YR Media’s journalism is driven by the organization’s mission to promote equal opportunity for America’s youth, and to build public understanding and accountability with respect to issues and policy impacting younger generations.
The standards outlined here apply to all editorial employees and contributors, and to the work they produce for YR Media, whether it appears in print, online, on social media, on television, on radio or on any other platform.
Editorial Guidelines: Journalism
• YR Media is committed to truth, accuracy, and journalism’s role in democracy. Both reporting and opinion must be fact-based, fact-checked, and top-quality.
• YR Media maintains editorial independence and decision-making.
• YR Media will solicit and publish youth opinions that are representative of a wide range of viewpoints and experiences. Opinion is clearly marked as such.
• Hate speech, racism, sexism, xenophobia, homophobia, ableism and any other form of negation of equal opportunity have no place in YR Media’s opinion pages or on social media, or in the political speech of its employees.
Journalism Editorial Guidelines
YR Media’s editorial guidelines for reporting are in accordance with the rigorous guidelines of their various outlets. All YR Media material is subject to editorial review by YR Media’s team. YR Media editors, reporters and content producers are trained to be in compliance with FCC regulations, and the highest industry standards for editorial procedures.
All reports and features must meet standards that guarantee what is published is fair, balanced, thoroughly researched, and includes all elements the listener needs to form an independent judgment about the story. Reporters must present a balanced view of the issues they are covering, interviewing parties on both sides of an issue or debate. Reporters strive to include a wide range of viewpoints on all news stories. In describing people and their points of view, reporters must use terms that the person being described would consider accurate. Every news report that is published is anchored in the pursuit and description of facts, reporting the facts from all relevant points of view. Essay style features which present a young person’s experience and specific point of view must be clearly presented as a first-person perspective, not a news report.
Reporters allow interviewees to speak for themselves. Newsmakers, opinion-makers, experts and average citizens are given a full opportunity to explain and argue their point of view. YR Media editors and reporters are responsible for ensuring that quotes are not taken out of context, and that, in the case of video and broadcast (radio, podcast, etc.) all edited sound bites accurately represent the viewpoint of interviewees and are long enough for the expression of a concise, but fully coherent thought.
YR Media reporters often tell the stories of their family and peers/friends. YR Media’s practice is full disclosure of those relationships in the reporting.
All reporters must attribute all facts to a reliable source and to identify that source as accurately and completely as possible. The more important and controversial the information, the stronger the sourcing must be. In general, a reporter must have at least two sources, both of whom have independent ways of knowing the information. If the source of information is providing an eyewitness account, a single source, properly described, may be enough. Reporters must ensure the accuracy of all sources. In the case of email sources, reporters must confirm their identity.
All statistics must include attribution. Sources for statistics must be carefully scrutinized to ensure they are reputable. The reporter must provide context for any statistical source (ie: non-partisan organization, conservative think tank, etc.)
Every story is reviewed for content and accuracy by at least two editors before publishing. The editor shares the reporter’s responsibility for the accuracy, integrity and fairness of a report.
Conflict of Interest:
YR Media does not pay for information or access to sources of information.
Unsolicited Story Pitches:
YR Media accepts story ideas (pitches) from people outside of the organization. All pitches are carefully scrutinized, based on the source of the material and their underlying agenda. Stories originating from unsolicited pitches are subject to the same editorial standards as any YR Media staff reporting.
Usage of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in news gathering:
Use of AI tools for writing raises questions about authorship and transparency. If AI software such as ChatGPT has been used to help generate any part of YR Media’s work, it must be clearly acknowledged on submission. The software cannot be listed as an author, or co-author, because it does not meet the criteria for authorship and cannot share responsibility for the published work or be held accountable for the integrity or accuracy of what’s reported and written.
Removal Requests (Unpublishing):
Except in rare, often legal, circumstances — which must be agreed upon by senior editors — we do not remove content from our websites or archives. Fairness to those named in the news means there may be rare cases in which senior editors agree to remove content because it is judged to be the humane thing to do in the circumstances. Any decision to remove published content should be weighed against the public’s right to know and the historical record.