Bustle Digital Group News Policies And Ethics
Bustle Digital Group News Description
Bustle Digital Group is the parent company of women-focused news sites Bustle and Elite Daily; Romper, the first news site dedicated to millennial parents; and The Zoe Report, a site dedicated to fashion and beauty.
Bustle Digital Group’s verticals look to inform women about the most important stories of the day and how those stories affect them. We also clearly identify the organizations and news sources we cite throughout our stories by naming them or linking to them, and note when we are presenting original interviews and insights. For breaking news stories that change quickly, we acknowledge new information at the top of articles, making clear what information has changed and whether further updates could be expected. We seek to be transparent in all of our content to the best of our ability.
Bustle Digital Group News Fact-Checking
Each writer across all Bustle Digital Group verticals is instructed to cite their information, so it’s clear to both editor and reader where quotes, data, and general information comes from. When they are available, we will link to primary sources, as well.
Once a piece is filed to the editor, all citations are checked one by one to make sure both the information and its context is accurate. Our copy editors do the same, correcting any details that might be misleading or inaccurate. They provide a report to the entire vertical about the mistakes that were made, where they occurred, and why they were changed. That information is then relayed to the writer whenever possible, so they can improve their own sourcing.
When there is original reporting, the copy editor will ask for either a transcript of the interview or for the audio recordings, so that the exact language of quotes is properly articulated. Writers and editors, when performing original interviews, will also repeat quotes during interviews so they can confirm veracity.
For longer or more sensitive stories, editors will often print out the article and always confirm the following information: names; ages; job titles; business names or locations; movie, book, album, or play titles; dates, and random facts. These facts are confirmed by checking multiple sources (the golden rule is three) from major news outlets and not from Wikipedia or partisan publications.
Bustle Digital Group News Ethics Policy
Every full-time writer and editor across all of Bustle Digital Group’s verticals is judiciously trained in libel. This includes an extensive presentation by a member of editorial leadership, and a quiz to make sure they comprehend the importance of accurate reporting and the dangers of misleading statements.
At its core, to be a journalist is to be a witness of history — and to give readers all the information they need to understand it. Writers and editors of News content should not participate in or directly impact news events, and if they do, this information should be presented to the reader.
We also strive to include, whenever available, all sides of a story. We reach out for comment and give everyone the opportunity to respond to stories that relate to them or their work. This information is presented alongside opposing points of view whenever possible.
We also ask our writers and editors to closely study the newsroom ethics of publications we trust (like NPR and the Associated Press), acknowledging that we are a young company that will continue to evolve our policies.
Bustle Digital Group’s verticals also provide full-time writers and editors with social media guidelines, asking them to use common sense and represent the values of our company. We ask that they consider that they are a representative of Bustle Digital Group, even when they’re not on shift. We ask that writers think about how their posts might affect their own credibility as a journalist or their colleagues’ and how it might affect everyone’s ability to successfully report a story.
Bustle Digital Group’s News Policy On Sourcing
The goal of good journalism is to reduce the distance between the news and the reader — to make readers feel as though they themselves have witnessed an event or interviewed a subject. This is reflected in all Bustle Digital Group’s editorial policies. Writers and editors are expected to question the apparent narratives that reverberate across publications and look for the original sources, rather than obvious reports.
All editorial employees are trained on how to look for these primary sources — the original legal, governmental, or personal accounts of a story. Whenever possible, we make these documents available to the reader so they can make judgements and ask questions for themselves. We also rigorously identify the origins of all information — quotes, arguments, data, etc.
Anonymous narratives or interviews are discouraged and require management approval, as they are often unfair to the accused. Typically, anonymous interviews or bits of information are permitted only when a source or one of their associates will be put in mortal danger if their identity is revealed. If anonymity is granted, it is noted in the story for transparency to the reader.
All interviews, whether oral or written, are explicitly confirmed as on the record, so there is no confusion between sources and Bustle Digital Group employees. There is also a zero tolerance policy for quid-pro-quo, or the exchange of money or gifts for a source’s cooperation with a story.
