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Editorial independence

We subscribe to standards of editorial independence adopted by the Institute for Nonprofit News, of which we’re a member.

Our organization retains full authority over editorial content to protect the best journalistic and business interests of our organization. We maintain a firewall between news coverage decisions and sources of all revenue. Acceptance of financial support does not constitute implied or actual endorsement of donors or their products, services, or opinions.

We accept gifts, grants, and sponsorships from individuals and organizations for the general support of our activities, but our news judgments are made independently and not on the basis of donor support. Editorial decisions are made by journalists and editors alone. We do not give supporters the right to assign, review, or edit content.

Our organization may consider donations to support the coverage of particular topics, but our organization maintains editorial control of the coverage. We will cede no right of review or influence of editorial content, nor of unauthorized distribution of editorial content.

Our organization will make public all one-time donations of $1,000 or more. As a news nonprofit, we avoid accepting charitable donations from anonymous sources, government entities, political parties, elected officials, or candidates seeking public office. If our board of directors deems a donation presents a conflict of interest with our work or will compromise our independence, we will not accept that donation.

Nonprofit newsrooms that are members of the Institute for Nonprofit News pledge to be transparent about the funding of their news operations and maintain editorial independence from all revenue sources to ensure news judgments are made in the interest of the communities they serve as journalists.

Sponsorship and advertising

The Oaklandside accepts corporate sponsorships and underwriting, and runs sponsored content that is clearly differentiated from news stories. No sponsored content will be produced by Oaklandside editorial employees, and we retain the right to reject sponsored content that doesn’t meet our editorial standards. 

Our reporters play no role in cultivating financial relationships with major donors or corporate sponsors. Top editors at The Oaklandside do work with the business side of our operations —marketing, sponsorship, and development — to help support, promote and enhance editorial efforts while protecting our editorial independence and integrity. 

Oaklandside employees may be involved, at their own discretion, in promoting membership drives or fundraising initiatives. They may be featured in marketing materials, but they are under no obligation to do so.

Equity and inclusion

The Oaklandside is committed to reflecting the diversity of the communities it serves in its staff and contributors, its editorial choices, and priorities. We think it is important to fill our newsrooms with people coming from all sorts of backgrounds, who hold differing perspectives, and who are of different ages. We are committed to employing people from communities that have long been underrepresented in the journalism profession. That includes Black people, Latinx people, Indigenous people, other people of color, LGBTQ people, people with disabilities, and others who represent American communities that are underrepresented in American newsrooms.

As The Oaklandside continues to grow, we reaffirm our commitment to a robust and thoughtful hiring process, and also to focus on our own organization, ensuring that our initiatives are well balanced between external pipeline-building efforts and internal retention and culture-enhancing programs.

Our policies were inspired by the editorial, inclusion, and ethics policies at INN, ProPublica, and the Texas Tribune.