VIDEO AND AUDIO
The growing use of electronic media by The Times creates challenges that may, on occasion, require staff members to apply the principles embodied in these guidelines in new ways. To cite one possible example: Journalists should understand that a person who consents to a tape-recorded interview may not want the recording made available on our website.
The Times increasingly is engaged in video production, both for the Web and for other Tribune outlets. In general, video is governed by the same ethical practices as still photography (see above). Distortion of any type is improper. In editing video, do not insert words or splice together statements made at different times so as to suggest that they were uttered at the same time. Excerpts of an interview or address generally should be presented in the order in which they occurred. If an interview is presented in question-and-answer format, the questions must be presented as they were asked. Reaction shots may not be altered after the fact and should be shot in the presence of the interview subject whenever possible. Staging is prohibited.
In rare instances, re-creations of events may be justified; they must be clearly labeled as such. Video, images or graphics obtained from outside sources must be clearly identified.
Times journalists who accept invitations to appear on other Tribune outlets or in other media forums should be mindful that their remarks require the same care, discretion and neutrality as their published reports.
CONFLICTS OF INTEREST
Guidelines cannot cover every conceivable conflict of interest. If doubt exists, staff members should consult a supervisor. Nevertheless, some principles are clear.
Staff members may not enter into business or financial relationships with their sources. Similarly, staff members may not cover individuals or institutions with which they have a financial relationship.
In no circumstance will staff members allow personal investments to influence their news decisions. They may not work on material that could, in any way, shape events for their own financial gain. Likewise, they may not use nonpublic information obtained by The Times to make personal investment decisions.
In the case of, say, a personal finance columnist who owns securities in a company or shares in a fund, the columnist must disclose this financial interest to readers whenever writing about the company or fund.
Because these issues arise most frequently for journalists covering business, a supplementary set of guidelines applies to the business staff.
Our place in the community
Editorial employees may not use their positions to promote personal agendas or causes. Nor should they allow their outside activities to undermine the impartiality of Times coverage, in fact or appearance.
Staff members may not engage in political advocacy -- as members of a campaign or an organization specifically concerned with political change. Nor may they contribute money to a partisan campaign or candidate. No staff member may run for or accept appointment to any public office.
Staff members should avoid public expressions or demonstrations of their political views, whether on bumper stickers, lawn signs, blog posts, social media or online comments.
Although The Times does not seek to restrict staff members' participation in civic life or journalistic organizations, they should be aware that outside affiliations and memberships may create real or apparent ethical conflicts. When those affiliations have even the slightest potential to damage The Times' credibility, staff members should proceed with caution and take care to advise supervisors.
Some types of civic participation may be deemed inappropriate. An environmental writer, for instance, would be prohibited from affiliating with environmental organizations, a health writer from joining medical groups, a business editor from membership in certain trade or financial associations.
More broadly, staff members should be aware of the goals and funding sources of organizations with which they affiliate, and should avoid those whose purpose or backing could embarrass The Times or compromise the staff member's credibility.