ELi's Publication Standards
The ELi Board of Directors adopted the following Publication Standards policy on July 15, 2014:
- East Lansing Info (ELi) will limit itself to factual reporting. There will be no editorials, no editorializing in reporting, no publication of submitted “comments,” and no publication of letters to the editor.
- ELi will publish only material believed to be accurate.
- If an inaccuracy has been published by ELi, the inaccuracy will be immediately corrected with a note appended to the article to explain and provide a date for the correction.
- ELi will publish only material that is non-partisan; in its reporting of matters that are essentially subject to democratic elections, ELi will not favor or disfavor or endorse any candidate or any matter subject to a vote by citizens, or subject to a vote by elected representatives of citizens, or subject to a vote by designees of elected representatives.
- ELi will report facts in a matter that a reasonable person would consider fair.
- If publication of a report involves what a reasonable person might consider a potential conflict of interest on the part of the reporter, the involved editors, and/or a member of the Board—financial or reputational—the publication must include a disclosure of that potential conflict of interest.
- As soon as possible, ELi will engage a Public Editor to act as an Ombudsman who may weigh complaints from readers that have not already been resolved by the Managing Editor. The appointment of the Public Editor will be approved by a majority vote of the Board. The Public Editor is not compensated (except as noted in the next item); this allows the Public Editor to remain financially non-obligated to the Board and so more independent.
- During such times as ELi does not have a named Public Editor, the Managing Editor will function in this capacity as part of his or her compensated duties.
- The Public Editor will be given and will use an email address that is to be used only for this purpose and that allows the Managing Editor and the Board to view incoming complaints and responses. If the Managing Editor is functioning temporarily as the Public Editor, he or she will use the special Public Editor email address for the work of the Public Editor.
- The Public Editor will be under no obligation to answer every complaint or comment she or he receives.
- When the Public Editor feels that an audience member has a legitimate complaint or request, the Public Editor will make a recommendation to the Managing Editor.
- If the Public Editor and the Managing Editor disagree on how to handle a complaint or request, the Public Editor will consult with the President, and the President will act as the tie-breaker. The President can but is not obligated to seek the advice of the board on such matters, but the President must in all cases advise the board that such a tie-breaker has come before her or him, and must advise the board of the substance of the matter and the outcome. If the Managing Editor is functioning as the Public Editor, and the Managing Editor is aware that an audience member is unsatisfied with the Managing Editor’s response to the audience member’s complaint, the Managing Editor will bring the matter to the President and Vice President, who will then resolve the matter through a majority vote including the Managing Editor, President, and Vice President. In such a circumstance, any of the three may at their discretion seek the advice of the board on such matters, and the President must in all cases advise the board of the substance of the matter and the outcome.
- Plagiarism will not be tolerated; plagiarism is the use of someone else’s work, words, or ideas without appropriate attribution of credit.
- This policy must be approved by a majority vote of the Board and can be changed at any time with a majority vote.