WYSU 88.5 FM, Youngstown’s public radio station, has adopted the Public Media Code of Integrity. The code was recently developed and approved by public radio, television and service organizations from across the country, and has the support of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
Public broadcasters believe having a set of shared principles strengthens the trust and integrity that communities expect of their public service institutions. Public media organizations create and reinforce trust through rigorous voluntary standards applied to programming, services, fundraising, community relations and organizational governance.
Furthermore, 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, and it is affirmed by the courts.
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.
- Committee 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.
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. They apply across all media channels and platforms – broadcasting, online, social media, print, media devices and in-person events.