AfricaWeb Editorial Standards and Policies
AfricaWeb platforms including GhanaWeb, TanzaniaWeb, CamerounWeb and MyNigeria follow high editorial standards that bind our journalists to deliver high-quality news and information in the interest of its readers and the public. Our newsrooms promote a balanced representation of Africa in the media and we are privately-owned and independent from government interference or funding. In our quest to strive for journalistic integrity, we share with you our editorial guidelines and ethics which we review regularly to strengthen trust and transparency.
Editorial Code of Ethics
1. Truth and Facts
We cannot always guarantee ‘truth’, but getting the facts right should be the cardinal principle. We should always strive for accuracy. Every link should be an editorial decision. We should assume there is at least one other side or version to every story.
We must be an independent voice. We should not act, formally or informally, on behalf of special interests whether political, corporate or cultural.
3. Impartiality & Fair Play
Most stories have at least two sides. While there is no obligation to present every side in every piece, stories should be balanced and add context. Objectivity is not always possible, but impartial reporting builds trust and confidence.
We should do no harm. What we publish may be hurtful, but we should be aware of the impact of our words and images on the lives of others.
We should hold ourselves accountable. When we commit errors, we must correct them and our expressions of regret must be sincere, not cynical.
We should be transparent. We should declare to the audience any of our political affiliations, financial arrangements or other personal information that might constitute a conflict of interest.
7. Freedom of Expression
We must open our channel to the audience to express its opinions and points of view (comments, opinions, polls, rejoinders, etc.). We should give individuals and organizations a fair and timely opportunity to reply to inaccuracies when the issue is of significant importance or when reasonably called for. We may not change what readers write or say but we will always provide remedies when they are unfair.
Either produced internally or aggregated, we should always value and acknowledge the work of others. We should not copy and paste whole articles, copying photos, graphics, videos and even text excerpts without sourcing.
9. Comments, Facts and Propaganda
We should defend our hard-won right to exercise the widest possible latitude in expressing opinions, no matter how controversial or unpopular opinions may be. However, we shall strive to avoid expressing comment and conjecture as established fact. Also, avoid the snares of speculation and propaganda.
We should capture in our stories the diverse values, viewpoints and lives of the people in our communities. We should avoid stereotypes of race, gender, age, religion, ethnicity, geography, sexual orientation, gender identification, disability, physical appearance and social status.
AfricaWeb does not permit its journalists and correspondents to add their names to bylines as authors of articles. The company allows only the website name to be used in order to absolve journalists of legal attacks and to allow them to work and express themselves freely. However, the names of contributors and partner websites shall be used as bylines.
Actionable Feedback Policy
We strive to react quickly to any feedback we receive. Send your suggestions, criticisms, complaints, compliments, questions, concerns or enquiries to [email protected] and we will respond as soon as possible.
We make corrections to all our stories and acknowledge mistakes therein. Every major correction made to a story/ title/ photo should be highlighted at the top of the story in italics. This is the standard practice we strive to uphold to increase our credibility. For updates made to stories, we add “UPDATED” before the title to indicate a major update to the story. The Update should also be indicated before the lede of the story.
Unnamed Sources Policy
We always strive to specify our sources, whether disclosed or undisclosed. They should be explicitly stated in stories to increase their credibility. Images should also be well captioned and sources cited.
Verification/ Fact Checking Policy
It is the responsibility of all journalists and editors to check facts and ensure that the content produced is factual. When checking facts, make sure you highlight at least 3 different credible sources. Although we encourage writers to write from their point of view, it is always important to use credible sources to support their claim. This makes us trustworthy. When using social media as a source, verified accounts and accounts of known individuals and organisations are strongly preferred. Bear in mind that the accounts can be hacked. If an official tweets something that is obviously wrong and unsubstantiated, first consider whether it is newsworthy before reporting it. If there is any doubt about facts in a story, it should be forwarded to our Fact Check Desks in the various newsrooms for verification.
All paid-for advertising published as editorial content should have the “SPONSORED” tag preceding the headline unless they are published under the Press Release category. Only publish advertorial content when directed to do so by the editor.