PENNSYLVANIA MEDIA GROUP LLC FACT-CHECKING POLICY
Revised 02/01/2020 | Authored by Ryan M. Focht
Pennsylvania Media Group LLC (PMG) is held to a very high standard of journalistic integrity and establishes credibility by being courteous, mindful, transparent and above all, accurate and correct. We take pride in and have the responsibility to provide quality journalism that features no bias, no preference, no above influence and no ulterior motives or affiliations.
As such, all information included in our publication will undergo a mandatory fact-check to ensure that our publication can verify factual statements in our reports. ALL information conveyed in a way to present a fact will be checked; meaning all written statements that may SUGGEST a fact are also subject to being checked.
Editorial Vs. Report
There is only one exception to our fact checking policy, and that is our editorial work. Our editorialists are expected to fact-check their statements to the best of their ability. Because of the nature presented by an editorial article, and the fact that it is displayed as opinion and conveyed by our publication as opinion, the fact checking policy will be lenient on editorial work.
The liability of lost credibility will fall onto the editorial writer, and it is thus their responsibility as an editorialist to be correct in their statements to preserve their individual credibility. Since editorials are conveyed as opinion, readers must know that there is a distinction between our editorials and our reports. Editorial works will be published in a way to classify them as editorial; and if featured, will be fact-checked before they are published as featured. Reports will be classified as reports, they will be fact-checked always and reports will be featured on the front page always.
Political Motives Vs. Reporting Integrity
At PMG, we encourage all journalists to disregard political influences in their work in order to provide factually correct information to inform our audience and not to persuade our audience. Political opinions are of course unique and important to every person, but at PMG, we have a clear policy that political influences in reporting are generally disallowed.
As such, we screen our reports for any signs of political bias or other forms of bias and perceived attempt to influence or signs of included influence of any ideal to be portrayed. In other words, we do our part to ensure absolutely neutral conveyance of fact that does not provide any benefit to any party or provide material to support any ulterior agenda. We have made it clear to our journalists that no candidate political or otherwise is going to be endorsed by our organization. Political opinions are to be kept personal in regards to written work.
Again, the only exception to this policy lies with our editorialists, who as before will also be held to a standard and who take responsibility for shortcomings in their credibility. Editorialists write on the topic and basis of opinion, and are therefore encouraged to share opinions as an editorial.
PMG will employ the use of certified fact-checking entities as well as personal methods of verification such as documentation and personal witness and testimony to provide our accuracy.
Full-Facts Automated is our preferred provider for digital fact-checking and accuracy in regards to top priority facts on a national and state level.
Redundant fact-checkers in the event that Full-Facts is unavailable include PolitiFact and Factcheck.org.