The core purpose of AirDailyX is to enhance the flight simulation community by creating, collecting and distributing high-quality news and information. Producing content of the highest quality and integrity is the basis for our reputation and the means by which we fulfill the public trust and our readers’ expectations. The following policies are not meant to deter whimsical, witty or even brash reporting at AirDailyX, but there is a line that cannot be crossed and these policies are meant define that line.
The goal of AirDailyX is to cover the news as impartially as possible — “without fear or favor” — and to treat readers, news sources, advertisers and others fairly and openly, and to be seen to be doing so. The reputation of AirDailyX rests upon such perceptions, and so do the professional reputations of its staff members. Thus AirDailyX and members of its news department and editorial page staff share an interest in avoiding conflicts of interest or an appearance of a conflict.
Integrity & Truth
Whatever else we contribute, our first duty is to make sure the integrity of AirDailyX is not blemished during our stewardship. At a time of growing and even justified public suspicion about the impartiality, accuracy and integrity of some journalists and some journalism, it is imperative that AirDailyX and its staff maintain the highest possible standards to insure that we do nothing that might erode readers’ faith and confidence in our news content. This means that the journalism we practice daily must be beyond reproach.
As journalists we treat our readers, viewers, listeners and online users as fairly and openly as possible. Whatever the medium, we tell our audiences the complete, unvarnished truth as best we can learn it. Staff members who plagiarize or who knowingly or recklessly provide false information for publication betray our fundamental pact with our readers and we do not tolerate such behavior. Falsifying any part of a news report will result automatically in disciplinary action up to and including termination. But in a climate of increased scrutiny throughout the news business, these further guidelines are offered, to resolve questions that sometimes arise about specific practices:
Readers should be able to assume that every word between quotation marks is what the speaker or writer said. AirDailyX does not “clean up” quotations. If a subject’s grammar or taste is unsuitable, quotation marks should be removed and the awkward passage paraphrased. The writer should, of course, omit extraneous syllables like “um” and may judiciously delete false starts. If any further omission is necessary, close the quotation, insert new attribution and begin another quotation. (AirDailyX does adjust spelling, punctuation, capitalization and abbreviations within a quotation for consistent style.) In every case, writer and editor must both be satisfied that the intent of the subject has been preserved.
Other People’s Reporting
When we use facts gathered by any other organization, we attribute them. Our preference, when time and distance permit, is to do our own reporting and verify another organization’s story; in that case, we need not attribute the facts. But even then, as a matter of courtesy and candor, we credit an exclusive to the organization that first broke the news. And when the need arises to attribute, that is a good cue to consult with the department head about whether publication is warranted at all.
Writers at AirDailyX are their own principal fact checkers and often their only ones. Concrete facts – distances, addresses, phone numbers, people’s titles – must be verified by the writer. It is especially important that writers verify the spelling of names by asking. A person who sees his or her own name misspelled in our publication is likely to mistrust whatever else we print.
Because our voice is loud and far-reaching, AirDailyX recognizes an ethical responsibility to correct all its factual errors, large and small. The paper regrets every error, but it applauds the integrity of a writer who volunteers a correction of his or her own published story. Whatever the origin, though, any complaint should be relayed to a responsible supervising editor and investigated quickly. If a correction is warranted, fairness demands that it be published immediately. In case of reasonable doubt or disagreement about the facts, we can acknowledge that a statement was “imprecise” or “incomplete” even if we are not sure it was wrong.
Few writers need to be reminded that we seek and publish a response from anyone criticized in our pages. But when the criticism is serious, we have a special obligation to describe the scope of the accusation and let the subject respond in detail. No subject should be taken by surprise when the paper appears, or feel that there was no chance to respond.
Screenshots and Images
Images in our pages, that purport to depict a product in its original “out-of-the-box” state must be genuine in every way. No objects may be added, rearranged, reversed, distorted or removed from a scene (except for the recognized practice of cropping to omit extraneous outer portions). Make every attempt to screenshot only the product or products for which your article features. Adjustments of color or grayscale should be limited to those minimally necessary for clear and accurate reproduction. Occasionally, an explanatory caption may be advisable. Altered or contrived photographs are a device that should not be overused. Never take a screenshot of a product you have not obtained legally. If you have any question about the appropriateness of an alteration or are not sure how best to make clear to the reader that the image has been manipulated or the scene contrived, consult with the Publisher.