WT Media Editorial Policy
An Overview (Objectives) of Editorial Policy
Wolaita Times Media is an Ethiopian digital media platform; have been established in Sept. 2018 G.C as designated public forum for its readers to inform and educate as well as for the discussion of issues of concern to its audience, It is registered with the Media Authority the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia under license number 34/2013. Providing its growing audience with independent, reliable news in Amharic. Based in Wolaita Sodo, its editorial team is responsible for the media platform’s journalism, research, and video output.
WT Media is an online Ethiopian media outlet whose goal is enriching the journalistic tradition of Ethiopia through truly independent and fair news. It operates an online platform that discusses a wide range of topics including politics, the economy, culture, and more, while continuing to be active on various social media outlets.
Thus, fresh, independent, and forward-looking media outlets must kick start the conversations needed to ensure that there is room for robust and substantive discussion on general matters of public interest. Hence, WT Media aspires to transcend the preoccupation with political news and cover every day human stories in their multidimensional diversity – including business, education, politics, travel, science, technology, environment, sports, and arts and culture.
Through factual, evenhanded and quality reporting, WT Media is committed to closing this gap by promoting civic discourse and fostering community engagement around social justice issues, press freedom, human rights, democracy, community health, and family and children welfare.
WT Media will serve as a conduit for citizens to express their opinion freely, to access reliable information and to play its part in the struggle to build a democratic Ethiopia where the free flow of information is the cornerstone of a free country.
WT Media is working in a challenging, complex, and dynamic media environment, but this Editorial Policy seeks to establish a guiding set of principles for our journalists. By adhering to these values, WT Media will strengthen its presence and reputation as an independent, free, and fair news outlet for all Ethiopians.
Vision and Mission of Editorial Policy
Constantly strives to publish reliable news and information about Ethiopia, focusing on both local and national issues.
Our mission is to play a role in the democratization and development of the media of Ethiopia by reporting without fear or favor.
To provide impartial news and information to help people understand and engage with the world around them.
Our mission is to play to the role of the media in the democratization process of Ethiopia by reporting on all local news nation-wide.
CORE VALUES OF WT MEDIA
Value inclusivity and nation-building by remaining non-aligned from political, religious, economic, ethnic or other identifications.
Encourage an honest and independent system of media in Ethiopia.
Remain impartial and non-aligned from political, religious, economic, ethnic or other considerations in our reporting.
Provide an accessible news outlet to the Ethiopian public that is relevant, reliable, and independent
Encourage a media ecosystem this is a true reflection of the Freedom of the Press in Ethiopia.
Editors shall make final decisions related to all content and materials that are published
All published content will represent information and coverage that is of public interest to Ethiopians
Topics and content will not be selected based on how it will positively or negatively affect an individual or group
Content may include a combination of text, photos, and videos. Whenever multiple formats are utilized, they should all be representative and accurate to the main topic and not misleading
All content decisions will be made in occurrence to the following provisions, while keeping in mind that the overall purpose, role and goal of WT Media:
Inform, interpret, and entertain their viewers through accurate and factual reports, where information has been thoroughly gathered and in formation has been completely verified;
Be accurate, fair, and impartial in its coverage of issues that affect its wide readership
WT Media will not avoid publishing a story solely on the basis of possible dissent or controversy;
WT Media will strive to report all issues in a legal, objective, accurate and ethical manner, according to the Canons of Professional Journalism developed by the Society for Professional Journalists.
The Editorial Board
The editorial board decides on all decisions that pertain directly WT Media and its interests.
No member of the editorial board shall have more than one vote on the board.
The editorial board will consist of all permanent and freelance staff writers and editors.
All members of the editorial board are expected to know their duties and jobs in the room and must understand the consequences of not fulfilling said jobs.
All members of the editorial board and the adviser will elect a replacement for board members who have been dismissed.
Any permanent or freelance staff who want appropriate outside legal ad vice regarding proposed content should seek attorneys/experts knowledgeable in media law. However, final content decisions and responsibility shall remain with the editor/s and editorial board.
The duty appointed editor or co-editors shall interpret and enforce this editorial policy.
Role of Editors
It is the responsibility of the journalists and editors to uphold the impartial guidelines of WT Media.
In the case of disagreement between editors and/or journalists over content to be published, the managing editor must make the final decision.
All arguments in a disagreement must be taken seriously. In the end, the decision should relate back to WT Media’s goals and philosophies of being free, fair, and independent news for all Ethiopians.
News and Features
WT Media specialize in and emphasize on informing its readers of national and international news.
WT Media will cover community, state, national, and international news if it is directly relevant to the timing and its di verse readership
Major national issues and news will be priority over international affairs however, these major issues will be decided by the editorial board.
The editorial board retains the right to determine whether, in fact, an error has been made.
Permanent and freelance journalists will strive to correct errors prior to publication; however, if the editorial board determines a significant error is printed, the editorial board will determine the manner and timeliness of a correction.
Major corrections are determined by the editors and adviser.
No material will be printed where content is obscene, invasive of others’ privacy, encouraging dissent or undermining the peace and stability of the nation, religious institutions, individuals, secular institutions or groups.
Online comments that are found in violation of the editorial policy will be removed as quickly as possible.
Personal attacks are not allowed.
Information posted on social media platforms should be held to the same standard as all other reporting in terms of information gathering and fact checking.
The official social media accounts should avoid promotion of events and remain objective, reporting what is fact. Reporters using personal social media to cover events should do the same.
Information gained through social media channels should be verified through multiple channels before passing it along to others.
Staff members using applications to post updates to social media accounts should have separate applications for their personal account. This will limit the chance of a post being sent from the wrong account.
