- The integrity of our journalists is of the highest caliber.
- We base our writing on accurate information, gathered honestly and presented fairly.
- Our journalists’ professional conduct is unassailable.
- Our journalists’ personal conduct, as it reflects on EBR, is beyond reproach.
All members of the EBR editorial staffs must uphold these principles. This means everyone who works on the magazine, the Web site, or in our multimedia operations (including members of the art, production, and systems departments, all Web developers and programmers, and all assistants and clerical workers), be they full-time, part-time, interns, or freelancers, all should adhere the following rules.
Unquestionable integrity will be at the heart of EBR’s effort to serve our audiences with the best business journalism in the nation and the world at large. One way we achieve this is by strictly observing an invisible wall that separates our editorial operations from our advertising and other business departments, so as to avoid any chance that one will inappropriately influence the other.
In every medium we prepare and place stories, graphics, and interactive features based solely on their editorial merits. Thus, we treat companies that advertise with us exactly the same as those that don’t. We don’t favor any company or subject of a story, or discriminate against any — for any reason whatsoever.
Moreover, editors and editorial imperatives dictate the design of our products. The design must always make clear the distinction between editorial and commercial material. In the spirit of that rule, for example, we do not link, for any reason other than editorial purposes, from within the text of electronic versions of our stories to an advertiser’s Web site. Advertisers however, may link stories in our web to their web site.
EBR Journalistic Standards
EBR specializes in interpretive journalism, a journalism that goes beyond the basic facts of an event or topic to provide context, analysis, and possible consequences. This gives us license to go beyond a traditional, just-the-facts approach. At the same time, it puts an extra responsibility on us in the following areas:
Our interpretations we must start with accurate information, honestly and professionally gathered. Moreover, our interpretation must flow from the facts and be reasonable.
Inaccurate or sloppy reporting of material that appears anywhere under the EBR name violates the spirit of this Code. The responsibility for accuracy lies with everyone who touches the editorial product.
All of our journalists’ dealings with sources — and with other editorial staff — must be truthful.
As an institution, moreover, EBR will always be an independent voice. We do not support political candidates or political parties. On all matters of politics, economics, and social policy, we try to bring our own judgment based on thorough reporting and reasonable analysis. We do not do stories that are designed to incline to any ideological agenda.
We give the subjects of a story — people, companies, and institutions — an opportunity to have their views presented. We include relevant portions of those views — or report that the subject declines to comment. We also present differing or dissenting opinions, though they may be subordinate to the main thrust of the story.
If someone complains about a story, we will investigate promptly and even-handedly. If we are right, we will stand by the story regardless of who is complaining. If we are wrong, we will say so forthrightly and make whatever amends seem appropriate.
Because we do analytic journalism and commentaries, we do not strive for perfect objectivity. But we must always strive to be fair.
We use the following ground rules when seeking information from sources:
On the record:
Journalists are free to use all material from the interview, including information and quotations, and to identify the source. We prefer this approach.
Not for attribution:
Journalists are free to use information and quotations, but they agree not to identify the source. “Not for attribution” is an acceptable method of gathering information, though not the one we prefer. However, journalists have to make clear to their editor the anonymous source. Journalists generally should have more than one source for information that you can’t attribute both to double-check its actuality and to guard against being used or misled by a single source.
Off the record:
Journalist working with EBR agrees not to use information from the source. Or journalist may agree not to use the information unless he/she checks with the source before publication. We ask our journalists to avoid this method unless it’s the only way to interview a one-of-a-kind source.
“He said” means the journalist got the quote from the source — in person, at a press conference, or on the phone. “He said in a statement” or “in a report” means the quote came from a written statement or press release, or from a document such as an analyst’s report. “He said in an e-mail interview” means exactly that. If the quote comes from another news outlet, the journalist must credit it in the following example: ” Girma Biru, Ethiopian Ambassador to the US told the Ethiopian Business Review……..”