Audiences are at the heart of everything we do. We are committed to giving them high-quality, original and at times challenging output. Creativity is the lifeblood of our organization. Equally, we must give our audiences content made to the highest editorial and ethical standards. Their trust depends on it. We must therefore balance our presumption of freedom of expression with our responsibilities, for example to respect privacy, to be fair, to avoid unjustifiable offense and to provide appropriate protection for our audiences from harm. The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees freedom of the press. However, we must strive to balance that freedom with sensitivity and respect to people’s privacy and dignity. We seek to uphold the Longmont Observer’s Editorial Values in all we do. They embody our freedoms and responsibilities apply to all our content, whether it is made by the Longmont Observer itself or by an independent company working for the Longmont Observer, and whether it is made for audio, video, online, mobile devices, interactive services or the printed word. What follows are challenging requirements, but they are essential to everything we do.
Trust is the foundation of the Longmont Observer: we are independent, impartial and honest. We are committed to achieving the highest standards of due accuracy and impartiality and strive to avoid knowingly and materially misleading our audiences.
Our purpose is to pursue the truth. Diligent verification is critical. We take great care to ensure that statements of fact in our journalism are both correct and in context. In our reporting, we rigorously challenge both the claims we encounter and the assumptions we bring. We devote our resources and our skills to presenting the fullest version of the truth we can deliver, placing the highest value on information we have gathered and verified ourselves. Use the checklists when creating content for the Longmont Observer.
Impartiality lies at the core of the Longmont Observer’s commitment to its audiences. We will apply due impartiality to all our subject matter and will reflect a breadth and diversity of opinion across our output as a whole, over an appropriate period, so that no significant strand of thought is knowingly unreflected or under-represented. We will be fair and open-minded when examining evidence and weighing material facts.
Editorial Integrity and Independence
The Longmont Observer is independent of outside interests and arrangements that could undermine our editorial integrity. Our audiences should be confident that our decisions are not influenced by outside interests, political or commercial pressures, or any personal interests.
Harm and Offense
We aim to reflect the world as it is, including all aspects of the human experience and the realities of the natural world. But we balance our right to broadcast innovative and challenging content with our responsibility to protect the vulnerable from harm and avoid unjustifiable offense. We will be sensitive to, and keep in touch with, generally accepted standards as well as our audience’s expectations of our content, particularly in relation to the protection of children.
Serving the Public Interest
We seek to report stories of significance to our audiences. We will be rigorous in establishing the truth of the story and well informed when explaining it. Our specialist expertise will bring authority and analysis to the complex world in which we live. We will ask searching questions of those who hold public office and others who are accountable, and provide a comprehensive forum for public debate.
Our output will be based on fairness, openness, honesty and straight dealing. Contributors and audiences will be treated with respect.
We will respect privacy and will not infringe it without good reason, wherever in the world we are operating. Private behavior, information, correspondence and conversation will not be brought into the public domain unless there is a public interest that outweighs the expectation of privacy.
We will always seek to safeguard the welfare of children and young people who contribute to and feature in our content, wherever in the world we operate. We will preserve their right to speak out and participate, while ensuring their dignity and their physical and emotional welfare is protected during the making and broadcast of our output. Content which might be unsuitable for children will be scheduled and annotated appropriately.
We will be transparent about the nature and provenance of the content we offer online. Where appropriate, we will identify who has created it and will use labelling to help online users make informed decisions about the suitability of content for themselves and their children.
We are accountable to our audiences and will deal fairly and openly with them. Their continuing trust in the Longmont Observer is a crucial part of our relationship with them. We will be open in acknowledging mistakes when they are made and encourage a culture of willingness to learn from them.
We understand that, as a non-profit, we have certain responsibilities to ensure and maintain our non-profit status and agree to learn about and be informed what those responsibilities are and to abide by them at all times.