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Code of Ethics Guidelines

Editorial/Content Staff

This statement of the KQED Code of Ethics Guidelines is intended to underscore the values of KQED to ensure integrity, impartiality, and independence, and to maintain the highest standards of conduct by KQED staff, avoiding conflicts of interest or perceived conflicts. It is also important that we maintain standards consistent with NPR, PBS, and other news organizations to which KQED contributes.

KQED Public Media represents the core values of public media: trust, fairness, integrity, and quality content. Our listeners and viewers depend on KQED for objective and accurate information. As stewards of public media, we have an obligation to avoid conflicts of interests, personal bias or undue influence.

  • The Code of Ethics Guidelines apply to all KQED senior content management and editorial, programming, and content staff (hereinafter "Editorial/Content Staff"). Editorial/Content Staff in Television, Radio, Interactive, and Education, including TV and Radio: executives in charge of productions, programming managers, executive producers, senior producers, senior editors, managing editors, news editors, program hosts, newscast hosts, announcers who present newscasts, reporters, producers, associate producers, assistant producers, content researchers; Interactive: associate producers, producers, senior producers, executive producers, directors, executive directors; Education: director, associate directors, project managers. KQED senior management, including the President and CEO, will also comply with these guidelines as it relates to content responsibilities.
  • All Editorial/Content Staff shall avoid activities that would give rise to conflicts of interest, real or perceived, with the programming and services of KQED. Examples of potential conflicts of interest include:
    1. Political Activities. Editorial/Content Staff should avoid situations which would call into question their impartiality on political matters. The Code of Ethics Guidelines are not intended to discourage Editorial/Content Staff from expressing their views at the ballot box. In their public life, however, Editorial/Content Staff members need to refrain from activities that might give rise to an improper appearance of partiality. Editorial/Content Staff may not, for example, contribute to electoral candidates or electoral campaigns, or serve in a publicly elected office.
    2. Marches or Rallies. Editorial/Content Staff should avoid active participation in marches or rallies concerning controversial issues of political importance to the extent that their participation may call KQED's objectivity on a particular issue into question. An example: participating in a rally to support animal rights and then reporting, writing or producing a segment on this topic. If in doubt, or to seek clarification, the Editorial/Content Staff member should discuss with his/her supervisor in advance of a particular activity.
    3. Associations. KQED does not seek to restrict Editorial/Content Staff from participating in community, labor, civic or professional affairs organizations. However, Editorial/Content Staff shall exercise care to remain free of associations and activities that may compromise KQED's integrity or damage its credibility. For example, Editorial/Content Staff should not sit on the boards of organizations that are engaged in significant lobbying or political activity, or are actively involved in controversial issues of public importance where participation by Editorial/Content Staff may call KQED's objectivity on a particular issue into question. Editorial/Content Staff should disclose to their supervisor their membership in any organizations where there is a likelihood that continued service will create an actual conflict of interest or the appearance of a conflict of interest concerning an issue the Editorial/Content Staff member is working on.
    4. Activities of Associates. When a spouse or immediate family member is involved in a political activity that may create a real or apparent conflict of interest or otherwise call KQED's objectivity on a particular issue the Editorial/ Content Staff member is working on into question, he/she should disclose this to his/her supervisor so that KQED can determine whether the staff member should be recused from particular assignments.
  • Acceptance of Gifts and Gratuities. To avoid the appearance of conflicts, Editorial/Content Staff shall not accept or solicit business-connected gifts or free services from vendors or news and content sources, with the exception of nominal courtesies. Other items received should be politely returned. Travel reimbursement for KQED related and approved business by an outside organization may be acceptable in certain cases; however, such travel arrangements need to be disclosed and approved in advance by the staff member's supervisor.
  • Outside Employment. Editorial/Content Staff may not engage in outside employment that would create an actual conflict of interest. Any employment outside KQED must be approved in advance and in writing by the staff member's supervisor.
  • Speeches and Presentations. A member of the Editorial/Content Staff who has been asked to make a speech or presentation (outside the normal course of KQED hosted or planned activities) should obtain prior approval from his/her supervisor. Such approval will not be unreasonably withheld.
  • Commercial Endorsements. Editorial/Content Staff may not endorse commercial products, companies or services, whether or not payment is received.
  • If there is any question on the part of an individual regarding a potential conflict, it should be disclosed to his/her supervisor in advance.

KQED adheres to The Public Media Code of Integrity, which was developed by the Affinity Group Coalition and the Station Resource Group, collectively representing public television and radio stations and service organizations from across the country, with support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Updated December 2013

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