Journalism ethics. To some, that's an oxymoron. To Modern Healthcare, they are our operating instructions. Our Editorial Code of Ethics is published here for the fourth consecutive year. We've updated the code with new sections on conferences, trade shows and exhibitions and on contact information from sources. The updated code also can be found under the "About Us" section of our Web site, Modern Healthcare Online, at modernhealthcare.com. Please contact me directly with any comments, criticisms or suggestions.
-- David Burda, editor
Modern Healthcare's Editorial Code of Ethics
The mission of Modern Healthcare
and all its publications, is to provide readers with essential healthcare business news and information that help them successfully manage their organizations. To ensure the credibility of that news and information, members of the editorial staff adhere to the following Editorial Code of Ethics: Access: The editorial staff determines who has access to the staff. In determining that access, the editorial staff will not discriminate based on a source's status as an advertiser or potential advertiser. Access to the staff will not be a stated or implied condition of a business arrangement with an advertiser or potential advertiser. Advertorials: All advertorials will be clearly labeled as a "Special Advertising Section" or "Special Advertising Supplement." The labels will appear on each page of the section or supplement. All advertorials will be distinct in design so readers don't confuse them with editorial content. No member of the editorial staff may be involved in the research, writing, design or production of advertorials. Attribution: Modern Healthcare prefers on-the-record sources. Reporters may conduct not-for-attribution or background interviews at their own discretion. Information from those interviews may be published and attributed to persons who are not identified by name or title. Reporters are discouraged from conducting off-the-record interviews when that information may not be used. Reporters may cite confidential sources in a story with the editor's permission, and all confidential sources must be disclosed to the editor. Sources are confidential for the magazine and all its publications, not for the individual reporter. Conferences, trade shows, exhibitions: The primary responsibilities of editors and reporters who attend conferences, trade shows, exhibitions or similar events are to collect news, learn industry trends, attend news conferences and cultivate new sources. Editors and reporters are not required to meet with advertisers or potential advertisers but may do so at their own discretion. Conflicts: Editorial staff members and their family members should avoid conflicts of interest, such as investments in or working for organizations or companies covered by the magazine. Editorial staff members must disclose such conflicts to senior editors for resolution and possible disclosure to readers. Contact information: Contact information such as telephone numbers and e-mail addresses of editorial sources used by reporters and editors will not be used for sales, marketing or circulation purposes. Contests, competitions: Editorial staff members may not serve as judges, reviewers or jurists in any contest, competition or awards program not sponsored by the magazine and in which the candidates are individuals, companies or organizations covered by the magazine. Events: Editorial staff members generally may not attend or participate in events, conferences, focus groups, retreats, panel discussions, roundtables or similar gatherings if they are not permitted to report on the proceedings or use the information from the proceedings in their work. Editorial staff members may attend such an event with the editor's permission and if the attendance or participation in the event serves a legitimate editorial purpose. Those legitimate purposes include furthering the staff member's knowledge of the industry and development of new sources. Favors, food, gifts, trips: Editorial staff members will not accept favors, food or gifts from sources or potential sources unless they are unsolicited and of nominal value. Editorial staff members will not accept free trips from sources or potential sources. Freelancing: With permission from senior editors, editorial staff members may work for other publications as long as the other publications do not compete with Modern Healthcare or another publication published by Modern Healthcare's parent company, Crain Communications; the work is done on the staff member's own time; and the work is not commissioned by an organization or company covered by the magazine. Market research: Editorial staff members may not participate in market research, polls, surveys or similar activities in which the subject of the research, poll or survey is individuals, companies or organizations covered by the magazine. Plagiarism: Plagiarism is prohibited. Information used from other sources will be appropriately attributed. Prepublication review: Prepublication review of draft or completed editorial content by sources is strictly prohibited. The prohibition does not apply to fact-checking. At their discretion, reporters may read quotes back to sources to ensure their accuracy before publication. Speaking engagements: No member of the editorial staff may accept a fee or honorarium for any form of speaking engagement, including speeches, panel discussions or hosting an event. The prohibition applies to speaking engagements performed during the workweek as well as those completed after hours or on weekends or holidays. Unsolicited gifts of appreciation and of nominal value may be accepted for speaking engagements. At the discretion of senior editors, reimbursement of reasonable expenses incurred by the magazine or the editorial staff member in connection with a speaking engagement may be accepted. Those expenses include food, lodging and travel. Sponsored editorial content: One or more advertisers may sponsor editorial content as long as the editorial staff controls the content. Sponsors will have no control over the editorial content. The names and/or logos of sponsors will not appear on the cover of such editorially controlled content. Sponsors may receive an acknowledgment, including logos, on the first-available inside editorial page of an editorially controlled special section or supplement. Blogs: Editorial staff members are free to operate their own blogs, as long as the blog's content does not jeopardize the credibility of the staff member as it pertains to his or her responsibilities at the magazine. Editorial staff members may not write or post content for their personal blogs on magazine time.