Responsible journalism

It needs a group effort from reporters, editors and producers to achieve good quality journalism. It is the responsibility of the editors to present an error-free and highest quality report to the public.

1. A successful editor tells the reporters about every aspect of the report, so that the reporters can think in a broad way. Reporters, sub-editors, content writers and desk shift in-charge in all centers should carefully check all editorial material before publication, and only then it should be sent to publication.
In cases where it is needed, the shift in-charge shall publish copy only after consulting the editor and getting his approval.
If the editor has any doubts or questions regarding the news, then he should immediately consult his senior officers or concerned people from the management.

2. The editors can consult the legal team as and when needed. Our main objective is to provide non-partisan and independent coverage of news.

3. We should maintain the quality of our news content at the highest standard, be it web, print, radio or any other form, which strengthens our credibility.

4. Our responsible journalism is accurate, fair and complete as far as possible. Our journalists are honest and carry out their responsibility with honour. They do their work without any fear or partisanship. It is expected from the working staff that they will not act in any manner which will damage the image of the organization. Any staffs which do not follow above can face legal action and their contracts may be cancelled.

5.We are responsible towards our readers and hence always maintain the highest standards of journalism. We have complete faith in our sources and skills. We collect news/ information from different sources and then independently verify it.

6.Our journalists decide what we will cover and how we will work. Please be aware of your responsibility when reporting. Accept criticism with an open mind. Listen to the common man carefully so that your story carries a punch. Include the opinions of all parties in your story and never attempt to become one of the parties while reporting an issue.

7.It is common to make mistakes while reporting, these can be corrected. However, please remember that mistakes should not be repeated. Learn from your mistakes. Always pay attention to facts and if you make an error due to any reason, correct it immediately. Correct your mistakes within reasonable time limits. While doing a story on products, always include the opinion of experts and their quotes.

8. Always recheck the facts given in the article. The accuracy of the story depends on this. Never presume information about names, ages, locations, dates, historical figures, geography, company names etc.
In fact, one reporter in the Editorial Department should be given the responsibility of rechecking all the facts in every story.
The quotes should always be accurate. If it is necessary to shorten the length of the quote due to some reason, please make sure that the meaning of the quote does not change. If a quote contains historical data, financial numbers or some scientific theory, then recheck it through an independent source. If the numbers or facts used in a story or quotes in an article have been deliberately changed, then the reporters can directly speak to the editor about it.

9. The decision of the editor will be final and he shall check each point raised by the reporter so that impartiality is maintained.

10. Always be careful while adding captions to the pictures used in a story. While checking a story, always ensure that the heading, caption and content are correct and it does not mislead the readers.
Even if a photo has been given by an agency or source, it does not mean that it is legal.
It is possible that the person who has given you the photo does not have the copyright over it.
Use a photo only on legal basis and after informing the editor. Always maintain transparency.
We will not publish any photo which has been acquired using illegal means.

11.Always be careful when commenting on social media. Always remember that you are giving a response as an employee of Vishvas News, so think twice before writing any word to ensure that a wrong message is not sent to the public. Whenever you make a political comment, please keep in mind that it should not adversely affect the image of the organization.
It is the responsibility of a journalist to keep an eye on public events/ rallies, even if they do not cover the beat assigned to you.

12. While publishing any political news, any quote of a leader should always be taken along with its context. Always remain neutral.
Always give equal space to all parties without any favour when reporting political news.
During election period, write content which follows the election code of conduct.
Do not misquote leaders or parties while reporting political news.
Never quote statements which spread hate and violence.
It is not the objective of Vishvas News to publish news about poor and naked people to gain publicity. Always be honest towards your work, so that no one can accuse you of biased reporting/ coverage.
In case such a situation arises, please inform your editor, so that you can avoid being involved in any untoward situation such as conflict of interest.
While doing this, do not attempt to be a part of a rally which is being organized with a specific political purpose and the organization will be reporting about the rally or campaigning.
There is very little difference between participating in a rally as an observer and to actually participate in it.
You should avoid holding placards or sloganeering along with other people involved in the rally.
When the journalists are covering political or other kind of rallies, it is expected that should always remember the responsibilities of being a journalists.
Always remember to behave ethically when you are expressing your views on the platform of another media house.
Do not talk about anything related to that day’s news which has not been published by the organization or about which you are not allowed to speak on in the organization.
If you are present on a platform where questions related to political activity are being asked, you can present your points on the basis of facts.
We should always attempt to avoid being involved in groups where doubts can be raised about your impartiality and independence.

