Ethics

 

The Solutions Journalism Network is a nonpartisan organization committed to transparency and editorial independence. We do not support or advocate for any particular idea, model, organization, or agenda.

As a non-profit organization, we receive financial support from foundations and individual donors. All funding relationships are disclosed publicly on our website. (See here for a complete list.) Some of the funding we receive from foundations is used to support newsroom projects–often, series that focus on exploration of solutions to problems–that focus on issue areas (public education or health, for example).

We recognize that there are ethical concerns inherent in using philanthropic funding to support journalism that explores efforts to advance solutions. The reality is that the ecosystems of philanthropy and social change are interconnected. It is, therefore, inevitable that some newsrooms and journalists we support will report on issues that involve our organization’s funders, some of which are large-scale foundations that have supported thousands of organizations in dozens of fields.

We believe that it would be a disservice to society to exclude critical reporting on social innovations funded by these sources. On the other hand, it is critically important that such relationships not conflict with the principles of independent journalism. SJN’s grant recipients, whether newsrooms or individual journalists, should adhere to the highest standards of conduct as set forth in by bodies such as the Society of Professional Journalists.

We require that our grant recipients remain completely transparent about any potential conflicts of interest that could arise in the context of reporting on an issue of interest to a Solutions Journalism Network funder. Just as important, news organizations that receive support from the Solutions Journalism Network have full editorial control over their coverage.