Khusoko Journalistic Standards Guide

 

Khusoko journalists uphold the highest standards of ethical and professional journalism. 

This 2021 version of the Khusoko Journalistic Standards Guide provides a comprehensive code of journalistic principles and conduct to guide us in our mission: to be responsible, independent, fair, and accurate when we engage and connect with our readers on all digital platforms.

We make every effort to verify and check the information we publish and to be transparent about our news sources and how we gather our information.

To make a complaint about our coverage, please contact our head of editorial, Indeje David, at indeje@khusoko.com

Khusoko journalists and contributors are required to follow the standards laid out in the Code of Conduct for the Practice of JournalismMedia Council Act 2013.

TO WHOM DO THESE POLICIES APPLY?

These policies apply to all Khusoko editorial staff in the creation and publication of all editorial content on any platform. 

These policies also apply to all freelancers when creating content for Khusoko.

Any breach of policy can lead to disciplinary action within the applicable laws up to and including dismissal.

Statement of Principles

RESPONSIBILITY

Khusoko has responsibilities to its customers, its clients, and its employees. The overriding responsibility of our daily and community news organizations is to the democratic society.

Freedom of expression and of the press must be defended against encroachment from any quarter, public or private. Journalists must ensure that the public’s business is conducted in public. They must be vigilant against all who would exploit journalists and their news organizations for selfish purposes.

ACCURACY AND TRUTH

Good faith with the reader is the foundation of ethical and excellent journalism. That good faith rests primarily on the reader’s confidence that what we publish is correct. Every effort must be made to ensure that everything we publish is accurate, presented in context, and that all sides are presented fairly.

Journalistic integrity demands that significant errors of fact, as well as errors of omission, should be corrected promptly and as prominently and transparently as warranted.

FAIRNESS

Khusoko news should respect the rights of people involved in the news, be transparent and stand accountable to the public for the fairness and reliability of everything it publishes. Fair news reports provide relevant context, do not omit relevant facts and aim to be honest with readers about what we know and what we do not know.

Our core fairness standard demands that any subject of potentially harmful allegations must be given the opportunity to respond.

INDEPENDENCE

Independence from those we cover is a key principle of journalistic integrity. We avoid conflicts of interest and the appearance of conflicts. Khusoko believes in paying the costs incurred in gathering and publishing news. In circumstances where that may not be possible, we disclose information that could create the perception of a conflict of interest. Transparency with our readers about the potential for conflicts should guide our considerations about real or perceived conflicts.

IMPARTIALITY

To be impartial does not require a media outlet to be unquestioning or to refrain from editorial expression. Sound practice, however, demands a clear distinction for readers between news and opinion. All content that contains explicit opinion or personal interpretation should be clearly identified as opinion or analysis, as appropriate.

PRIVACY

Every person has a right to privacy. There are inevitable conflicts between the right to privacy, the public good and the right of the public to be informed about the conduct of public affairs. Each case should be judged in the light of common sense and humanity.

Our Journalism Standards

ACCURACY AND CORRECTIONS

Accuracy is grounded in verification, the essence of journalism. We are accountable to our readers for the accuracy of the information we publish in stories, headlines, photos, cutlines, social media, graphics, data, videos and any other content on all of our platforms. At Khusoko, we do not hesitate to acknowledge mistakes and respond to them when brought to our notice.

Khusoko Fact Check corrects errors as quickly as possible and with high levels of transparency. If the correction is straightforward, we mark the correction within 24 hours of being pointed out. But if the correction involves the further investigation or reaching out to people for their reactions, the correction may take up to 72 hours.

We value feedback from our readers, which can be posted in the comments section at the end of every story, video or post. A request for a correction or an update in a story can also be sent to feedback. hallo@khusoko.com 

If a new fact comes to light after a story is published, information that adds substantial new layers or angles but does not alter the rating, it is marked as “Update” at the end of the article.

ANONYMITY AND CONFIDENTIAL SOURCES

The public interest is best served when news sources are identified by their full names. We should be aggressive in pressing sources to put information on the record and should seek independently to corroborate off-the-record information.

There are times when reporters need confidential sources to serve readers and democracy. Responsible journalism in the public interest often depends on these confidential sources who give journalists information that powerful people seek to keep secret. There are times also when some sources, such as underage or other vulnerable people, may require anonymity in telling their stories.

Published articles must explain why sources have been granted anonymity and why we consider them authoritative and credible. Confidential sources should have first-hand knowledge of the information and this must be conveyed to the reader. We should publish as much information as possible about the source — including why they sought confidentiality — without revealing identity.

DIVERSITY

Inclusiveness is at the heart of thinking and acting as journalists. Khusoko aims to reflect the diversity of our communities and respect the human rights and equal dignity of all. We aim for a variety of voices as sources and contributors in our news and opinion.

PAID CONTENT
Khusoko is committed to the principle that our audiences should not be confused about the distinction between our journalism – governed by our journalistic guidelines – and our advertising and other content-driven by commercial interests.

All commercial content is clearly labelled with one of the following:

Supported: Produced with financial support from an organization or individual, yet not approved by the underwriter before publication. Articles are held to strict journalistic standards but are funded by entities interested in being associated with or expanding attention to a particular topic.

Sponsored: Produced on behalf of an organization or individual that has paid the news provider for production and/or approved publication. It does not meet the standards of impartial or independent journalism because a sponsor has been involved in production or review before publication.

Advertisement: Supplied by an organization or individual that has paid the news provider for its placement. As a result, while it may be written in the style of the publication, it is not impartial journalism.

Partner Content: Produced in partnership with an organization or individual that has been involved in either the production or review of content before publication. Therefore, the content may not meet the standards of impartial or independent journalism.

COLUMN AND CONTRIBUTED ARTICLE SUBMISSIONS

Khusoko welcomes well-written articles and insightful analysis from marketers and industry experts. Please email info@khusoko.com with a brief description of the contributed article idea.

Contributed articles should be 600 to 800 words in length and a deep dive into the approved topic within the African markets. Short sentences, short paragraphs, and limited use of jargon are appreciated.

We reserve the right to edit letters for length, style and clarity.

The views reflected in the submitted article are the author’s and do not necessarily represent this publication’s opinion. We have no agenda but to present both sides of the story, either in our reporting or commissioned analyses and opinions.

The article should be submitted as a Microsoft Word document, with the author’s name, title, company, and email address listed at the bottom.

SOCIAL MEDIA

Khusoko Journalists are encouraged to be themselves and find their own voices on social media, but it’s important to remember that the content they post and the way they conduct themselves can have an impact on reader trust, the journalistic reputation of our newsrooms, our brands and Khusoko’s public standing. This is true regardless of the privacy settings on a journalist’s account, their profile description or whether they consider an account personal.

Read our social media policy.