13. Refrain from using phrases like “I think”. They directly mean that you are presenting opinions which are different from reporting. Become trustworthy.
If you are asked about your opinion regarding what will happen in the future referring to particular news, please avoid making guesses.
Analyze every event on the basis of solid evidence, your knowledge and reporting.
When expressing opinion about news not connected to your beat, either be prepared with all the facts, or frankly state that you do not have any information about it.
Our main objective is to give the most relevant information to the public.

14. We analyze the events occurring around the entire world in detail.
It is also important for the editing process that we know the truth about our sources.
Photos sound and words are used in such a way that the general public will understand, and do not present the information in a convoluted manner.

15. We hire only those people who are transparent in their work. Journalism is an occupation in which the correct picture of the world is presented. Our ever present principle encourages our Journalists to answer questions and also to raise new questions. This principle always guides us to maintain uniformity in our thoughts and actions. We always encourage discussion and debates, so that our work can shine brighter.
Always be transparent, right from reporting to publishing information.
The most valuable thing for us is the reader’s opinion that we are non-partisan and transparent.
It is necessary to always confirm the death of a special person or the number of dead in a major accident from many sources.
If this is not done, major mistakes can occur. One piece of wrong news is sufficient to completely destroy your image.

16. All the journalists and managers working in the organization are given a chance to express themselves freely and present their opinion. They can also present their views on news which they are not reporting.
A standard has been specified for that, and it is expected that the standard will be followed.
We have one objective for all our stories. As far as possible, do not hide any information from your readers, which you have obtained from your sources. The readers will evaluate the truthfulness of the news/information themselves.
Do not use words like “off the record interview, from unknown sources, on background” etc unless you know your source beforehand and the source does not wish to publicize his name or identity.

17. It is expected from all Journalists (regular or freelancer) that they shall follow the law when gathering news. Unauthorized access, hiding and overhearing conversations, recording conversations without permission, computer hacking, breaking into houses or stealing documents are all crimes in the eyes of the law.
18. If a reporter is involved in a legal dispute while gathering news, he should immediately contact the legal department so that timely help can be provided. Using the work/content of another or even part of it is wrong according to the plagiarism law as well as ethics. It does not matter if the source is a published book of an author or on a website. It is not acceptable in any manner to take credit for another’s work.
It will greatly affect the position/rank of the organization in the Google search engine.
It is important to mention the source in every story.

19. It is expected from the journalists and employees that while being an employee of this organization they shall not work for any organization which is in direct competition with this organization.
Do not give any news to another organization which has not been published by your own organization.
Please remember at all times that our priority is our organization where we are employed.
Journalists are free to do creative, civic and personal work, so that they can work outside the organization and earn extra income. It is expected from everybody working outside that they will safeguard the interests and prestige of the organization.
Journalists have the freedom to write books, articles in magazines and newspapers while they are employed with the organization, but only to the extent that there is no conflict of interests.
It is expected from the journalists that there should no deficiencies in the beat to which they are assigned, and the organization should not be affected due to their personal work.

20. Journalists can take part in a debate panel. They can express their independent opinion. They can deliver lectures in Universities. All of these are helpful in developing one’s personality.
We are required to take permission from our editors for freelance and outside journalistic work.
Always inform your editor about this in all situations.

21. Normally, we do not grant permission for public relations work, whether paid or unpaid.
The company can give permission for non-profit organization or non-partisan activities.
Especially in situation where the concerned journalist is part of the organization, and there is no conflict of interest.
Additionally, we do not give permission for publicizing any book, movie, performance or other products which does not belong to our company.
While working outside, always keep in mind that the interests of the company or your work should not be affected.
Prior to accepting invitation from such agencies and agents with whom the journalists are collaborating, they should take permission for the company.
If participating in an event or program of an organization raises questions about the work process or transparency of the company, then you should try and avoid participating in such events.
It is possible that the said group or organization has a hidden agenda.
Do not be a part of any political program or charitable event which has a questionable modus operandi.

