1. Statement of principles
2. Priority areas of coverage
3. Trust and Accountability
4. Journalistic Conduct
5. Verification and sourcing
6. Corrections and Clarifications
7. Labelling of Content
8. Responsible Practices
10. Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Statement of Journalistic Principles
PressProgress is committed to producing journalism that follows high ethical standards and responsible journalistic practices in service of the public interest.
Our Journalistic Standards are guided by five core principles:
• Public interest: Democracy relies on an informed public. Our editorial decisions are guided by what we believe the public needs to know.
• Responsible journalism: Journalists hold a position of public trust. We honour that trust by following ethical journalistic practices and communicating information responsibly.
• Truth and accuracy: Healthy public debate counts on good quality information. We take the accuracy of our journalism seriously and seek to provide deeper context and analysis from trusted experts and credible information sources.
• Critical voice: The role of journalism is to hold the powerful accountable. We believe the best journalism takes a trenchant or adversarial position on important issues of public interest.
• Accessibility: Journalism that is in the public interest should be accessible to the public. We strive to make our journalistic content available and understandable to the greatest number of people possible.
Priority Areas of Coverage
PressProgress was founded in 2013 by the Broadbent Institute, an independent organization dedicated to policy research, leadership training and convening events promoting social democratic values.
The Broadbent Principles for Canadian Social Democracy articulate the core principles and vision of Ed Broadbent, founder of the Broadbent Institute, over his lifetime working in academia, politics and civil society to impact change.
The focus of our work, while journalistically independent, is informed by the values articulated by this vision statement. Specifically, we prioritize stories on underreported topics that relate to five core issue areas informed by these principles:
• Social and economic inequality
• Big business and workplace democracy
• Fact-checking and tracking bad information
• Right-wing politics and extremism
• Civic institutions and democracy
Trust and Accountability
Our commitment to our journalistic standards is backed-up by more than just our word.
PressProgress is a member of the National NewsMedia Council, a voluntary, self-regulatory body for Canada’s news media industry that promotes ethical journalistic practices. Readers with concerns about accuracy, journalistic standards or other ethical issues relating to news content published by PressProgress are welcome to make submissions through the NNC’s complaints process.
For more information, see mediacouncil.ca or call 1-844-877-1163.
PressProgress also follows industry standard practices promoting trust and transparency in a healthy news ecosystem. We are proud to score a perfect rating on NewsGuard.
Our journalists are members in good standing with the Canadian Association of Journalists.
Our journalistic standards applies to both our published work as well as the conduct of our journalists.
The following policies demonstrate our journalists’ high standards:
• Responsible methods and practices: We take our responsibility to present the public with accurate and reliable information seriously. Our journalists are expected to exercise due diligence in gathering, verifying and communicating information.
• Voice: We encourage our journalists to actively rely on their knowledge, lived experiences and critical thinking in order to contextualize information for readers.
• Professionalism: We expect our journalists to maintain a professional and civil tone in their communications with colleagues, news subjects, media relations personnel, public servants and others whom they interact with in the course of their work.
• Discrimination and harassment: Our journalists are committed to promoting inclusive spaces in which all individuals are treated with respect and dignity. This is reinforced by internal workplace policies and a collective agreement that aim to prevent discrimination, harassment and violence in the course of our journalists’ work.
• Covering legislatures and public institutions: We respect the rules and conventions governing legislatures, legislative press galleries, government ministries, courts and other public institutions, including codes of conduct, court-ordered publication bans, membership rules or other undertakings.
• Proper use of press credentials: Accreditation provides special access to secure spaces and resources not available to the general public. Our journalists only use these credentials for news gathering and reporting – we do not permit press credentials to be used to obtain benefits other than by journalism.
• Paid work and public engagements: Our journalists do not accept paid work from individuals or groups that they regularly cover. They are encouraged to share and discuss their journalism with the public, including through media appearances, public speaking and other public engagements. When they are invited to participate in outside engagements, they may on occasion be reimbursed for costs associated with the event.
• Non-payment of sources: We do not pay sources of news stories.
• Political affiliations: Our journalists are members of a democratic society and are free to share personal opinions about politics, participate in issue-based advocacy or engage in charitable activities. Our journalists do not carry out any paid or unpaid work for public officeholders, political parties or candidates during or in-between municipal, provincial or federal elections.
• Covering live or unfolding news events: We expect our journalists to be active observers, not active participants in stories that they cover. Our journalists do not stage events, ambush news subjects, disrupt public events or pose theatrical questions to public officials. During developing news events, our journalists take responsible steps to verify the authenticity and accuracy of information before relaying it to the public.
• Personal privacy and security of news subjects: Our focus is on what has public interest value. We do not publish intimate images or irrelevant and salacious personal details. We are always careful in handling information that could compromise the security of a news subject, including the disclosure of home addresses, financial information or other private information.
• Privacy of minors: Young people deserve different expectations of privacy and public scrutiny than adults. We generally avoid reporting on the activities of individuals under the age of 18 unless there is a significant public interest in doing so. In situations where young people are associated with a story, we may take steps to respect their privacy by redacting names, withholding identifiable information or blurring images.
