pages, sections and their placement to the editor far enough in advance to allow for necessary changes.
  19. 19. Editorial staffing and titles• A magazine’s editorial staff members should not be involved in producing advertising in that magazine.• Advertising and marketing staff and their consultants should not use titles that imply editorial involvement (e.g., merchandising editor).
  20. 20. 11) Gifts and Honoraria• Editors should explicitly discourage gifts from editorial information sources, advertisers and prospective advertisers, public relations personnel, or agents. If gift giving is an established custom or is otherwise difficult to avoid completely – as generally is the case in B-to-B journalism – the following guidelines apply:• Modest, souvenir-type gifts commonly given out at press affairs or conferences, or distributed to large groups of editors or individual editors during traditional gift-giving seasons, are generally acceptable.• Editors and reporters should accept no monetary payment or lavish gifts for making speeches, participating in industry events, judging contests or making appearances at functions held by companies or associations they cover.
  21. 21. 10) Distinguish Between News and Opinion• Show the distinction between news stories and editorials, columns and other opinion pieces in print and online.
  22. 22. 12) Meals, travel and entertainment• As a general rule, reporters and editors shall accept no payment from any source other than their employer for travel and hotel expenses incurred in the course of performing editorial duties.• However, B-to-B publishing includes relationships and practices that differ from business-to consumer publications in certain areas. In cases of group press functions, presentations and other events involving representatives from multiple publications, reporters and editors are authorized to accept travel, hotel and meal expenses from sponsoring companies and associations.• Reporters and editors generally should pick up the tab or split the cost of meals purchased in the course of discussing editorial matters with a source, a public relations representative or an advertiser. Otherwise, they may accept lunch or dinner only from a source with whom they are likely to meet often enough to return the favor.
  23. 23. 13) Other Employment• Editors and other editorial staff members should not write, work or consult for, or otherwise contribute to, competing publications or their companies, or Web sites, except as permitted by established and authorized business relationships.• In doing any freelance work, editors should inform the editor, and abide by their applicable rules.• Editors should not hold other non-journalism positions that could represent a conflict of interest with an editorial position.
  24. 24. 14) Feedback Mechanisms• Editors should ensure their publications and Web sites are accessible to readers and treat feedback responsibly, if published.• Editors should make every effort to verify the authenticity of letters to the editor, and identify the letter’s author except when disclosing the author’s name may cause demonstrable harm to the writer.• Corrections, clarifications and retractions should be printed in the next available issue, in a regular, consistent space that is easy for readers to find in the front of the publication or, in the case of a Web site, the home page.
  25. 25. 15) Personal Conduct• Reporters and editors may not use their company affiliation – including their business card or business stationery – for personal advantage in any way. The sole exception is participation in affiliated relationships with various nonprofit cultural institutions.• Outside of this exception, reporters and editors are forbidden to court favoritism in any way based on their company affiliation.
  26. 26. 16) Use Focus Groups Rather than Editorial Boards• We strongly encourage editors to gather industry feedback through focus groups rather than editorial boards. One or two focus groups per year can be scheduled, inviting a different group of industry participants each time to give the editor feedback about how well the magazine’s content helps them do their jobs more effectively.• In cases where the publication has a relationship with an association, the association’s representatives in a focus group should be selected for editorial reasons, not to further business relationships.
  27. 27. 17) Shades of Grey• In situations involving journalistic ethics that are not “black and white” and may be open to interpretation, the editorial director is encouraged to discuss the circumstances with senior editorial management.

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