News Ethics and Corrections Policy
New England Public Media (NEPM) editorial ethics & standards apply to all aspects of our award-winning Content Division. From the editors and journalists in our newsroom, producers and talent in our public affairs unit to our digital and social media presenters, NEPM aims to provide accurate and fair coverage of the events and issues that shape and influence the lives of western New England residents. We take seriously our obligations and responsibilities as professional journalists, and avoid conflicts of interest – or even the appearance of them.
We follow the PBS Editorial Standards and Practices and NPR ethics handbook, which includes both guiding principles on journalistic standards, and practical advice on everyday reporting. There are some instances when our practices diverge from PBS and NPR. For instance, PBS and NPR do not allow news employees to read on-air announcements of financial support. New England Public Media news employees do read underwriting messages, although these sponsorships play no role in our news decision-making.
NEPM is the alliance of New England Public Radio (NEPR) and WGBY licensed to the University of Massachusetts and WGBH respectively. Still, NEPM has a responsibility to make independent editorial and programming judgments without regard to the political, financial or promotional interests of any individual or organization. In particular, the NEPM news department recognizes that UMass Amherst is a large employer for the region and a public entity, and believes it is important we provide independent coverage of its activities, policies and administrative decisions. The decisions on whether, when and how we report those stories are made entirely within the NEPM news department, without influence or involvement from WGBH or the founders of WFCR, UMass Amherst or Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke and Smith Colleges.
Editorial principles for NEPM content include the following:
- Editorial Independence
All the locally produced stories heard on NEPM frequencies and seen on nepm.org must go through our strict editorial process. Occasionally, we make mistakes. Corrections are listed here and at the bottom of web stories in italics, and – when applicable – read on the radio or television.