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Made Here Fund: Code Of Integrity & Editorial Policy

All content produced with Made Here funding must adhere to the Public Media Code of Integrity and the Vermont Public Editorial Policy. Vermont Public reserves the right to interpret standards and select content at its discretion. When submitting content, we ask that you alert us to content that may fall within the categories of Obscene, Indecent, or Profane – which may or may not impact whether content may be broadcast depending on context and time of day of broadcast. You may find more information about these classifications here. Content distributed via the internet is bound by fewer rules regarding what is considered obscene. In all cases, content that is funded in part by Vermont Public must align with the mission, values and ethics of our organization.

Code of Integrity

Public broadcasters have adopted shared principles to strengthen the trust and integrity that communities expect of valued public service institutions.

Public media organizations contribute to a strong civil society and active community life, provide access to knowledge and culture, extend education, and offer varied viewpoints and sensibilities.

The freedom of public media professionals to make editorial decisions without undue influence is essential. It is rooted in America's commitment to free speech and a free press. It is reflected in the unique and critical media roles that federal, state, and local leaders have encouraged and respected across the years. It is affirmed by the courts.

Trust is equally fundamental. Public media organizations create and reinforce trust through rigorous, voluntary standards for the integrity of programming and services, fundraising, community interactions, and organizational governance.

These standards of integrity apply to all the content public media organizations produce and present, regardless of subject matter, including news, science, history, information, music, arts, and culture. These standards apply across all public media channels and platforms - broadcasting, online, social media, print, media devices, and in-person events.

Public media, individually and collectively:

  • Contribute to communities' civic, educational, and cultural life by presenting a range of ideas and cultures and offering a robust forum for discussion and debate.
  • Commit to accuracy and integrity in the pursuit of facts about events, issues, and important matters that affect communities and people's lives.
  • Pursue fairness and responsiveness in content and services, with particular attention to reflecting diversity of demography, culture, and beliefs.
  • Aim for transparency in news gathering, reporting, and other content creation and share the reasons for important editorial and programming choices.
  • Protect the editorial process from the fact and appearance of undue influence, exercising care in seeking and accepting funds and setting careful boundaries between contributors and content creators.
  • Encourage understanding of fundraising operations and practices, acknowledge program sponsors, and disclose content-related terms of sponsor support.
  • Maintain respectful and accountable relationships with individual and organizational contributors.
  • Seek editorial partnerships and collaborations to enhance capacity, perspective, timeliness, and relevance and apply public media standards to these arrangements.
  • Expect employees to uphold public media's integrity in their personal as well as their professional lives, understanding that employee actions, even when "off the clock," affect trust, integrity, credibility, and impartiality.
  • Promote the common good, the public interest, and these commitments to integrity and trustworthiness in organizational governance, leadership, and management.

Vermont Public Editorial Policy

Vermont Public provides an essential regional news source that covers developing news, an overview of regional news, and in-depth reporting. It informs and educates listeners with breaking stories, features, interviews and call-in programs. As a member station, Vermont Public complements the extensive resources of National Public Radio and PBS, which provides coverage of national and world events and issues. Through this unique medium, the station reflects the diverse voices of the region.

Vermont Public is an independent and non-partisan news organization that subscribes to the highest standards of journalism. The public radio journalism guidebook "Independence and Integrity" summarizes our goals eloquently: "Reporting that is fair, accurate and balanced is true to the ideals of journalism. Such reporting filters out bias in the traditional spirit of objectivity, while allowing reporters to apply their personal insights and engagement with the issues they cover. It results in the healthy skepticism, tempered by the positive pursuit of truth that marks the best journalists."

Story selection is determined by a number of factors, including public service, a system of topical coverage, news value, geographic balance, listener interest, and commitment to diversity.

To maintain its independence and integrity, which is paramount, Vermont Public has established a firewall so that Vermont Public News is free from influence to select and report the news fairly and accurately.

Vermont Public reporting utilizes the codes of ethics of NPR, Public Radio News Directors Inc., the Radio-Television News Directors Association, and the Society of Professional Journalists.

Vermont Public News stories and programs advance no political point of view. This standard also applies to talk shows, where Vermont Public believes that the public trust is best served with a non-partisan host, who is a professional journalist and whose goal it is to shine a bright light on important topics of the day. We support energetic examination of issues, robust questioning and balance.

Vermont Public attempts to provide an intelligent approach to news, talk shows and opinion. Ultimately, Vermont Public recognizes that in reporting the news there is more than one side to any story, and listeners expect that Vermont Public, as a public media station, will always strive for an honest and accurate presentation of the facts in every circumstance.