• Sensitive topics and traumatic events: Some news stories may involve content that is painful for some readers or news subjects. Our journalists exercise tact and empathy when dealing with grieving or highly emotional individuals. When reporting on suicide, violence or other traumatizing events, we exercise discretion in how information and imagery is presented out of sensitivity to how it may be received or cause harm.
• Crediting sources of information: Good journalism is often built on top of layers of information that came before it. Whenever appropriate, we make an effort to link to reports or sources that directly informed our original work. We credit information sources by name when our reporting makes substantive use of a significant piece of original journalism.
Verification and Sourcing
A commitment to truth, accuracy and expertise is one of the core principles that guides the journalism of PressProgress.
Here are a few of the steps we take to verify and demonstrate the accuracy of our information:
• Independent verification: We take reasonable and responsible steps to independently verify the accuracy of information we publish. This may involve extensive research, double-checking information, corroborating with source documents or consulting individuals with expertise or direct information on the subject-matter. We may also share background or technical details of a story with a primary source or outside experts before publication to verify its accuracy.
• Independent verification of media clips: We exercise due diligence to verify the authenticity of any media clips or images we obtain and ensure they have not been altered or manipulated.
• Editorial review: Our articles are typically reviewed by one or two editors before they are published. This review scrutinizes the strength of the reporting, double-checks facts and numbers, evaluates the quality and credibility of sources and makes edits with an eye to strengthening the quality and readability of the story.
• Additional review: Depending on the unique circumstances of each story, PressProgress may subject stories to a more rigorously structured fact-checking process or seek legal advice on our reporting before it is published.
Here are a few ways we approach issues relating to sources of information:
• Credible sources: We rely on credible sources of information for our reporting and analysis, prioritizing information sourced from public records, academic sources and first-hand accounts from individuals with relevant expertise or experience to speak on a given subject.
• Open sourcing: Wherever possible, we show full or partial excerpts of the primary documents or media clips relied on in our reporting. We also offer supplementary links so readers can assess the quality of the information we rely on in our reporting for themselves or learn more about related topics.
• Original sourcing: When a significant item of information is exclusively reported by PressProgress, we identify ourselves as the original source of that information and may provide a brief explanation as to how we obtained and verified that information.
• Identifying sources: We introduce sources to readers by providing their professional title, affiliation or other information to help establish why they have relevant information or special insights into a news topic. We identify sources with the name and identifiers that they self-identify with, use consistently and/or are generally recognized personally or professionally. We aim to balance issues of transparency with issues of privacy and personal security on a case-by-case basis.
• Unnamed sources: We may cite unnamed sources when that information is important, credible and can’t be obtained any other way. When we do use an unnamed source, we will take additional steps to verify or corroborate their information and do not use unnamed sources to share gossip or pure opinion. Anonymity is granted to allow sources to speak openly about sensitive topics, particularly if they could face consequences or threats of retribution for speaking with a journalist.
Corrections and Clarifications
Our commitment to accuracy is backed-up by policies aimed at strengthening the quality of the information we publish – and that includes a system for correcting the record in a timely manner if and when inaccuracies or errors are discovered.
Here’s how PressProgress issues corrections and clarifications:
Correction requests: To notify PressProgress about any concerns relating to the accuracy of our reporting, use the “report an error” form that appears at the bottom of each article or contact our editorial team directly by e-mail at this e-mail address:
Please note that as a policy, we will not consider requests for corrections unless they are submitted through either of the two formal channels listed above. In particular, we do not have the capacity to monitor, assess or respond to correction requests issued on social media.
When submitting a correction request, please:
• Communicate your concern clearly and succinctly.
• Identify the error and provide an explanation for why it is inaccurate along with any relevant information that helps us independently verify your claims.
• Focus your request on material facts rather than matters of opinion.
• Be polite and do not include off-topic diatribes or abusive and accusatory language, as this will undermine the credibility of your correction request and could be interpreted as a vexatious or unserious request.
Correction review: After receiving a formal request for correction, our editors will review the request, assess the claims and make an independent determination as to whether or not to update the story or issue a correction.
If our review determines there were any inaccuracies in our reporting, we will take action to correct the record as quickly as possible.
We do not have the capacity to respond directly to each correction request and will only do so if we require additional information.
Correction Notices: We generally issue several types of correction notices that are determined on a case-by-case basis according to the following criteria:
Clarifications: We may issue this notice at the bottom of an article when the information is factually correct, but it may have been ambiguously worded, open to multiple interpretations or required additional details.
Corrections: We may issue this notice at the bottom of an article in situations where information that is relevant and material to a key factual point in the article is inaccurate.
Editor’s Note or update: We may issue an “editor’s note” or “update” notice at the bottom of an article to inform readers of new developments or newly surfaced information that is relevant or material to our reporting shortly following publication of the story. We would include these notices on the top of the page if a significant revision has been made to a published article as a result of newly surfaced information or a major development in the story.
