Editorial Independence Policy

We subscribe to standards of editorial independence adopted by the Institute for Nonprofit News:

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.

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.

Corrections Policy

The Ithaca Voice encourages feedback concerning errors of fact that warrant correction. These can be sent to Anna Lamb at alamb@ithacavoice.com In cases where inaccuracy has been determined, the story will be corrected and a note indicating the place and manner of the correction will be indicated at the bottom of the story online. With these exceptions, stories will not otherwise be altered or removed, either in part or as a whole, once published.

Social Media Community Standards

The Ithaca Voice invites and encourages well-informed comments on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and our other social media channels. We believe that our comments sections are spaces for fruitful discussion to occur, and for that reason, we do monitor our comment section for the purpose of maintaining the integrity of these spaces. Comments should be relevant to the article and the intent should be to engage with others on the platform in a civil manner.  Examples of this might include: providing additional factual information, sharing a personal experience that applies to the content of the article or proposing answers to questions or issues raised by the story.

We do not edit comments. Instead, they will either be posted or rejected based on whether or not they abide by our guidelines. Although we encourage discussion and seek to maximize conversation around important issues, comments that  disrespect other readers and break the terms of our policy will not be tolerated.

We strive to be fair and accurate in our reporting. We put a great deal of thought into what a story means for the community that we are a  part of as a media outlet. In return, we ask that similar thoughts be put into reader comments. 

Comments will be moderated after being posted to The Ithaca Voice’s social media channels. Comments that violate our guidelines will be deleted, and users who repeatedly violate these guidelines will be banned. 

There are language filters that automatically remove comments that contain vulgarities and other language inappropriate for our forum.  

Treat your responses to Ithaca Voice articles like brief letters to the editor. Be thoughtful, insightful and constructive.

Below are examples of  comments that help us move stories forward:

  • Direct responses to the article about how your experience relates to the topic.
  • Factual information that provides context to the story.
  • Thoughtful answers to questions raised by the article.
  • Tips that could advance our reporting.

Comments that include any of the following will be deleted:

  • Hate speech
  • Personal attacks on individuals, other readers, or our reporters.
  • Repetitive talking points.
  • Using an article about a specific topic to disparage a broad ideology.
  • Arguments between readers.
  • Comments from accounts we deem to be fake or other pages.
  • Sharing articles with inaccurate and/or offensive content. 

Username and photo

Comments from fake profiles or pages advocating for a specific ideology will be deleted. This includes political groups and profiles made to obscure the identity of the commenter. 

Personal attacks

We do not allow any form of personal attack or ad hominem argument.

Aggressive behaviors that attack other commenters will not be tolerated. This includes name calling, harassment in the form of multiple comments tagging the same person, and dismissive behavior that does not validate different perspectives will not be tolerated. 

Avoid  generalizing statements that paint a group of people with a broad brush. 

Personal attacks on The Ithaca Voice, its reporters or staff will not be tolerated. If you have a specific issue with  a story, please email Interim Executive Director Dustin Patte at dpatte@ithacavoice.com.

Length

Our letters policy asks that Letters to the Editor not exceed 500 words. If your comment exceeds 500 words, it may be better suited as a Letter to the Editor. Exceedingly long comments may be deleted. 

Frequency

Repeated posting of the same or similar comments will be deleted. Continued violations of this policy may result in a ban. 

Links and self-promotion

Links to relevant websites are allowed.

gratuitous links to your personal website, to a political party/campaign, or product/service you represent will be deleted. We do not allow campaigning and those in violation of this policy will be blocked.

Feedback for The Ithaca Voice

If you have any feedback, questions, or need more information about this policy, please email dpatte@ithacavoice.com.

Letters Policy

We prefer letters that are fewer than 500 words. They must include the writer’s full name; for verification purposes, they must also include the writer’s home address, email address and telephone numbers, including a daytime telephone number. Anonymous letters and letters written under pseudonyms will not be considered. Writers should disclose any personal or financial interest in the subject matter of their letters.

Letters are fact-checked and may be edited for clarity. The opinions expressed are those of the writer and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of The Ithaca Voice.

Submit letters to Anna Lamb alamb@ithacavoice.com

Donor Transparency

We are committed to transparency in every aspect of funding our organization.

Accepting financial support does not mean we endorse donors or their products, services or opinions.

We accept gifts, grants and sponsorships from individuals, organizations and foundations to help with our general operations, coverage of specific topics, and special projects. Our news judgments are made independently — not based on or influenced by donors. We do not give supporters the rights to assign, review or edit content.

We will make public all donors who give $5,000 or more per year. As a nonprofit, we will avoid accepting donations from anonymous sources, and we will not accept donations from government entities, political parties, elected officials or candidates actively seeking public office. We will not accept donations from sources who, deemed by our board of directors, present a conflict of interest with our work or compromise our independence.