Our Editorial Policy
Our goal with this document is to spell out the principles that guide us as editors of RealTime/STL. Fundamentally, we recognize we must work every day to gain and hold the trust of our readers — and the publishers that produce the content we curate.
We’ll elaborate below, but here’s the basic message of this policy:
- We demand integrity, fairness and accuracy among our team members.
- Our editorial staff is fully independent; editorial decisions are ours alone.
- We’re open to hearing from anyone who has concerns or questions.
Going on, we take seriously the fundamental standards of journalism that stress fairness, accuracy and transparency in the work we produce. As a news organization, we demand adherence to the highest ethical standards of our industry. We communicate our editorial policy to our employees; we work from a common understanding of what we will and will not publish; and we foster a spirit of openness and communication, so editorial and ethical questions can be addressed quickly and collaboratively.
RealTime/STL is an independent and separate company that shares back-end human resources and technical support with its parent, INFUZ. The editorial staff of RealTime/STL, however, has full and independent control of the editorial process on its website and through its social media channels, without influence from its parent or any other non-editorial individuals or groups.
Content and Credit
The principles that drive content decisions on RealTime/STL revolve around several questions:
- Does it affect people or institutions locally?
- Are people locally talking about it?
- Is it happening now (i.e. in real time)?
The notion that “people are talking about it” is fundamental to our editorial process. That could mean a topic, article or event that is driving tremendous community conversation could be more prominent on our site than one that any individual or group might deem “important,” for example.
We will curate content from any source in the region. That includes recognized news outlets, such as local television stations and newspapers. It also includes content from bloggers, social media and corporate websites. Again, our goal is to present a real-time look at the most interesting, newsworthy and talked-about content in the region — and to clearly credit the original sources of that content and direct readers to those sites for the content.
We value and respect our advertisers. Meanwhile, we note that advertising on RealTime/STL is controlled separately from the editorial staff and has no effect or influence on the editorial process. Any content that is driven by advertising or sponsorships will be clearly marked as such. Further, we will not monetize content from outside publishers. Our advertising will not run on pages with publishers’ full article content. It will run on pages where we are adding value to the content, by making it easy for readers to discover and link to it, by noting what is trending, or by creating new content.
We are governed by the fundamental principles of fairness and accuracy. We do not pretend to be unfeeling, mindless, opinionless automatons, drifting indifferently above life in the region. We believe we can disclose personal biases and opinions and still provide fair and accurate news coverage — and, ultimately, readers can judge for themselves whether we’ve met or fallen short of those principles.
Our Contact Us page means just that: We’re open and available, through numerous avenues. We are more than happy to engage with our audience.
Without the trust of readers, publishers and advertisers, we have nothing. Without our integrity, we have nothing. Know that we are driven to strive for excellence, to quickly respond when we have erred, to behave ethically and to be fair and unbiased in our coverage.