IPR Code of Ethics
Interlochen Public Radio is a noncommercial broadcast and online media service for the people of northern Michigan. Its news and music services are owned and operated by Interlochen Center for the Arts, a nonprofit education organization that exists “to ignite lifelong passion for the arts.”
Public trust in the integrity of our service is essential to our mission. The freedom of public media professionals to make editorial and programming decisions based on their own judgement is essential to maintaining this trust with the communities we serve.
We create and reinforce trust by practicing the following standards in regards to the integrity of programming and services, fundraising, community interactions, and organizational governance.
These standards apply to all the content IPR produces and presents, regardless of subject matter; including news, science, history, information, music, arts, and culture. These standards apply across our channels and platforms - broadcasting, online, social media, print, media devices, and in-person events.
IPR commits to:
- Accuracy in the pursuit of facts about events, issues, and important matters that affect communities and peoples’ lives. Telling the truth is our highest priority.
- Pursue fairness and responsiveness in content and services, with particular attention to reflecting diversity of demography, geography, culture, economic status and beliefs. We strive to be aware of our region as a whole and and avoid entrenched thinking and behaviors toward people and places.
- Aim for transparency in news gathering, reporting, and other content creation and share the reasons for important editorial and programming choices.
- Act quickly to initiate on-air and online corrections when our work falls short of the expectation for accuracy, balance and clarity.
- Protect the editorial process from the fact and appearance of influence by donors and sponsors and fully disclose any situation or circumstances that could create a perception of bias.
- Maintain respectful and accountable relationships with individual contributors and partner organizations and help them understand the boundaries set around our work and decision making.
- Deal impartially with anyone who engages with us in good faith, regardless of their status as a donor or according to any other distinction.
- Expect employees to uphold public media's integrity in their personal as well as their professional lives, understanding that employee actions, even when "off the clock," affect trust, integrity, credibility, and impartiality.
- Seek guidance on implementing these standards from NPR as a member of the larger public radio network. (ethics.npr.org)
II. Licensee relations
IPR strives to apply all these standards in our relationships with the licensee, Interlochen Center for the Arts (ICA) and any of its employees and constituents. Being owned by a private organization and sharing its mission creates opportunities and challenges that we address in the following specific ways.
- IPR staff maintains control of its radio streams, website and social media platforms.
- IPR staff maintains editorial control of its content. Station staff decides what makes a compelling or newsworthy story, interview or performance for its audiences, how to approach any topic and what details to include or omit.
- ICA has access to rich artistic content and to audiences who share many interests with Classical IPR listeners. ICA and Classical IPR actively pursue mutually beneficial opportunities to enhance their respective programs and reach a broader public.
- If the Executive Director of IPR directly supervises the news operation, that could create conflicts of interest. In that situation, the director would be careful to recognize this and remove him or herself editorially from any reporting that has an internal conflict. Responsibility would be delegated to the Managing Editor in these situations or to another appropriate IPR employee.
- The director is also privy to information about ICA through the executive position and commits to honor that confidentiality.
- Decisions about hiring, firing and staff work plans and goals are ultimately decided by the director working under the direction of the President of ICA.
For the sake of accountability:
- All IPR staff involved in creating and presenting content and allocating resources for that purpose will agree to abide by this code with a signature.
- The Executive Director of IPR will report annually to IPR’s Community Advisory Council on IPR’s compliance with these standards and practices and will also involve council members if a protracted conflict arises related to these principles.
The standards and practices in sections I through III were approved by a resolution of ICA’s Board of Trustees on July 21st, 2018.