Transparency is important. Mistakes made on social media posts should be corrected as soon as possible and any deleted posts should be acknowledged in subsequent postings.
Retractions and Errors
In the interest of accuracy and reliable information, all reporting should be factually based and use dependable sources, In the instance that an error is found, it is the duty of the editor to issue a retraction or correction as soon as possible to rectify it.
Professional Obligations and Duty
WT Media maintains the highest standards of professionalism in its work. Our coverage is always considered and thoughtful. We want to contribute to a wider public knowledge of events, politics, economics, and social systems in Ethiopia.
WT Media staff are protected by and bound to the principles of the Freedom of the Press and Information act of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (FDRE)and other protections and limitations afforded by the Constitution and the various laws and court decisions implementing those principles; and also Article 19 of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights that “everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.” will aim to use it as the guiding light of WT Media.
WT Media believes everyone has a right to freedom of expression.
Our reporting will be non-partisan, non-religious, and non-discriminatory towards any group.
Our coverage focuses on cross-cultural issues, urban agendas, and local politics from a variety of locations nation-wide.
WT Media will report on differing viewpoints on issues, as well as cover variety of topics.
Will serve the best interest of its audience keeping itself free from any commercial obligations distracting from this purpose; this is defined by the editorial board and editors.
NOTE: The Canons of Professional Journalism include a code of ethics concerning accuracy, responsibility, integrity, conflict of interest, impartiality, and fair play, freedom of the press, independence, sensationalism, personal privacy, obstruction of justice, creditability and advertising. The editorial board, which consists of the journalists who are full time employees, will determine the content, including all unsigned editorials. The views stated in editorials represent that of a majority of the editorial board. Signed columns or reviews represent only the opinion of the author.
WT Media will not accept advertising for products that are illegal according to the laws of the country.
WT Media not run advertising without a proper signature on the advertising contract which explains terms of payment, content, size, publishing dates, includes attached layout which explains the terms of payment, content, size.
All ads need to be approved by editorial board; any ad not deemed appropriate by board will not run.
WT Media cease to publish advertising of any advertiser that does not meet payment obligations specified in the contract.
If a published advertisement is incorrect in substantive content, a reduced price or corrected run will be negotiated.
Web ads appear in a specified section of the website and randomly rotate through the area each time the page is refreshed.
Social Media Presence
As a digital media outlet, WT Media is active on multiple social media platforms including Website, Telegram, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, Instagram and others. The Managing Editor will oversee these platforms, or will designate a reporter to head these.
The content posted to social media pages will also adhere to the editorial policies and goals of WT Media.
Bylines and Crediting
All credit to sources and any other contributions to content should be appropriately noted.
All photos, videos, and other supplemental content will similarly be recognized with a byline.
All journalists will be recognized with a byline for their pieces.
Code of Conduct
Journalists and editors must adhere to the highest standards of professional journalism at WT Media.
Validity of Information
Exhaustive efforts must be made to ensure that reported information is valid and reliable.
No information reported should be misleading or misrepresentative of a person, body, or institution.
In this way, quotes, surveys, photos, and any other content format may not be altered or presented in a limited way so as to imply something alternate from the truth.
Intentionally hiding information that could implicate or exonerate a relevant party is unethical and will not be tolerated.
In cases where a journalist is recording an interview or phone conversation by audio device, the interviewee must be informed and give consent.
Notes should always be taken to ensure that the story is factual. No pieces of relevant information shall be withheld, intentionally or unintentionally.
In cases where there is no audio recording, journalists must ensure that the quotes they take down are accurate.
Bribery and Payments
Journalists and editors will not personally benefit from the coverage of an issue.
Accepting a bribe is unethical and will not be tolerated.
Working with children and other vulnerable groups
Groups including marginalized populations, victims of physical/emotional violence, and vulnerable persons must be treated with equal respect and dignity that anyone else would be afforded.
When journalists are working with children or victims of violence and other traumas, they should take extra caution for the feelings of those individuals.
In the case of children, any quotes of theirs, or photographs or videos including them must be consented to by their parents or guardians.
Sourcing and Transparency
We will always quote and report information from sources truthfully and accurately.
We will always be honest regarding the pathways that lead to the information that is being reported, respecting confidentiality when needed.
Whenever relevant, highlighting any possibility of a conflict of interest is important. This may include any kind of relationship the reporter or editor has with any relevant parties to a story, including those discussed or any sources.
Plagiarism is not tolerated.
Tone and Language
Topics covered may be serious, contentious, or inflammatory in nature. But it is incredibly important to remain impartial.
Derogatory, biased, or obscene language will not be allowed unless it is from a source and considered crucial to the story.
Sexist, racist, ethno nationalist, ablest, anti-religious, and other offensive language will not be tolerated.
WT Media will regularly review and update these policies as necessary.
WT Media Management
WT Media is governed through three layers of leadership: The Board of Trustees, Executive Council and Editorial Board. Made up of fifteen individual members, the Board of Trustees are guardians of the foundation entrusted with law/rule making power and supervise the work of the organization. The nine members Executive Council is responsible for planning and implementing the day-to-day operations of the foundation. The Council is led by an Executive Director. The Editorial Board will be independent and is made up of journalists, cameramen and editors working for the organization. The Editor-in-Chief leads the editorial board, and represents the department in the Executive Council.
How is it funded?
We believe high-quality journalism is a rare public good, a basic human right, and the pillar of free and democratic society. We hope to fund WT Media through voluntary donations, targeted advertising, and external grants. We invite all who believe in the importance of public service media to support and sustain our work.
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