The RJ18 website are powerful public mediums of communication and thus, we aim to respect the fourth pillar of democracy through responsible and balanced reporting.
Journalists are watchdogs whose duty is to scrutinise the powerful, challenge authority, and give a voice to the voiceless while being transparent in the process.
As part of the dynamic Indian community, our objective remains to be independent without being completely detached.
NEWS GATHERING: FAIRNESS AND SOURCING
Storytelling can be as straightforward as phoning a few people – or as taxing as a month-long investigation.
No matter the process, we believe in acquiring all sides of the story and delivering a fact-checked, balanced, and contextual story.
RJ18 writers must possess a strong sense of fairness which must reflect in their writing. Motives of sources along with tone and language used in stories must be handled responsibly and impartially. Personal interests of writers will not undermine their accuracy or autonomy.
Since anonymously sourced information could expose truths that would be in the public interest, it is important to protect the source’s identity in case they might be harmfully targeted for speaking up.
All anonymous sources and use of fictitious names are deemed credible and approved by the Editor before publishing.
Use of Quotes
RJ18 writers do not alter the words uttered by their sources.
In some cases where the interviewee wishes their statements to be grammatically correct or the same point/view to be worded differently, they may agree to be paraphrased by the journalist.
Plagiarism and Originality
On the RJ18 website all information, quotes, and passages from other publications must be attributed.
All content must be originally produced or credited to the original source.
Bylines with the name “RJ18” will have their authors/newswires mentioned in the beginning or at the end of the article. If no name is mentioned, it is assumed that the piece is an original contribution by a writer for RJ18.
Regarding visual accuracy – images must be used in the relevant context (outdated images, fake images, unclear images must not be used). Photo captions must disclose the origin of the photo if not supplied by the subject of the article.
PERSONAL CONFLICTS AND BUSINESS
The crux of credible journalism is independence from the subjects we cover.
If RJ18 editorial employees have a personal connection to a story, it must be disclosed to the Editor. Additionally, they must not participate in activities that covertly or overtly favour them or their kin by virtue of RJ18 employment.
RJ18 editorial employees shall not engage in business transactions with people and institutions they cover.
RJ18 reporters and writers who run their own blogs must not publish under the name of RJ18. The views published on said platforms should not be attributed to RJ18 unless edited/approved by the Editor.
Our writers and reporters should not write or blog for a site operated by an RJ18 competitor without approval of the Editor. Questions concerning what constitutes a competitor should be discussed with the editor.
Writers should also avoid defamatory practices when publishing posts on their blog. Personal websites and blogs of staff members should be free of advertising or sponsorships from collectives or individuals who may fall into your area of coverage or expertise.
Tickets, Credentials, Food/Meals and Gifts
RJ18 editorial employees may use media credentials to cover stories, events and sports. Employees not specifically assigned to an event may use credentials for admission only with approval of the Editor.
RJ18 editorial department employees should never ask for or accept gifts from news sources or newsmakers.
RJ18 editorial employees involved with stories on food, chefs and/or their restaurants will not accept free meals from the restaurants they cover.
Political and Civic Involvement
The political sphere can be a contentious one. Employees must remain impartial when reporting political stories and engaging in public discourse when representing the newspaper.
Joining any overtly political organisation or rallies (except for the purpose of covering the event) must be avoided to protect the credibility of the employee and RJ18.
The purpose of this ethics policy is to protect the credibility of RJ18. Queries about the policy or its application under specific circumstances should be discussed with the Editor.
Disclosure and discussion are the fundamentals of ethical journalism.