Canadian Affairs News Inc. (“Canadian Affairs” or the “Company”) exists to deliver high-quality journalism on under-covered topics that matter to the lives and livelihoods of Canadian families and professionals. The Company’s credibility depends upon its staff and freelance contributors producing ethical journalism.
This Editorial Policy outlines the professional journalistic principles and practices that are essential for producing ethical journalism. Staff and freelance contributors are expected to adhere to this Policy in their work for the Company. Failure to do so is grounds for discipline or dismissal.
- We maintain full editorial control of our coverage. We are independent, impartial and non-partisan.
- We do not show our completed stories to sources before they are published. We may read short portions of a story to a source to verify facts.
- We strive for accuracy and expect staff who identify an error or error of omission in our work to promptly report it.
- We do not “unpublish” or materially change articles except for legal reasons, but we do correct and update articles in a timely manner if there is a significant error of fact or context. We inform our readers of material corrections.
- We strive to present information in context and to present all sides fairly.
- We make a concerted and persistent effort to contact key subjects of our stories prior to publication. If they decline to comment, we say so.
- We provide sources for information that is less-than-obvious to readers.
- We name sources of information wherever possible. We are aggressive in pressing sources to put information on the record.
- We may use unnamed sources at the discretion of an editor. The editor will consider:
- If there is a clear and pressing reason to protect anonymity;
- If the material gained from the confidential source is of strong public interest; and
- If there is no other reasonable way to obtain the information.
- We independently corroborate facts from unnamed sources and we explain the need for anonymity to our readers.
- We do not provide anonymity to those who attack individuals or organizations or engage in speculation.
- Plagiarism — the unattributed use of words or ideas from another published source — is unacceptable.
Conflicts of interest
- We avoid conflicts of interest and the appearance of conflicts. In circumstances where that may not be possible, we disclose information that could create the perception of a conflict of interest.
- We seek to ensure that our journalists’ reputations as fair-minded fact-finders are not compromised by public displays of political or partisan views or by their personal interests.
Outside positions and interests
- Staff and freelance contributors must disclose to the publisher and managing editor any outside positions, roles or interests that could result in a conflict of interest or reasonably perceived conflict of interest.
- Staff should avoid publicly endorsing any political candidate or cause, including on their social media platforms, and should avoid making financial contributions to campaigns or causes that they are likely to cover.
- Staff should not hold paid or volunteer positions in organizations, advocacy groups or companies that they are likely to cover.
- Staff and freelance contributors should avoid writing about any subject in which they or their immediate family (i.e. spouses, partners, parents, children, siblings) have a financial interest.
- Staff and freelance contributors should disclose to the publisher and managing editor all holdings of any securities, investments or financial interests that could reasonably be seen to put the journalist or Company in a conflict of interest.
Staff are generally free and encouraged to appear on radio, television and YouTube channels, subject to the following conditions:
- Staff must notify the publisher and/or managing editor in advance and the Company reserves the right to veto such appearances.
- When appearing in other media, staff should identify their position at Canadian Affairs.
- In no circumstances may staff release or discuss in any other media, including social media, any exclusive item before it has been published by Canadian Affairs.
- No staff should enter into a regular commitment (i.e. monthly or more frequently) with other media without the prior approval of the publisher and managing editor.
- Staff must discuss any invitations to make paid speeches with the publisher and managing editor. Staff will generally not be permitted to accept payment from groups, companies or industries that we cover.
Relatives and friends
- Staff should not write about, photograph or make news judgments about close relatives or friends unless this conflict is made clear to readers.
- Staff should not accept in their professional capacities any gift that has a retail value greater than $25.
- Notwithstanding the foregoing, staff are permitted to accept and keep free copies of or access to books, movies, films, TV series or tickets for shows that are submitted for review in Canadian Affairs.
- Staff and freelance contributors should regard their online communications as capable of being made public and should act accordingly. They are responsible for the content they publish online, including in emails, texts and social media.
- Staff must not do anything online that damages the Company’s reputation for fair journalism. That includes making partisan or offensive comments, endorsing political candidates or taking sides on issues that we cover.
- Staff should be aware that passing along information, through links or otherwise, can be seen as approval or endorsement of that information by Canadian Affairs.
- Staff should conduct themselves in a professional, temperate and respectful manner online, and are encouraged to listen and interact respectfully with readers who engage with them in productive ways.
- Staff are not expected to tolerate abusive or disrespectful online behaviour, and should block or mute anyone who is making threatening, abusive or harassing comments. Staff must report such abuse to an editor.
Policy last updated: June 20, 2023