Ethics

The Voice strives to observe the highest standards of journalistic ethics, as it has since its founding in 1997.

A free press is free because it is not subject to government oversight in western democracies. There are no laws specifically aimed to control or guide journalists in their work.  Calls to “license” or apply state regulation to journalists or news reporting organizations are manifestations of an authoritarian desire to exert control over a politician’s or a government’s public image.

Good journalism observes two fundamentals: Accuracy, and fairness.

The Canadian Association of Journalist’s ethics guidelines offer both. These are the guidelines that the Voice observes. You may find them here.

Our own guidelines on deadlines and use of unnamed sources are as follows:

DEADLINES

The Voice is a weekly, going to press on Monday evening. We will make every reasonable effort to reach subjects affected by or involved in a news story before going to press. We believe it reasonable that official spokespersons for government, in particular, should be available during weekends, and able to respond at least in basic fashion to our requests for comment. The news does not stop on Saturdays and Sundays.

USE OF UNNAMED SOURCES

The Voice may elect not to identify certain sources of information. Such decisions are not made easily, and the source must make a credible case as to why his or her identity should not be revealed. The need for protecting source identities can be particularly important in smaller communities. The Voice makes every reasonable effort to ensure that its sources’ credentials, expertise, knowledge of the facts, and credibility are bona fide. We also seek to ensure that personal or political agendas are not at play when a source requests not to be named.

COMPLAINTS

If you believe that the Voice has printed inaccurate information, or reported on a story in an unfair manner, please see the complaints link on our Contact Us page.

“UNPUBLISHING” POLICY

Occasionally we receive requests to remove or “unpublish” previously published content from our website or online print archive. Published digital content is part of the historical record and with rare exceptions should not be unpublished. News organizations do not rewrite history or make news disappear. This is an issue of integrity and credibility and reflects our sense of responsibility to our audiences, our community and the historical record.

However, we have a journalistic responsibility to ensure the ongoing accuracy of all published content and publish correctives as soon as we verify errors and/or new information. In some cases, further reporting may be necessary to verify new information to append to online content, especially in cases involving charges against individuals named in the news. If we err, or if new relevant facts emerge, we will endeavor to correct and update online articles when such errors are brought to our attention and are, in the sole editorial judgment of the newspaper, considered credible and relevant.