Although State of Digital Publishing (SODP) continues to evolve, the principles that guide the team’s work remain unchanged.
1. Editorial Independence
We prioritize our editorial independence above all else. Without it we wouldn’t be worthy of respect and trust from those that rely on our content.
This means that pressure to remove content for any reason other than its factual accuracy will invariably be ignored.
2. Accuracy and Corrections
We value accuracy, believing it to be the cornerstone of any media outlet’s credibility. As such, not only do we pledge to strive for the highest levels of factual accuracy, but we also commit to addressing inaccuracies as soon as they are highlighted to the editorial team.
What does this mean? Well, we’ll not only correct our errors on our website, but we’ll do so publicly in the name of greater transparency. This means that not only will our content be amended, but we’ll also include a note at the bottom of the piece outlining what changes were made and why.
This accuracy standard only applies to assertions of fact, however, and not to expressions of opinion. When opinions are expressed, however, they must still be credible and based on tangible justifications.
3. Fact Checking
SODP’s commitment to accuracy extends to fact checking all data and claims before publishing our articles.
We check that all information in our stories is properly attributed to the original source. We rely on either official sources, reputable private-sector organizations or respected academic institutions for our data.
Quotes add credibility and immediacy to any story. SODP believes that quotes should be treated with the utmost respect.
While generally quoting people verbatim, we will correct obvious slips of grammar that would be needlessly embarrassing to publish. We remove verbal mannerisms such as ah’s and meaningless repetitions. Otherwise we do not revise quotations.
5. Bylines and Credit Lines
In addition to providing a byline on all of our stories, SODP will also cite those who were responsible for editing and fact checking our content.
We believe it’s important for our readers to know not who created the content on our site but also who is responsible for quality control.
Responsibility for upholding SODP’s standards rests with our editorial team. While it’s impossible to have precise rules that cover every eventuality, we believe that being guided by proven practices is the surest way of meeting our own high standards.
Among the most important of these practices:
- Investigate fully before publishing any story where there is the slightest reason for doubt. When in doubt, cut it out. But never make this an excuse for ditching an angle without thorough checking.
- Cite competent authorities and sources as the origin of any information open to question. Have proof available for publication in the event of a denial.
- Admit errors promptly, frankly.
- Every story shown to be erroneous and involving a corrective must be drawn to the attention of supervisory staff.
SODP offers co-created and branded content opportunities to our partners. This either involves the SODP team writing content in partnership with third parties or presenting sponsor-created content. In our ongoing pursuit of transparency, we’ll always clearly label such content.
While we offer sponsorship opportunities, we will never compromise any of the editorial policies stated above. We have committed to providing authoritative, insightful and valuable content for our readership, which means all content — including sponsored posts — must pass our strict editorial guidelines.
We review and edit all content before it goes live and also reserve the right to reject any material that stands in direct opposition to our core editorial tenets. We will work with our partners to elevate any sponsored content that falls short of our expectations, but will not be pressured into publishing substandard material.