Frontier ethics policy
Mission statement: The Frontier produces fearless, independent journalism with impact. We hold those in power accountable, give a voice to the powerless and tell stories that matter to Oklahomans.
The Frontier strives to produce fair and accurate reporting about Oklahoma.
We will never deliberately distort, exaggerate or oversimplify the facts to fit a predetermined narrative.
We will make good faith efforts to seek other points of view to test the veracity of our reporting and challenge our assumptions.
We will diligently seek out the subjects of our reporting and give them adequate time to respond to all allegations of wrongdoing.
The Frontier is an equal opportunity organization and will not allow discrimination based upon age, ethnicity, ancestry, gender, national origin, disability, race, size, religion, sexual orientation, socioeconomic background, or any other status prohibited by applicable law.
Partisanship and political involvement
Frontier staff may participate in advocacy efforts in support of freedom of the press, open government and public access to information.
Our staff are prohibited from advocating for all other ballot measures or legislation, making political campaign contributions or publicly supporting political candidates. Our staff also may not participate in campaign rallies or protests or display political yard signs or bumper stickers.
Frontier staff shall engage with readers of all political stripes in a respectful manner on social media. Our staff may not make social media posts demonstrating political bias.
The Frontier will not endorse political candidates.
When The Frontier publishes editorial cartoons or opinion pieces, they will be clearly labeled as such.
What sources of information we use to report the news
The Frontier strives to use public records, data and other documents and interviews to produce fair and accurate news reporting.
We will only use anonymous sources when information of compelling public interest cannot be obtained in another way. We sometimes grant anonymity to sources who could face negative personal and professional consequences or physical danger if they were identified. If we choose to grant a source anonymity, we disclose to readers why we made that decision.
Editors will know the identity of sources so there can be discussion on whether to include an anonymous source in our reporting. Reporters will make every effort to independently verify information provided by anonymous sources.
The Frontier does not pay sources for information or interviews. Frontier reporters may occasionally buy a source lunch or a cup of coffee. We also sometimes pay processing fees to public agencies to fill our open records requests.
When The Frontier cannot independently verify information previously reported by other news media, we will credit that source and link back to their work.
We will provide readers with access to the original documents we use in our reporting when possible.
Financial transparency and editorial independence
The Frontier is a member of the Institute for Nonprofit News and subscribes to its standards of editorial independence.
Our organization retains full authority over editorial content, maintaining a firewall between news coverage decisions and the pursuit of revenue. Accepting financial support does not constitute implied or actual endorsement of donors or their products, services or opinions.
We accept gifts, grants and sponsorships from individuals and organizations for the general support of our activities, but all editorial decisions are made independently, not on the basis of donor support. At times, we accept support for coverage of particular topics, but those topics are determined by our editorial staff, and we maintain full editorial control of the resulting coverage. Donors receive no preferential coverage, have no right to review editorial content before it is published and do not influence the direction or findings of our reporting in any way.
We do not accept donations from government entities, political parties, elected officials or candidates actively seeking public office, nor do we accept donations from sources who our board of directors deem could present a conflict of interest with our work or compromise our editorial independence.
We accept gifts, grants and sponsorships from individuals, organizations and foundations to help with our general operations, coverage of specific topics and special projects. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that operates as a public trust, we do not pay certain taxes. We may receive funds from standard government programs offered to nonprofits or similar businesses.
Our news judgments are made independently – not based on or influenced by donors or any revenue source. We do not give supporters the rights to assign, review or edit content.
We make public all revenue sources and donors who give $5,000 or more per year. As a nonprofit newsroom, we avoid charitable donations from anonymous sources, government entities, political parties, elected officials or candidates seeking public office. We will not accept donations from sources who, deemed by our board of directors, present a conflict of interest with our work or compromise our independence.
Conflicts of interest and gifts
The Frontier will avoid all conflicts of interest in our reporting both real and perceived. We will publicly disclose when we report on or quote a subject that has donated $5,000 or more to The Frontier.
Frontier staff are not allowed to personally accept meals or gifts of more than nominal value from public officials, companies, advocacy groups or other subjects of news coverage.
We do not accept offers of free travel or accommodations from subjects of news coverage.
Reporters are prohibited from reporting on organizations where a family member works or holds a financial interest.
How we check our facts
Frontier editors and reporters make every effort to vet the credibility of all sources of information before publishing a story.
Reporters are responsible for fact checking their work, a process that can include using public records to verify the accuracy of information and talking with sources to review and confirm key parts of a story or our understanding of a situation.
We do not let sources or the subjects of news coverage read stories before publication. But we may sometimes allow sources to review how they will be quoted in and also seek to verify information contained in a story with sources as part of the fact checking process.
The Frontier will promptly respond to requests to correct inaccurate information.
All corrections will be added to the story where the error appeared and also will be posted on the corrections page on our website with the headline and link back to the story. To ask for a correction, contact our staff or email firstname.lastname@example.org.