- Statement of Purpose
- Mission Statement and Coverage Priorities
- Ethics Framework
- Sourcing and Unnamed Sources Policy
- Transparency and Objectivity
- Verification and Fact-Checking Standards
- Corrections Policy and Practice
- In-House Editor Standards
- Participation in the Trust Project
- Editorial and Newsroom Contacts
- Founding Date
Statement of Purpose
Case Services delivers accurate, timely technical information and mobile technology news and tips to consumers. The purpose of these editorial standards is to establish a set of mechanisms to ensure high-quality, objective, and transparent reporting and writing, which will improve the accuracy and usefulness of the information published.
In cases where issues are not clear-cut, these editorial standards will act as guidelines rather than a set of absolute “dos and don’ts.” These standards are intended to help examine and thoughtfully resolve editorial dilemmas. Staff are responsible for initiating such discussions with their editors and managers when they encounter a perceived editorial issue.
For advice on legal matters related to Case Services, immediately consult the Case Services legal team.
Our mission is to help people use their mobile technology devices to their fullest.
At Case Services, we bridge the gap between technology and ‘how to’ sites, delivering trusted information as well as fun-to-read tips and insights that make life a little easier.
We are committed to providing our audience with trusted, evidence-based information from the nation’s leading technology writers.
Our editorial team is comprised of passionate technology journalists.
Our articles are written by journalists who are committed to Case Services’s editorial standards for accuracy, objectivity, and balance.
The Case Services Editorial Standards provide a framework for addressing situations in which the accuracy and integrity of reporting and writing could be compromised or called into question. The reporter and editor will work together to answer the following questions and reach a solution when there is a question about a piece of content. If a solution cannot be reached, final say goes to the editor in chief or next highest manager, who will make a decision after consulting all concerned parties.
The questions a reporter and editor should answer in order to reach a solution include (but may not be limited to):
1. What do I know? What do I need to know?
2. What is my journalistic purpose?
3. What are my ethical concerns?
4. What organizational policies and professional guidelines should I consider?
5. How can I include other people, with different perspectives and diverse ideas, in the decision-making process?
6. Who are the stakeholders — those affected by my decision? What are their motivations? Which are legitimate?
7. What if the roles were reversed? How would I feel if I were in the shoes of one of the stakeholders?
8. What are the possible consequences of my actions? Short term? Long term?
9. What are my alternatives to maximize my truth-telling responsibility and minimize harm?
10. Can I clearly and fully justify my thinking and my decision? To my colleagues? To the stakeholders? To the public?
Source: Bob Steele, Poynter https://www.poynter.org/news/ask-these-10-questions-make-good-ethical-decisions
Each situation and its resolution should be documented. The following details should be saved to a shared drive on the Case Services server: 1) a short summary of the issue, 2) the resolution, 3) steps taken to resolve the issue, and 4) what steps should be taken to prevent similar situations in the future. Editorial supervisors should meet twice yearly to review these documents, learn from past experiences, and update Case Services Editorial Standards as necessary.
Sourcing and Unnamed Sources Policy
All sources of content must be given. A reporter should clearly indicate the recognized, scientific, or official sources of information in his or her articles.
- If a reporter uses another website, book, article, database, or any other supporting information that is not common knowledge, it must be cited.
- Whenever possible, particularly if a source is central to the article premise and position, a story should cite and link to the source material referenced.
- In some cases, it may be appropriate to attribute breaking news to a credible third-party source until an Case Services story is available. The source should be cited appropriately.
- If the source is not a well-known media outlet, journal, or individual, the reporter should include a brief description.
- The reporter should include a source’s professional, business, and personal affiliations, and relationship to other source material mentioned (e.g., study authorship).
- Conflicts of interest must be noted as close to the top of the story as possible.
- A source’s qualification and relevance to the subject must be clearly stated.
- If using social media for sourcing, a reporter should make sure to verify source identity.
- Sources should always be fully identified. In rare instances where a source may be in legal or physical jeopardy, the reporter must discuss the situation with editors and be prepared to identify the source to their editor.
- A reporter should always question the motives of sources coming forward with information that they do not wish to be associated with by name, and communicate those motives to readers.
- When it is deemed appropriate to withhold information about a source, the reporter should use the most complete description of the source possible (e.g., first name and occupation).
- In discussing attribution, a reporter should make every effort to allow identification. Identifying sources lends credibility to stories and engenders audience trust.
- Anything a source says “on the record” can be reported. A source who agrees to be interviewed for a story is presumed to be speaking on the record unless there is an express agreement that the any part or all of the interview is “off the record.”
- “Off the record” information can be used if it is confirmed with another source who speaks on the record.
- A reporter may withhold a source’s name if there is an express agreement that certain information given is “not for attribution.” The attribution should give as much information about the source as possible and agreed upon.
- Explain “off the record” and “not for attribution” to sources using the definitions above.
- The reporter should make sure the source understands and agrees on the meaning of the above terms. Once a decision regarding “off the record” or “not for attribution” information has been made, it is important to protect that decision.
External Reviews of Content
- In general, noneditorial personnel should not preview an unpublished article. Exceptions include “medically reviewed by” articles submitted to medical experts.
