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Ethics.

Terra Observer values honest, independent and accurate journalism. 

We agree with the principles of journalism, set out by the Canadian Association of Journalists (CAJ) and follow their ethics guidelines, outlined here. Because we are a not-for-profit, volunteer-based digital publication, we want to emphasize the guidelines below. We abide by the following ethics code to the best of our abilities and count on the sharp eyes of our readers for when we don’t. If you have any concerns about our work, you can reach out to Canada's National NewsMedia Council.

Accuracy

  • We are rigorous in our efforts to verify all facts. As a one-time summer publication, our accuracy is not compromised by the pressing deadlines of the 24-hour news cycle.

  • We are disciplined in our efforts to verify source identities and backgrounds. 

  • We take responsibility for any factual errors in our content. 

  • We make all efforts to preserve the original tone, meaning and context of all quotes used in our work.

  • We abide by copyright laws and give due credit to original work from other sources.

  • We are transparent about our errors and correct our mistakes promptly and transparently.

  • We make an effort to ensure all sites that we link to are credible.

Independence

  • Our publication works to defend public interest. We promote the free flow of information and the exposure of wrongdoing to ensure the public are not being misled.

  • We do not accept payment from groups we comment on or unsolicited gifts above a nominal value.

  • We do not share our drafts with sources before they are published. This is to preserve our editorial independence. Quoted material, however, may be shared with sources for the sole purpose of verification.

Transparency and conflict of interest

  • We declare ourselves as journalists to our sources and do not conceal our identities.

  • We normally identify sources of information, only choosing to include an unnamed source in rare circumstances when it’s imperative that we protect their anonymity.

  • Facts from such sources are independently corroborated. 

  • We are honest about any biases that might be perceived as influential to our reporting. We ensure that our contributors abide by the same ethical considerations. 

Fairness

  • We respect the rights of people involved in the news.

  • We do not refer to a person’s race, colour, religion, sexual orientation, gender self-identification or physical ability unless pertinent to the story.

  • We avoid stereotypes of race, gender, age, religion, ethnicity, geography, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance or social status. 

  • We clearly label and identify opinion pieces.

  • We do not pay for information. Our publication is comprised of content contributed by writers who volunteer to share their experiences and insights. 

Terra Observer Magazine is the passion project of two soon-to-be journalism grads who care deeply about Ontario's natural spaces and advocate for their preservation for future generations.

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