Planet Detroit adheres to Society for Professional Journalists’ Code of Ethics.
In addition, we adopt the following statement to govern our code of ethics:
Planet Detroit exists to provide necessary information about the environment and public health to our audience. To do this, we must report fairly and accurately, and without bias. While we accept gifts, grants, and sponsorships from individuals and organizations, this funding is used only to power our journalism, it is not used to direct any of our editorial decisions. All of our editorial judgments are made independently, and our stories are told without review or direction from our funders and donors.
We believe that our value to our community is in the quality, unbiased journalism that we are able to produce, and we work with funders and donors who trust our editorial decision-making and understand that value.
We may consider accepting funding to cover topics, but specific guidelines will be defined around the way that our reporting is done in these circumstances. For example, a funder may grant us funding to cover an issue area that is of interest to their organization, but they may not review the stories or direct the work in any way. In these circumstances, we will ensure that the name of the funder is clearly listed on the story, and the relationship will be disclosed to our audience to preserve our journalistic integrity. We also list all of our funders and sponsors on our website for transparency.
We reserve the right to decline funding from organizations that do harm to the communities we cover, and we may terminate an agreement with a funder if it is discovered that they, or their funding, have negatively impacted Detroiters. Planet Detroit states this explicitly for two reasons: 1) As journalists, we need to be able to create reliable, watchdog reporting 2) As environmental stewards, we are interested in working with like-minded entities that have a mission to preserve and protect communities.
The nature of our content is not intended to be political, but environmental issues in America have been politicized, and we recognize this. This does not mean that our reporting is biased or rooted in advocacy. We are committed to reporting on facts based on science and research. We believe climate change is real and that it is impacting poor communities of color disproportionately.