Clarksdale News primary purpose is to provide information about Clarksdale, Coahoma County and the Mississippi Delta. A secondary purpose is to generate interest in visiting or relocating to our community. Articles will generally focus on the arts, culture and interests of the people of Clarksdale and the Mississippi Delta. Focus will also appear on the progress of our community and businesses.
From time to time news will be reported that may not likely be available elsewhere. Some reporting may be investigative, and any and all such news reporting will be a responsible and fair pursuit of the truth without fear of any special interest, and with favor to none.
Clarksdale News reporters and editors are pledged to approach every assignment with the fairness of open minds and without prior judgment. The search for opposing views must be routine. Comment from persons accused or challenged in stories must be included. The motives of those who press their views upon us must routinely be examined, and it must be recognized that those motives can be noble or ignoble, obvious or perhaps hidden.
We fully recognize that our position as a daily news and information resource for the public carries with it special responsibilities:
• to listen to the voiceless,
• to avoid any and all acts of arrogance, or bias,
• to face the public politely and candidly.
Avoiding Conflict of Interest
This online publication is pledged to avoid conflict of interest or the appearance of conflict of interest, wherever and whenever possible. We have adopted stringent policies on these issues, conscious that they may be more restrictive than is customary in the world of private business. In particular:
Clarksdale News will always pay its own way.
We accept no gifts from news sources. We accept no free trips. We neither seek nor accept preferential treatment that might be rendered because of our news and community resource position. Exceptions to the no-gift rule are few and obvious – invitations to meals, for example. Free admissions to any event that is not free to the public are prohibited. An exception is for seats not sold to the public, such as in a press box. Whenever possible, ClarksdaleNews will pay for such seats or tickets.
We make all reasonable effort to be free of obligation to news sources and to special interests. We are wary of entanglement with those whose positions render them likely to be subjects of journalistic interest and examination. Our private behavior as well as our professional behavior must not bring discredit to our profession or to the community.
We avoid active involvement in any partisan causes – politics, community affairs, social action, demonstrations – that could compromise or seem to compromise our ability to report and edit fairly.
Our Reporting Role
ClarksdaleNews writers should make every effort to remain in the audience, to stay off the stage, to report the news, not to make the news.
In gathering news, reporters will not misrepresent their identity. They will identify that they are Clarksdale News reporters promptly, and shall never identify themselves as anything other than journalists.
We are pledged to minimize the number of errors we make and to correct those that occur. Accuracy is our goal. Persons who call errors to our attention will be met with respect, and appropriate changes and admissions of error will be prompt.
Disclosure of Sources
Clarksdale News is pledged to disclose the source of all information when at all possible. When we agree to protect a source’s identity, that identity will not be made known to anyone outside Clarksdale News.
Before any information is accepted, our reporters will make every reasonable effort to get it on the record. If that is not possible, reporters should consider seeking the information elsewhere. If that in turn is not possible, reporters should request an on-the-record reason for concealing the source’s identity and should include the reason in the story.
Plagiarism and Credit
From time to time ClarksdaleNews will post material from other publications and media, and in all cases those sources will be credited. In all cases possible, photographers shall also be credited for their work.
Reporters and editors of Clarksdale News are committed to fairness. While arguments about objectivity are endless, the concept of fairness is something that editors and reporters can easily understand and pursue. Fairness results from a few simple practices:
• No story is fair if it omits facts that are important.
• No story is fair if it consciously or unconsciously misleads or even deceives the reader.
• No story is fair if reporters hide their biases or emotions behind such subtly pejorative words as “refused,” “despite,” “quietly,” “admit” and “massive.”
In Clarksdale News, the separation of news articles from editorial or opinion articles will be distinct. This separation is intended to clearly notify the reader that news articles are based on facts, and editorial and opinion articles are based on one person(s) point of view.
Clarksdale News is primarily concerned with community interest, but Regional, State, National and Global articles determined to be of interest to our readers may appear from time to time.
The first mission of an online newspaper is to tell the truth. We shall tell all the truth as we know it. Stories will be a proper reading fit for young or old. The newspaper’s duty is to its readers and to the public at large, and not to the private interests of our owner(s), or advertisers.