The Internet is rife with blogs and other Web sites that spread rumor and lack standards. The purpose of this set of ethical guidelines is to let you know that the reporting and other editorial content of NMPolitics.net has integrity.
Above all, the goal of this site is to provide information and analysis that helps readers understand their government, and to hold power accountable through fair and accurate reporting. I don’t claim to be unbiased, but I promise to do my best to be fair and truthful.
I pledge to never knowingly publish material that is inaccurate. I’m human and, at times, make mistakes, but I also pledge to correct such mistakes. For more information, read this site’s policy on corrections, clarifications and retractions.
I also pledge to avoid plagiarism and to respect the copyrights on people’s work. When I quote other work, I will cite the source and, if possible, link to it.
As a trained journalist, I recognize the credibility that comes from quoting named sources and documents. At times, given the sensitive nature of politics, there’s no way to report the truth without unnamed sources. I will occasionally quote unnamed sources in two ways:
• If I’ve spoken with a number of people to get a sense of what’s going on, I may report the feelings or thoughts of the group without naming names.
• If there is a critical piece of information that can’t be obtained except through quoting an unnamed source, I will do so, but only after exhausting other methods of attempting to get the information. I will only quote people I trust as unnamed sources. If I’m not certain the information is accurate, I will hold off until I can verify it with at least one other source.
Opinions are welcome on this site in the form of comments and, in some instances, guest columns. Such opinions must be factual and meet the other criteria of this site’s comments policy.
I will not allow advertising to affect, in any way, the editorial content of this site. The advertising policy states that advertisers get no greater access than anyone else: They can share their concerns, and their concerns will be heard. That’s the same level of attention I give readers who contact me.
I would also say this: I left my last newspaper job in part because I was frustrated with the influence the publisher and editor allowed money to have over editorial content. I was tired of watching the mission of journalism take a back seat to the bottom line. I have no intention of allowing this site’s integrity to be compromised.
One of the most important things those involved in the formation of public policy must do is disclose potential conflicts. That applies especially to public officials, but should also apply to journalists.
So here is the disclosure I need to make:
Bill McCamley, a former county commissioner who has also been a candidate for Congress and the Public Regulation Commission, is a good friend. We’ve known each other since college, before I was a professional journalist. I worked under him for a semester when he was the student body president at New Mexico State University.
I won’t pretend I can be entirely objective when writing about him, but I do my best. I have criticized him publicly in the past, including the time that I blasted him for leading the charge to end online access to many county documents. But I believe he is an ethical, hard-working public official.
McCamley has, at times, advertised on this site, and he pays the same rates that apply to everyone else.
Portions of this document are based on ethical guidelines suggested by Poynter Online.