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Editorial Policies

Ethics

All contributors to the Lodi Valley Chronicle are expected to follow the SPJ’s Code of Ethics.

Short version

  • It is our job to report the news– not make it, not spin it, not sensationalize it.
  • It’s our responsibility to make sure that what we report is as clear, accurate, and as free from bias as we can make it.
  • It is our responsibility to clearly separate news from opinion.

Identification

Identification of “Criminals”

In the United States, a person is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law, by a jury of their peers.  Publishing the name of an individual in connection with a crime is a serious matter which can affect that person for the rest of their life–guilty or innocent.

  • Accusations & Allegations: The Chronicle will not report stories of accusations or allegations.  This is gossip, not news.
  • Investigations: The Chronicle will use editorial discretion when identifying individuals involved in investigations.  If  no warrant has been issued, we will probably not identify individuals.  If a warrant has been issued, we are more likely to identify a suspect.
  • Arrests: Excluding special circumstances, persons who have been arrested following issue of a valid warrant or as a result of crimes committed in public view will be identified1Special circumstances may include protecting victims, keeping on-going investigations secret, or waiting to confirm the facts of the case..
  • Trials: Excluding exceptional circumstances, persons on trial will be identified2Exceptional circumstances may include protecting the privacy of victims or waiting to verify facts. .
  • Convictions: Persons convicted of crimes will be identified.

Identification of Victims

By default, the Chronicle will not list the names or other identifying information of persons who have been victims of (alleged) crimes.  We will consider publishing such information when the police or sheriff indicate it is vital to an on-going case and/or when the (alleged) victim chooses to be identified.  We retain editorial discretion in all situations.

Identification of Sources

The Lodi Valley Chronicle will not accept anonymous sources.  All sources must identify themselves so we can follow up on what they tell us.  Sources may, however remain anonymous in published stories if the Chronicle feels it to be appropriate.

Footnotes   [ + ]

1. Special circumstances may include protecting victims, keeping on-going investigations secret, or waiting to confirm the facts of the case.
2. Exceptional circumstances may include protecting the privacy of victims or waiting to verify facts.