The Trace maintains a firewall between our news coverage decisions and all sources of revenue. This separation ensures that financial support does not present a conflict of interest for our journalism or compromise our editorial independence.
Gifts, grants, and sponsorships from individuals and organizations help to fund our nonprofit journalism, but our news judgments are made independently and not on the basis of donor support. Acceptance of financial support does not constitute implied or actual endorsement of donors or their positions.
The Trace may accept financial support for reporting on particular topics. Our editorial staff determines what those topics are and retains full editorial control of the resulting coverage.
Individual Trace journalists do not accept gifts or favors of more than nominal value, nor any special treatment, from any person or entity that is or could be a subject of or source for our coverage, or otherwise have an interest in The Trace’s reporting. Members of our newsroom shun secondary employment, political involvement, public office and service in community organizations if they create a conflict of interest or compromise journalistic independence and integrity.
Editorial copy is never shared with anyone, including donors, prior to publication.
The Trace does not accept donations from government entities, political parties, elected officials or candidates actively seeking public office.
Our organization makes public all donors who give a total of $1,000 or more per year. We accept anonymous donations only when sufficient safeguards have been put into place to ensure that the expenditure of that donation is made independently by our editorial staff and in compliance with standards established by the Institute for Nonprofit News.
Acknowledgement: The Trace established this policy in accordance with standards developed by the Institute for Nonprofit News, while finding further guidance in the editorial independence policies and guidelines of Inside Climate News, and The Hechinger Report, and the Society of Professional Journalists.