These guidelines are inspired by Sojourners’ “Editorial Policies and Procedures” as well as The Associated Church Press’ “Statement of Ethics and Standards of Professional Practice”
The mission of the Presbyterian Outlook is to provide Presbyterians:
- Their most engaging venue for connecting,
- Their most essential means of networking,
- Their most helpful vehicle for mutual equipping, and
- Their most robust resource for participating in the worldwide mission of God.
We strive to provide leaders and future leaders a trusted source of accurate reporting, insightful analysis, thought-provoking commentaries and congregational resources.
We provide a marketplace and forum for the open exchange of ideas, resources and information, utilizing both print and electronic media.
Editorial Integrity and Independence
The editor/publisher is responsible for the editorial content of the Presbyterian Outlook’s print and online publications, consistent with the Outlook’s mission.
Decisions about editorial content are the responsibility of the Presbyterian Outlook editorial team, free from the demands or influence of donors, advertisers, and organizational partners. Advertisements, donations, grants, or organizational partnerships for other purposes of the Presbyterian Outlook’s mission do not imply editorial endorsement nor do they have editorial influence. While writers and editors will work collaboratively to bring the best writing forward, the Presbyterian Outlook’s editorial team makes final decisions over all content, headlines, and graphics. We do not offer a right of review before publication or allow any influence over editorial or artistic content or unauthorized distribution of content.
These policies are meant to guide the Presbyterian Outlook online and print publications as we execute our mission. In a rapidly changing media environment, we consider these guidelines to be a “living document” that will be updated from time to time, based on feedback from our journalists, from our readers, and from our perceptions of our changing needs. Because the circumstances under which information is obtained and reported vary widely from one case to the next, these guidelines should not be understood as covering every situation that might arise but will serve as our guide.
Following guidelines set by the Society of Professional Journalists, the Presbyterian Outlook editors and writers should avoid conflicts of interest, real or perceived. They must disclose unavoidable conflicts, refuse gifts, favors, fees, special treatment, and avoid political and other outside activities that may compromise integrity or impartiality, or may damage credibility. They must be wary of sources offering information for favors or money; they do not pay for access to sources or information. Any travel provided by outside groups should be disclosed. The Presbyterian Outlook does not guarantee coverage in exchange for access. The Presbyterian Outlook will identify any content provided by outside sources, whether paid or not. The Presbyterian Outlook does not pay for interviews. Our writers must never plagiarize their own work or the work of others. This includes not only the written aspects of journalism, but also quotes, original ideas, and researched information. We include source attribution and, where necessary, added context.
As a Christian publication, the Presbyterian Outlook adheres to the ethical and moral standards set by the Associated Church Press.
The Presbyterian Outlook editorial content is separated from advertising copy visually on the printed page and online display or through prominent identification of material as an “advertisement” in print or online. The Presbyterian Outlook prominently and transparently labels all sponsored content.
Sourcing and Attribution
The Presbyterian Outlook provides transparency about sourcing whenever possible. We strive to give readers appropriate context. We want to make our reporting as transparent to the readers as possible so they may know how and where we got our information. In rare circumstances, we may protect a source who faces significant risk.
Updates, Corrections, and Clarifications
The Presbyterian Outlook editors fact check articles as part of the editing process. When we make mistakes, we ask our readers to help hold us accountable. To request a correction for a factual error, send us an email at email@example.com. Our editorial team will carefully review any potential inaccuracy before making changes to a published piece. When we run a correction, clarification, or editors’ note, our goal is to tell readers, as clearly and quickly as possible, what was wrong and what is correct. Minor edits, such as spelling corrections, or new information may be added to an online piece without including a notification that the article has been updated. Corrections or clarifications for printed pieces will run first in the online version of the print article and then in the next available print edition. When we publish erroneous information on social networks, we should correct it on that platform.
The Presbyterian Outlook Foundation, founded in 1819, is a donor-supported nonprofit. The Presbyterian Outlook print magazine, pres-outlook.org, and Presbyterian Outlook business and development enterprises are incorporated as a 501(C)3 religious nonprofit organization. Our tax exempt number is: 54-1186581.
The Outlook’s Board of Directors are the fiduciaries responsible for steering Outlook toward a sustainable future by adopting sound, ethical, and legal governance and financial management policies compatible with the Presbyterian Outlook’s mission, making sure that the Outlook has adequate resources to advance its mission. The president is responsible to the Board of Directors.
If you would like to write a response to anything we publish, consider posting a comment online. You may also send email responses to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Presbyterian Outlook welcomes vigorous expression of opinion through published reactions, alternative views, and criticisms whether in letters-to-the-editor or opinion pieces.
However, the Outlook asks all members of its community to treat one another with respect. If a comment directly attacks an individual, includes vulgar language, discloses confidential information, posts spam, or uses language that is libelous, defamatory, obscene, threatening, offensive, demeaning, derogatory, disparaging, or abusive, or posts links to content that contains any of this language, the Outlook reserves the right to withhold approval of a website comment or “hide” or “delete” a Facebook comment. If an individual persists in this type of behavior on social media, the Outlook reserves the right to block that individual from seeing and interacting with its pages.
We welcome pitches from freelance contributors. See Submissions for detailed instructions.
We’re happy for churches and related ministries to reprint articles from the Outlook according to the following guidelines:
To reprint in print: Churches and other nonprofits may reprint the entirety of a single article in a print newsletter or bulletin by including the following at the end of the article: “Reprinted with permission from The Presbyterian Outlook. Read more at pres-outlook.org”
To reprint online: For any online use (website, social media, email newsletter, etc.), reprint permission is granted for the first three paragraphs only, to be followed by a link to the article and the following: “Read the rest of this article, “HYPER-LINKED TITLE HERE,” by visiting pres-outlook.org.
If your reprint request isn’t covered by the guidelines above, please contact us at email@example.com for special consideration.