World Youth News

Code of Ethics

Mission and Vision

World Youth News (WYN) provides accurate, objective and unbiased news coverage by secondary school student reporters and editors from across the world who strive to adhere to the highest standards of journalistic ethics.

We aim not only to build young people’s journalistic skills but also to broaden cross-cultural understanding.

As a global youth news project, we report the news from a youth perspective in a world where almost half the population is under 25.

We encourage collaborative work among our reporters and editors. By working together to research, report and edit our news stories, we bring a collective youth voice to world affairs.

Values and Principles

We strive to follow the Professional Society of Journalists’ Code of Ethics: we seek truth and report it, minimize harm, act independently and are accountable.

We make every effort to check the accuracy of our information. We do not take sides on any issue and present facts from all sides. We never include our own opinions and ideas in our news stories.

Our audience, our reporters and editors, represent a variety of cultures, religions and socio-economic backgrounds. We take pride in this diversity.

We do not tolerate biased, stereotypical or offensive representations of any culture or community.

The safety and security of WYN reporters and editors is of utmost concern to us. We will never intentionally put a editor or reporter in harm’s way and discourage reporters from taking undue risks.

We recognize that our news reaches out to countries with different legal systems. We respect local laws and standards relating to privacy, libel and freedom of expression. We will never intentionally violate the laws of any country.

Editorial Standards and Policies

Content

WYN publishes news stories written by secondary school students who have been certified as reporters. Our certification program is aimed to ensure that WYN reporters are trained to write articles which present accurate and responsible news content. The certification, however, does not guarantee the accuracy of each individual article.

WYN publishes articles based on factual reporting that do not include the opinions of our reporters or editors.

We do not publish everything received from interested contributors. Our editorial advisors are responsible for determining what is published.

We guard against stereotypical, biased or offensive material relating to age, gender, race, ethnicity, geography, religion or other socio-economic factors.

Our editorial advisors reserve the right to reject a news story or ask for further clarifications on any article that is perceived to contain biased, untruthful or potentially offensive writing.

We strive to ensure that our news articles and photographs do not misrepresent any person, event or issue. We do not highlight or ignore information to present a distorted news story.

We are careful about preventing plagiarism. Copying someone else’s work and presenting it as your own is an unethical practice that we do not tolerate.

Our editorial advisors have the right to question any reporter and/or request verification from sources if it is suspected that plagiarized information has been used in a news story.

We publish photographs only after receiving written permission from the concerned people, officials or organizations. It is the responsibility of a reporter to get a consent form signed for all photographs used in news story.

We do not alter or change photographs, expect for reasons of clarity and presentation.

Avoiding Conflicts of Interest

We are committed to the integrity and independence of WYN.

Our reporters and editors do not accept payment, gifts, or any special favors or treatment in exchange for writing, editing or publishing articles.

We recognize that writing about activities that we are involved in as students may lead to a conflict of interest or the appearance of a conflict. This may include our academic work, our extra-curricular activities, or other community work.

We realize that reporting news stories that involve our family members, friends and other people with whom we have close personal relationships may also lead to conflicts of interest.

To avoid such conflicts, we avoid writing articles on people, events or issues that we are associated with in any capacity.

We take collaborative decisions when a news story may create a conflict of interest and assign the story to a WYN reporter without any involvement in the article. The opportunity to discuss the news story with reporters and editors from around the world helps us to avoid such conflicts or the appearance of a conflict.

Sources

We gather facts for our news stories from reliable sources. We verify their background as best as we can to make sure that their information is accurate and unbiased.

We do not publish facts obtained from anonymous sources. WYN reporters may use material from anonymous sources for research and background information. However, all facts presented in a WYN article must be attributed to an identified source.

We regard our news sources with the same respect as we do our readers. We are truthful and fair in our interactions with our sources.

We always identify ourselves as WYN reporters while interviewing a source. Under no circumstances do we pretend to be someone else or assume a false identity to gather information from a source.

By stating our association with WYN, we make it clear that we are student journalists and that we will report the information obtained from the source with accuracy.

Corrections

We report information as accurately as possible. If errors appear in a  WYN article, we correct the mistakes promptly.

We make changes in the online versions of our news stories as soon as we become aware of any mistakes. We also publish errors along with the relevant accurate facts in the Corrections section.

Review Policy

WYN articles will not be reviewed by any outside parties prior to publication online. We respect school and local policies regarding republication and distribution of our news stories.

If a WYN article is censored or changed by officials according to school or local policies, we will announce this to our readers.