Finally, all subjects of Bustle Digital Group’s stories are given the opportunity to respond to allegations made against them. We ask for comment from every person or organization that falls under this category, and if it is not received by our publishing deadline, we note this in the piece. If their comment is delivered after publishing, it is added with a note for transparency.
Bustle Digital Group’s News Policy On Plagiarism
All Bustle Digital Group’s sites have a zero-tolerance policy on plagiarism. Writers should, and must, use their own words to describe ideas and events, as well as clearly cite the sources, if any, of the work. Writers can also “plagiarize” themselves, recycling old phrases or arguments they’ve used in the past. This is also unacceptable.
To mitigate the instances of plagiarism, writers and editors are trained in the prevention and detection of plagiarism. One of the key ways Bustle Digital Group addresses this important issue is to ensure secondary sources are not taken as the truth. Another is to make sure information is verified by numerous sources and publications, so that Bustle Digital Group readers are not only presented with reliable information, but also informed stories.
Editors look for plagiarism as part of their reviews of articles. If any is found, management is notified and the writer is immediately terminated. The editor will then review every single article the company has published by that writer and check for other instances of plagiarism. Those pieces are then updated to meet Bustle Digital Group’s editorial standards and a note is added at the bottom for transparency to the reader.
Bustle Digital Group also takes accusations of plagiarism from outside parties very seriously. Once a complaint is made, the same investigation process described above is initiated.
Bustle Digital Group’s News Correction Policy
Bustle Digital Group’s News verticals work in real time. We report on the information that is available now, and acknowledge that there will be more to come, or that a particular story is a breaking, fast-changing news event. Any article discovered to contain inaccuracies will not be unpublished or hidden; instead, corrections will be made.
If there’s been a small or anticipated update to a story, we put the update below the first paragraph, labeling it “UPDATE” and including the new information and when it was released or uncovered. We then mark the rest of the story as “EARLIER,” so that readers have a transparent timeline for what was reported and when.
If there’s been a huge update to a story, the update goes above the first paragraph, with “— UPDATE” added to the headline. We then follow the previous procedure of adding “EARLIER” to the original story
For corrections, writers must notify their editors and editors must notify their managers. We take corrections very seriously at Bustle Digital Group, and they should immediately be communicated to the VP of Content, the Managing Editor, or the Executive News Editor.
After senior staff has been informed, the correction will be changed in the text and what was changed will be noted at the bottom of the article, describing what was inaccurate and that the piece was updated to reflect the correct information.
For headline corrections or major corrections, “— CORRECTION” is added to the end of the headline. Either of these corrections are noted on a central correction database, so management can identify patterns or problems with teams, specific editors, or writers.
Bustle, Elite Daily, Romper, and The Zoe Report readers are able to reach Bustle Digital Group editors by emailing Hello@bustle.com. This inbox is checked regularly and any information pertinent to Bustle, Elite Daily, Romper, or The Zoe Report articles is addressed.
Bustle Digital Group Editorial Masthead (Romper)
Editor-in-Chief: Kate Ward
SVP, Editorial Strategy: Lindsay Mannering
Director of Social Media: Hayley Saltzman
Director of Editorial Operations: Rosanne Salvatore
Director of Brand Initiatives: Margaret Wheeler Johnson
Editor-at-Large: Kaitlyn Cawley
Managing Editor: April Daniels Hussar
Senior Editors: Danielle Campoamor (Identity), Lauren Cox (News & Entertainment), Janet Manley (Features), Anne Vorrasi (Lifestyle)
Editors: Samantha Darby (Lifestyle), Kaitlin Kimont (News & Entertainment)
Associate Editor: Kathleen Walsh (TV)
Associate Social Editor: Frances Dumlao
Senior Social Editor: Suzie Samin
Associate Social Editor: Frances Dumlao
Bustle Digital Group Editorial Operations:
Senior Managers: Sam Rullo, Melissa Mills
Bookings Manager: Guillermo Perez
Senior Editor: Anna Parsons (Creative, Special Projects)
Editor: Erika Abdelatif (App)
Associate Editor: Danielle Colin-Thome (App)
Editorial Coordinator: Heather Brennan