22. Organizations and people respect your coverage and sometimes concerned journalists are given gifts. These gifts can be in many forms. We do not give permission to our journalists to accept gifts or travel expenses from their sources or the events they are covering.
As an organization we pay our journalists well. We will respectfully return such gifts and other benefits. Besides, we do not sell any material which is given to us for review.
The journalists are given freedom in some cases. For example: If you are visiting an army camp for covering news and you are invited to join them for lunch or dinner, do not refuse. Refusal will mean disrespecting them.
It is expected from the journalists that they avoid any situation in which there is a possibility of suspicion being created that so-and-so journalist has received money or favour for reporting certain news.
If we received any unexpected gifts, we shall respectfully return it to the concerned organization or person.
In order to ensure that the public trusts our reporting, we give clear instructions to our journalists to avoid any such situation. Our policy is very clear in this respect.
Many times while covering cultural programs, the concerned person is given a memento as a memory of the program and he is requested to stay for lunch/dinner.
In such cases, it might not be appropriate to refuse. So, it is up to the said journalist to take an appropriate decision.
There are situations in conferences and events when arrangements are made for meals for all the participants. In such cases, there is no harm in participating in it.
You can take the concerned journalism award or travel bill after the approval of the Editor, but only from educational or non-profit organizations which do not have a hidden agenda.
Please be careful of accepting any award or gifts from any political party.

Social media
23. It is expected from the employees of VISHVAS NEWS that they shall always be transparent. People look at your work on social media in detail. You shall always use your real name while writing for VISHVAS NEWS or competitors and you will be careful about the role you are playing. If you have any interest in posting on social media, please mention it right at the beginning.

24. Do not misrepresent yourself or VISHVAS NEWS on social media. All statements written by you should always be correct, never write misleading statements. Any claim/post/statement written by you should be proved.
Please post meaningful and respectful comments. In other words do not post a comment not related to the subject, or which is objectionable/ spam.

25. Always use common sense and manners while posting on social media. Never post confidential and internal messages of VISHVAS NEWS on social media.

26. Please ensure that your posting does not violate the legal guidelines for VISHVAS NEWS confidentiality and external commercial speech.

27. Please write freely about the non-confidential matters of VISHVAS NEWS and the subjects in which you have expertise. Please feel free to present your personal point of view.
If you think that you do not agree with another person’s views, please present your point of view politely. If the opposite person has decided to oppose you, then do not become defensive, and do not stop your conversation suddenly.

28. If you want to write about competitions, be tactful and always present your content along with facts. Please take required permission from the organization prior to writing about it.

29. Do not comment on legal matters, cases connected to VISHVAS NEWS or even about other parties in the matter.

30. If there is an ongoing discussion about a crisis situation on social media, then do not participate in it. Do not submit anonymous comments either because your IP and VISHVAS NEWS IP address can be tapped.

31. Always be smart about matters related to your and the organization’s security. People from all over the world can read what you have written and its effect can be seen for a long period of time. Please remember this and be careful. Please be reminded that Google and Facebook can store your content for a very long time.
We will not interfere with private life. You can live the way you want.
In addition to being a journalist, we are also a part of the society. We guide the society’s future.
Like other citizens, we can exercise our right to vote and no one should have objection to this.

32. Please keep in mind that you will not force anyone to vote for a particular person.
Avoid getting involved in any public activity which is selecting a political party leader or promoting his activities.
If there is a public situation where it is necessary to express your political opinions, then you should consult your editor, so that no one can accuse you of biased political campaigning.

33. The public expects that you have an independent and impartial opinion as a journalist.
Specially, journalists who cover politics have to beware of any work which will put their independence and impartiality as a journalist at risk.

34. Normally, our journalists are not involved in Government Boards and Commissions because we do not wish that anyone would point fingers at our impartiality and independence.
We grant the right to our reporters to be a part of Management Boards of Educational Institutes, because there is no conflict of interest.

35. We will not sign on any political petition/ campaigning. We will not donate any money to any candidate. These are some common examples which we can follow very easily.
Our colleagues can serve on the community advisory board, as trustee of educational institutes, and religious organization board and nonprofit groups until they are not involved in any political activity or are not lobbying for a particular organization.
All of us have complete right to observe our religion and beliefs, but while reporting coverage, please make sure that you are not imposing your beliefs on others.
Always behave respectably with your colleagues, and pay attention to the cleanliness of your surroundings.
Do not use unparliamentarily language in the office; do not speak in loud tones with each other which will obstruct other people from working.
If you do not agree with your colleagues about a point, try and discuss amongst yourselves to resolve it, do not make an issue out of it. If it is not resolved even after a discussion, then bring it to the attention of senior colleagues, who will attempt to resolve it.
You will not make loud noises while working; you will not fight with each other and will not engage in needless arguments which will obstruct other people from working.

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