National Catholic Reporter

The Independent News Source

Editorial Guidelines


NCR is committed to delivering the highest editorial and ethical standards in the provision of its print and online reporting. We seek to balance our rights to freedom of expression and information with our responsibilities.

The NCR Editorial Guidelines are a statement of the values and standards we have set for ourselves. They also codify the good practice we expect from the reporters and writers of all NCR content.

As different technologies evolve, these guidelines apply to our content whoever produces it and however it is received.

Truth and accuracy
We strive to be accurate and establish the truth of what has happened. Accuracy is more important than speed and it is often more than a question of getting the facts right. We will weigh all relevant facts and information to get at the truth. Our output will be well sourced, based on sound evidence, thoroughly tested and presented in clear, precise language. We will be honest and open about what we don't know and avoid unfounded speculation.

Impartiality & diversity of opinion
We strive to be fair and open minded and reflect all significant strands of opinion by exploring the range and conflict of views. We will be objective and even handed in our approach to a subject. We will provide professional judgments where appropriate.

Editorial integrity & independence
NCR is independent of church, state and partisan interests. Our audiences can be confident that our decisions are influenced neither by political or commercial pressures, nor by any personal interests.

Serving the public interest
We seek to report stories of significance. We will be vigorous in driving to the heart of the story and well informed when explaining it. Our specialist expertise will bring authority and analysis to the complex world in which we live. We will ask searching questions of those who hold public office and provide a comprehensive forum for public debate.

Our output will be based on fairness, openness and straight dealing. Contributors will be treated honestly and with respect.

We will respect privacy and will not infringe it without good reason, wherever in the world we are operating. Private behavior, correspondence and conversation will not be brought into the public domain unless there is a clear public interest.

Harm and offense
We aim to reflect the world as it is, including all aspects of the human experience and the realities of the natural world. But we balance our right to publish innovative and challenging content with our responsibility to protect the vulnerable.

We are accountable to our audiences and will deal fairly and openly with them. Their continuing trust in NCR is a crucial part of our contract with them. We will be open in admitting mistakes and encourage a culture of willingness to learn from them.