The Long Beach Post is committed to the principles of accuracy, transparency, integrity, fairness and thoroughness, which form the basis of the Code of Ethics established by the Society of Professional Journalists.
These principles guide every decision we make, as maintaining the public’s trust is essential to what we do.
We do our jobs with fairness, accuracy and independence, which means we seek opposing views, as well as responses from those whose conduct is questioned in news stories or those who may be cast in a negative light.
We seek information from credible sources, whether from documents or people. Whenever possible we seek original source material to support our reporting, as well as interviews with people as close to the issue as possible. We do not present unverified information from social media, the police scanner, a member of the public or other questionable sources as fact; if such information is useful or necessary in a story, we describe the potential problems with this information in the story, and/or indicate in a prominent place that it has not been verified.
Edits, retractions and corrections after publishing
We generally do not remove stories, photos or other content from the web or social media. Decisions to do so should be made at the senior management level, with appropriate consultation. We must balance the reason for the request with the public’s right to know, being sensitive to individuals who may be harmed, either physically or emotionally, professionally, financially or reputationally, by our coverage.
Use of unnamed sources
Trust and credibility with our readers and our community are foundational to the journalistic mission of the Long Beach Post. Occasionally, in the course of our reporting, it may be necessary for our reporters to rely on unnamed sources.
This is an infrequent practice, taken with great caution, to provide information that is important to the public—and essential to a story—only when such information is unavailable by other means.
Reporters should make every effort to verify the information provided and only grant anonymity in an article if there is a compelling reason to do so, such as fear of retaliation.
The identity of unnamed sources are always known to the Post. Besides the reporter, at least one high-ranking editor or department head must also know the identity of the source and must approve inclusion in the story.
We do not publish information without knowing where it came from, and we make every effort to explain as much as possible to readers about the source without revealing his or her identity.
Reporters and editors should be satisfied that unnamed sources have a factual basis for the information they’re providing before publishing it.
Unnamed sources should not be granted anonymity simply to speculate about something, attack someone or promote a point of view.
Disclosures of conflicts of interest
The Long Beach Post and its employees should strive to remain independent of all outside interests, avoiding even the appearance of a conflict.
Employees should not have a financial stake in anything they cover, including stock holdings, employment and other work that would involve payment. This also applies to a spouse or close relative of the employee.
Employees of the Long Beach Post can participate in various groups, such as religious groups, nonprofits and other hobby or recreational groups. We should avoid, however, any political office or positions of power that would put us in conflict with our role at the company.
Participating in political marches, rallies and other such events should be avoided, as well as giving endorsements or campaign contributions to those seeking office. It is best to first clear these affiliations and activities by an editor or supervisor.
We pay our own way. We avoid taking free meals, gifts, money or other valuables, generally anything worth more than $25. Costs associated with activities we cover should be expensed and covered by the Long Beach Post, with approval from a supervisor. Exceptions to this can of course be made, such as eating a meal at someone’s home if it would be rude not to do so. Use caution, and consult with an editor or supervisor when appropriate.
Employees should not use their affiliation with the Long Beach Post to gain access to any event (unless they are covering it), to curry favor in a personal matter, to facilitate a purchase or transaction, to get better or faster service, and certainly not to threaten anyone.