Newsroom Ethics Policy

The Maine Monitor, a publication of the Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting, produces investigative and in-depth journalism. 

Our nonprofit newsroom is nonpartisan and independent. We are committed to truth and accountability — in our reporting and our processes.

We approach stories with a curious and open mind, and interrogate everything with a healthy dose of skepticism. We aim for our reporting to be fair, accurate and thorough, and work every day to continue earning Mainers’ trust.

Editorial independence

Our news choices are not influenced by our donors or board members, and all decisions about the selection, writing and editing of stories are the responsibility of the editors and reporters.

For more about our board and funders, read our independence policy and our donor policy

Reporting practices

The Maine Monitor recognizes that not everyone our reporters talk to is familiar with traditional journalistic practices, and our staff will be as transparent as possible about the process. When our reporters approach someone for an interview, they will identify themselves and describe the story they are working on.

Sharing your story or experience is your decision. 

“On the record”: Conversations with reporters are “on the record” unless a prior arrangement has been agreed upon by both parties. “On the record” means information can be quoted and attributed to the person by name. 

“On background”: If you have sensitive information you want to provide a reporter without your name attached, you can ask that the conversation be “on background” or “not for attribution.” Both parties must agree in advance for a conversation to be “on background” or “not for attribution.” 

“Off the record”: If you want to share information for the reporter’s knowledge only and do not want that information used in an article unless otherwise corroborated, you can request that the conversation be “off the record.” Off the record conversations must be agreed upon in advance by both parties.

We do not pay sources for information or interviews, nor do we pay people to let us take their photograph.

The Monitor occasionally obscures identifying information (e.g. via pseudonyms or omitting last names) to protect sources from potential retribution. Those decisions are made at the discretion of the editors, and will be denoted within the story.

We do not allow approval or edits of quotes, and we do not share drafts or parts of drafts in advance of publication.

We may or may not tell your full story, or share every detail you provide us. Additional context around your story may be added to enhance our audiences’ understanding.

We may share your story, your image, or parts of your story in multiple formats, including but not limited to with other outlets, on our website, via email and social media.

Corrections:

We do our best to ensure the accuracy of everything we print, but we’re not perfect. If we learn of an error in a story, we’ll correct it promptly and indicate that the story was changed by appending a correction note to the bottom.

If you believe there’s an error in our reporting, please fill out our contact form and we’ll be in touch.

This policy is in effect as of June 11, 2024.

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