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My Statement of Journalism Principles

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Dahna Chandler was one of my special writers during my time at Black Enterprise. I’d describe her as a thorough and aggressive reporter, a writer that gets the facts right, who is not afraid to ask tough questions and knows the meaning of being on deadline. She’d be an asset to any publication. Latif Williams, Former Black Enterprise Editor

In the era of falsified or quickly-produced but poorly sourced, researched or vetted news when truth seems hard to find, it’s important to contract with principled independent journalists. I’m well-known for my strict editorial integrity, honesty, thoroughness, and unbiased, factual hard news writing and investigative reporting.

At their core, these characteristics are journalistic ethics and standards that the best news organizations and journalists follow. My ethics are rock solid.

Dahna Chandler is very thorough at whatever she does, she is fair, honest, and a woman of integrity. I enjoyed my time with her when she interviewed me for one of her articles, and she handled the story with the utmost integrity. Valerie Cooley-Elliott

My objective always is to be a trusted source of news and content for my editors and readers. I apply standards of trustworthiness both personally and professionally to every endeavor so there’s never a reason to believe I am dishonorable in either area.

Here’s what you can expect when working with me:

  • I rigorously research and source every news article and news-focused blog post I write.
  • I work meticulously to present fair and accurate information in every original news article I write or news-driven blog post I publish here.
  • I’m known for getting exclusives or scoops. But, I take time and care with my work and I won’t deliberately submit rushed assignments or rush to publish information on this blog while disregarding accuracy, bias, or other distortions.
  • I expeditiously and prudently inform editors of any corrections necessary to any articles or content I’ve already submitted to them and to correct errors made by me in my posts to this blog.
  • I endeavor to name my information sources generally refusing to write using anonymous or pseudonymous sources. I strive to verify source identities, provide their true legal names and real locations as well as their accurate contact information for them to editors. I reveal any uncertainty I have about sources to editors.
  • I only exempt identification of sources who provide or confirm crucial facts or insights and prove anonymity is important for their safety or other purposes.
  • I will use pseudonyms in news stories or news-focused blog posts here and elsewhere only under conditions in which potential physical or financial harm could come to the person or, whistleblowers who provide information potentially exposing nefarious acts as well as in cases where law enforcement agencies that I have verified the legitimate existence of request anonymity.
  • I will disclose to editors when a source requests anonymity and only disclose their identity and contact information to editors with that source’s written or verifiable recorded permission unless it is a government entity or I’m concerned about my own or loved one’s safety.
  • I will inform editors and readers if a source is associated with lobbying groups or other organizations or activities that compromise their integrity or that of my news articles or blog content.
  • I conscientiously maintain discernment in all my professional contacts and avoid real or perceived conflicts of interest that could jeopardize the accuracy or create an impression of bias in the content of the news articles I submit to editors or news content I post here.
  • I recognize the distinct differences between content writing and news writing. Therefore, I don’t accept trips or travel, favors, or financial compensation or any other inducements that would compromise the objectivity of a reported news piece or news-focused blog post on this site. I refuse to work with sources who offer any such inducement.
  • I don’t lobby or engage in organized or formal political activity around the issues I cover and I disclose to editors any past and present connections to government related to those issues or related story subjects.
  • I strive to maintain objectivity in my news writing, even when I may have been harmed by a story subject.
  • I do not conduct content writing business for organizations or individuals as a content writer that knowingly and publicly violate recognized standards of fairness, honesty, justice or laws in their business or personal practices. That way, if I’m forced to write an unfavorable news article or blog posts exposing their malfeasance to the public, I can.
  • I disclose to news editors any connections, past or present, I’ve had with the industries, organizations or individuals about which I pitch stories or they request I cover for a news article. I also reveal those connections on my blog.
  • The New Fourth Estate Media, LLC doesn’t endorse political candidates in its name.
  • I indicate clearly by calling it “commentary” when content I’m posting to this blog is opinion or a position statement and will not take positions about the activities or on behalf of news organizations or blogs for which I am currently producing content unless I learn of activities conducted by their contributors, staff, executives or owners that compromise my reputation, integrity or business.
  • I only will share content or resources with other organizations when I can disclose the nature of the relationships and affiliations of these organizations to editors or on this blog based on the best information available to me at the time.
  • I will avoid any professional (and personal) relationships that would compromise the integrity of the principles I share here and terminate those that do when I become aware of that fact.
  • All news articles and news-focused blog posts I write here and elsewhere under The New Fourth Estate Media, LLC, under which I operate an independent contractor, will contain my byline.
  • I won’t agree to write under an alias or pen name under any circumstances. If I can’t write news or content under my true name, I’ll refuse that work.
  • I don’t allow reader comments here for liability purposes and I reserve the right to remove any comment on Facebook or other social media that violates my standards or guidelines on obscenity, conflict, discrimination, honesty or other rules of ethical or civil discourse.

The most important element in dealing with Dahna was how completely honest she was. Dahna will tell you what she thinks, good or bad, and its unfortunate that more people do not approach business a similar manner. Ryan Gigous, Financial Advisor, Cordell Wealth Management

I have endeavored to express these principles as completely and honestly as possible at the time of their authorship. Subject to this sites Content Disclaimer and Terms of Use, I reserve the right to add, change, edit or delete content on this page at any time without notice to readers. Please review this statement periodically or if requested by me.

(c) 2017. Dahna M. Chandler for New Fourth Estate Media, LLC. All rights reserved.

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