Hali Halisi Stands for these operations and ethics policy
To fulfill its constitutionally protected, vital role in creating an informed citizenry, Hali Halisi Publishers Ltd and Mwana Halisi in particular must be a watchdog, analyst, advisor and messenger for its communities. Mwana Halisi readers deserve a fair, accurate, full and balanced account of the news.
Mwana Halisi expects its editorial staff to remain free of conflict and operate with integrity in pursuit of truth, accuracy and fairness.
Operations and Ethics Policy
Toward the fulfillment of that mission, Mwana Halisi na Hali Halisi Publishers Ltd adopts the following Operations and Ethics Policy:
Mwana Halisi will pursue truth and accuracy
Accountability / Corrections
- Mwana Halisi has a public role and trust that is best served by being open with readers about the newspaper's methods, processes and even our mistakes. Mwana Halisi has an ethical obligation to correct errors and must make every effort to minimize harm when they do occur.
- Once an error is confirmed, the paper or staff members should admit mistakes and correct them immediately. Mwana Halisi will not wait for readers to flag an error or request a correction. If readers do so, their allegation of an error will be dealt with promptly.
- Corrections will be placed where readers can find them, in the consistent location on Page of the section of the newspaper. Prominent errors will sometimes merit an equally prominent correction, a designation to be determined by the publisher or executive editor.
- Written corrections should avoid repeating the error. They should give correct information with enough context to help readers understand what went wrong.
- The record should be corrected -- in the paper and in the archives -- whether sources request it or not. Versions of the story, corrections should be prominently added to the original file; the original error should not be erased.
- Mwana Halisi encourages reader feedback. Readers should have access to editors and reporters to air grievances. In the case of a person demanding a correction, the person making contact should be immediately directed to the managing editor - news/operations or, in the ME-N/O's absence, the executive editor. Mwana Halisi should invite dialog about how we cover the community.
- Mwana Halisi will not suppress letters to the editor addressing errors in order to conceal that errors occur.
- Photos or graphics in which information was misidentified should be published again with the correct identifying information.
Altering / Adjusting Photos
News photos must be an accurate, truthful representation of a moment in time.
- News photos should not be set up or staged. Nor should events be reenacted for photographers.
- Photos may only be modified for color correction or by cropping.
- Photos may be cropped for impact, but crops should not misrepresent the context of the photo.
- If a photo is altered significantly, it should be labeled as a photo illustration.
Staff members should not obscure or misrepresent their relationship with the newspaper when dealing with news sources.
- When contacting a source for a story, reporters should identify themselves and their affiliation with Mwana Halisi at or near the beginning of the conversation.
- Staff members will not "go undercover" or intentionally misrepresent their identities. Any reporting approach in which reporters do not plan to fully identify themselves must be approved by the executive editor.
- It is not appropriate to quote a source who was not aware they were speaking to or were being overheard by a reporter when the source is engaged in a private conversation or in a situation where privacy is the expectation.
- Mwana Halisi staff may request routine information commonly available to the general public without identifying their affiliation with the newspaper.
- When interviewing or photographing ordinary citizens who are not familiar with how newspapers work, reporters and photographers should not only identify themselves but must also explain that the sources may be quoted or depicted in the news.
Everything that appears with a Mwana Halisi staff or correspondent byline must be the result of the work, research, reporting, knowledge and writing of the named person or people. Taking another's work and presenting it as your own is a lie, a disservice to readers and a serious blow to the credibility of the newspaper. Staff members may include information from outside sources in their stories, with proper attribution. Specific guidelines for using outside sources -- such as the wire, press releases, the archives and other publications -- follows:
In general, staff may use information from the newspaper's wire services, with proper attribution. Wire should be rewritten to best meet the needs of Mwana Halisi's readership.
- Any story with more than 50 percent content carry byline. Staff contributions will be noted in a tag line at the end.
- A staff written story that includes a quote or paragraph from a wire story shall credit the wire service in the body of the story. (Example: Reuters, Xhinua, Associated Press etc.)
- A staff written story that uses more than a paragraph of a wire story, and that paragraph makes up less than 50 percent of the entire article, may have a staff byline but shall credit the wire service in a tag line at the end of the story.
Staff reporting is always preferable to publishing information provided in a press release. On the occasion that it is necessary to use information from releases, these guidelines apply:
- Information in press releases should be confirmed for accuracy before being included in a news story. Any information not independently confirmed must be attributed to the release or statement and its issuing organization.
- Quotes from live interviews are preferable, but when that is not possible, quotes from press releases may be used if attributed to "a statement" or press release.
- Press releases should not be published as received. They should be rewritten and edited to The Mwana Halisi's standards.
Mwana Halisi will only source other publications/media when no other options are available under pressure of deadline. When used, full attribution must be made.
- TV/Radio: Mwana Halisi staff can quote sources from exclusive broadcast interviews with attribution to network station.
- Online/Internet: Interviews, chats or transcripts must be confirmed before being used.
- Photos: Photos from all sources should be attributed.
Anything between quotes should be a word-for-word, accurate representation of what the named source stated.
- Quotes may not be edited for grammar. When sources are unclear or are using improper grammar, reporters should paraphrase the statement.
- Partial quotes may be used but they must remain in context.
- Minors should not be quoted without the knowledge of their parent(s) or legal guardian(s).
- If a quote is used from an earlier interview or article, the time element should be noted in the attribution of the quote.
- If a quote that first appeared in another publication or not made directly to Mwana Halisi is used in a story, its original source must be noted in the attribution.
- Profanities, slurs, vulgarities or other offensive language should be quoted sparingly -- only when central to the news value of the story or to report on an instance when such language was used in public. Whenever in doubt, consult an editor.