Retractions: We would only consider removing an article under extraordinary circumstances if the central focus of a story was substantially false. Retracted articles would be replaced with a note indicating it was removed.
Minor revisions: We may make small revisions to address typos, grammatical errors, unclear language and other changes after an article has been published without issuing any formal notice in situations where the information is of low significance or is immaterial to key factual points in our reporting.
Labelling of Content
PressProgress produces original news and analysis. Our news content generally focuses on documenting new or important information while our analysis content critically examines and contextualizes a topic. We do not publish content that would be considered purely opinion or commentary.
All of our articles include description labels. We do this to communicate the purpose of the article to readers and to distinguish between different types of journalistic formats. Here is a list of content labels we use in our articles:
News: This format documents new and important information that has not been previously reported. These articles prioritize gathering and verifying information.
Analysis: This format aims to offer insight by critically engaging with topics, exploring additional contexts or synthesizing data and other information.
Explainer: This format is designed to help readers understand the news by unpacking big concepts, highlighting undercurrents shaping news cycles and explaining how things really work. Our explainers are written by explanatory columnists who share insights based on their personal experience and expertise on their subject-matter.
Fact-Check: This format scrutinizes false statements and dubious claims.
News Brief: This format features information aggregated from other news sources, but with original analysis and additional contexts included.
Video / Audio: This format seeks to document and contextualize clips of media.
Exclusive / New: This label indicates that the article features original reporting that is of significant news value.
In an effort to prevent readers from mistaking old articles as new, we also add yellow labels to any story that is more than one month old in order to draw attention to the age of the article and to discourage old articles from being shared in error.
The rise of digital technology and social media over the last two decades has led to a corresponding erosion of trust in traditional institutions and skepticism about the information Canadians’ consume on a daily basis.
Here are a few steps PressProgress takes to strengthen trust with news readers:
• Transparency: Our website and individual articles provide the public with information about our news organization, our ownership structure, as well as our journalistic practices, ethical principles and verification practices.
• Points of contact: Our website and individual articles provide the public with with clearly marked channels to report errors, offer feedback or communicate directly with our team. Our website also includes a general contact page with a user-friendly form allowing the public to contact our team about general questions, media inquiries, donation inquiries or general feedback.
• Reporting errors: Each individual article includes a clearly-marked button at the bottom of the page for readers to report errors directly to our news team. Following an error submission, readers receive an automated e-mail response acknowledging receipt of their e-mail and additional info on how to contact PressProgress.
• Correction notices: When a correction has been issued, a correction notice along with a brief explanation is included on individual articles.
• Article labels: Individual articles are labelled in order to communicate the purpose of the article and help readers differentiate between different modes of journalism.
• Labelling old articles: Individual articles are programmed to display a yellow label indicating that it is more than one month old in order to prevent old articles from being shared by readers who mistake them as new.
• Secure tips: Our website includes a secure tips page that solicits story ideas from the public and offers a secure channel to send confidential information through untraceable and anonymous messages.
Here are a few examples of steps we take to strengthen trust in the quality of the information we publish on our social media channels:
• Content posted on PressProgress’ social channels rely on the same editorial and verification processes as information published in our news articles.
• Content posted on social media include the PressProgress logo or other identifiers in order to make clear the original source of the content and limit the possibility of content being repurposed and used out-of-context.
• As a matter of policy, PressProgress does not share, retweet or amplify original content produced by third parties that has not been independently verified.
• We share, retweet or amplify third parties when they reference our work, provided that they are describing facts published in our article or are offering fair commentary based on the facts.
• Quotations, factual claims or statistics that appear on social content will be accompanied by citations indicating the source of that information.
• Social content will include links to independently verified PressProgress articles or credible sources containing corroborating information wherever possible.
PressProgress articles based on original reporting or analysis may carry the bylines of the main journalists involved in producing the article. Bylines are intended to recognize original contributions to a story.
We present the bylines of our journalists along with their title at the top of each article along with additional information about the reporter’s areas of coverage and contact information at the bottom of each article. Multiple bylines may be displayed when more than one reporter contributed substantial information or writing to a story. Credit lines may also be used at the end of an article to recognize additional contributions to an article. When no byline is assigned to individual reporters, the name of the publication is used in its place.
Editors and reporters for PressProgress are listed on our masthead.
All news content published by PressProgress is the original work of PressProgress’ dedicated team and is produced according to PressProgress’ journalistic standards.
Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
Examining, questioning and challenging power is at the heart of PressProgress’ editorial mission and we are committed to reporting on stories that shine a light on inequalities and reflect the diversity of experiences that exist in communities across Canada. This informs our editorial decisions and journalistic practices, including considerations relating to sourcing, language-use and visuals.
We apply the same principles to our own newsroom too. We are committed to taking proactive steps to create opportunities and recruit journalists from underrepresented communities. We are also committed to partnering with other Canadian journalism organizations and participating in industry-wide initiatives aimed at promoting equity, diversity and inclusion.