- It is acceptable to vocally read direct quotes back to sources. Discuss the situation with an editor if the source requires further information or context.
- It may be acceptable to allow a source referred to in an article to review relevant sections, quotes, or other details in a story to ensure accuracy and clarity. Subject matter and other circumstances will determine how much of the article may be released for review. Reporters should first discuss any such requests with their editor.
- The decision to submit content for external review is at the discretion of the reporter and the editor.
- When reporting a story, a reporter should identify him or herself as a journalist. In a case where anonymity is necessary (e.g., consumer reporting), it is acceptable to not reveal that he or she is a reporter. If asked, the journalist must identify his or her profession and publication.
- If a reporter has a conflict of interest with a story, he or she should disclose this information to the editor and readers. A reporter who cannot remain objective should remove him or herself from the story.
Conflicts of Interest
- Perceived conflicts of interest are just as “real” as actual conflicts of interest. Address both.
- Be aware that fact placement in a story, word emphasis, visuals, and word choice can all confer bias and spread misconceptions.
- Always disclose the use of family members as sources.
- A reporter cannot solicit gifts under any circumstances. Unsolicited gifts of any value that could create the appearance of bias should be reported to an editor.
- When covering conferences, there may be cases when it is appropriate to accept discounted or waived attendance rates, or minimal items, such as meals. When in doubt, discuss these practices with an editor.
- Donations of all kinds:
- A reporter cannot make any donation or contribution, either charitable or political, that may call into question the objectivity and accuracy of his or her reporting.
- A reporter should seek approval from his or her editor before making any donation or contribution.
Verification and Fact-Checking Standards
Our experienced team of technology journalists is dedicated to providing our users with the most accurate and trusted information to empower, educate, and inspire.
All of our content is reviewed by a team of copy editors to ensure accuracy and consistency of editorial style as well as voice.
Corrections Policy and Practice
Trust is easy to lose and difficult to regain. In order to uphold the integrity of the publication and preserve readers’ trust, wrongs must be redressed promptly. Immediately relay reports about potential corrections to an editor. Corrections to online articles should be submitted and approved by the editor. Never promise a correction or takedown of an article without approval.
When addressing topics covered in this section, please reference the Case Services Framework and submit a document to the shared drive as outlined.
- A correction is published when there is a factual error in a story.
- When a correction is made online, the reporter is responsible for alerting homepage, social teams, etc., to make necessary changes.
- Corrections should be made directly in the article, and text added at the bottom of the page should clarify what has been corrected.
- When a correction is made, the last updated date on the article should only be changed if the article has been substantially modified or undergone another medical review.
- Corrections should be concise and make clear how and why the mistake has been corrected.
- Example correction: Earlier versions of this article incorrectly stated [an expert source’s title]. It should have read [corrected title]. Case Services regrets the error.
- In general, “unpublish” requests are not granted. If the subject is suspected of inaccuracy, the editor and reporter should investigate and, if necessary, publish a correction. There may be situations in which fairness demands an update or follow-up coverage. Consider whether further editorial action is warranted, but do not remove the article as though it was never published.
- In the event an error in fact or emphasis is disseminated via an Case Services social media account, the reporter should contact their editor immediately. If deemed appropriate, the editor may take down the offending post and republish a corrected version of the content along with a correction.
In-House Editor Standards
- Case Services staff editors and reporters should ask for permission to freelance on condition topics they cover as beats. Do not write, work, or consult for direct competitors without an editor’s documented permission. Editors and reporters should not hold other non-journalism positions that could represent a conflict of interest.
- Social media accounts owned by Case Services and maintained by Case Services reporters and editors — on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, or elsewhere — reflect upon the company and website’s reputation and credibility.
- Personal social media accounts owned by Case Services journalists are the responsibility of said journalists. Please note that these accounts may also reflect upon the company and website’s reputation and credibility.
- Case Services reporters and editors should refrain from writing, tweeting, or posting anything on company or personal accounts that could make a reader question their ability to do their job objectively and professionally.
- Make every effort to present an objective social media presence. Be mindful of the effects of endorsing or liking particular social media profiles or pages, such as politically sensitive Facebook groups. Perceived conflicts of interest — whether or not they’re based on fact — should be avoided.
- Including “RT ≠ endorsements” in a bio is not a license to post inappropriate material. Do not rely on such caveats.
- It’s easy to get caught up in the buzz surrounding a story. Avoid sensationalism.
- Do not misrepresent any story with headlines or quotes taken out of context.
- Do not oversimplify information.
- Promote transparency when using social networks by using your full name and professional title in social bios.
- Reporters who receive information in advance of a press embargo should honor that embargo date and time.
- If a reporter believes an embargo should not be honored because the information has already been reported elsewhere, he or she should discuss with an editor.
Participation in the Trust Project
Case Services.co.uk adheres to the standards set forth in the Trust Project, providing truthful and verified news and information with a commitment to fairness and accuracy.
Editorial and Newsroom Contacts
For feedback and questions related to all site content, including news, please connect with our editors via email at [email protected] Inquiries will be promptly distributed to the appropriate editor.
For inquiries related to general information or other matters, please visit our Contact page.
Case Services is a publication of Aberdeen based Case Services. The company was founded in 2011.