In an effort to be more transparent with their audience, 6AM city updated and posted its ethics policy online and linked to it from each of their daily newsletters. “Though we’re a staff of people with individual backgrounds, views, and personalities, we will remain unbiased in our reporting to support productive conversations around our growing community. Our goal has been, and continues to be, getting you all of the need-to-know information you need to begin your day,” the policy reads.
The Grady Newsource shared the news organization’s goals and mission with their audience by publishing an “about page” that listed the organization’s guiding principles. “Our mission is to serve the residents of Northeast Georgia by informing them in a way that helps them make decisions about and understand their lives and communities,” the page reads.

After two back-to-back shootings in Kenosha that garnered national attention, the Milwuakee Journal Sentinel wrote a column answering reader questions and explaining it’s reporting process, including why they didn’t report on the criminal record of the victims involved in both situations. “Our natural instinct as journalists is to report what we know. But that instinct has to be tempered by the demands of accuracy and fairness,” the column read. “Sometimes we must wait until we can independently verify a detail to ensure its accuracy. Other times, certain details aren’t relevant to what’s being reported, whether true or not, and including them might color a story unfairly.” The newsroom also posted the column in a Q&A style format on its Instagram page, gaining more than 1,000 likes and dozens of comments thanking the paper for its thoughtful coverage.

While there are a lot of unknowns ahead of Election Day, there are things we as journalists can do to help manage our audiences’ expectations and prepare them for what to expect. One of those being telling people that there may not be results for days, possibly even weeks, after Election Day. WITF In Pennsylvania did this by running a box alongside the station’s voting stories and election previews that explains why the public shouldn’t expect election results on election night. The box reads: “Results of the Nov. 3 election in Pennsylvania, and across the country, likely won’t be known for days. The counting of ballots continues after election night most years. This year’s expected surge in mailed ballots means election offices will need extra time to tally all the votes.”

While covering recent COVID-19 numbers in their community, the News Tribune posted that the local health department “caved” in releasing numbers related to coronavirus spread. When one of the commenters pointed out that the language sounded biased, editor Gary Castor took the time to respond on Facebook, publically acknowledging it might not have been the best wording: “You are absolutely correct; it was a poor choice of words. I did not see the post before it was sent to Facebook, but after seeing it in my feed, I asked that the verb be changed. The story has since been changed to say the department relented to the repeated requests of the city.”

After incorrect information was spreading in the community about how city officials were allegedly hiding Coronavirus numbers from the public, the Tennessean wrote a fact check countering the misinformation. The story addressed the misinformation and explained where the confusion was. By correcting the record the newsroom was able to demonstrate to their readers that they care about getting things right.

In order to make voting information easily accessible for readers, the Fulcrum created a voter FAQ that had information about how to make sure voter registration is up-to-date, how to find polling places and what voting rights the public has.