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    Editorial Guidelines

    Editorial guidelines for CDM, news you need to know RIGHT NOW in the U.S. and in high-interest regions around the world.
    While not a participant, CDM will adhere to the guidelines outlined by the Trust Project, an initiative to standardize signals of trustworthiness across the web. For more information, visit the Trust Project’s website.


    • We will refuse any attempt to censor our material, accepting delay as the price for putting out exactly what we want.
    • In military situations, we will be respectful of requests related to security and respect for troops, but reserve the right to make our own decisions.
    We permit undercover reporting on a regular basis, as long as editors are informed in advance and have approved the project based on its news value.


    • Our staff members must take responsibility for the accuracy of all information that we publish, using an accuracy checklist before publication.
    • Our staff members should take reasonable steps to ensure the accuracy of information that we publish and note our sources.
    • We should not publish rumors or other information we have not verified.
    • If we are unsure of the accuracy of information, we should cite our sources, word stories carefully to avoid spreading false rumors, acknowledge what we don’t know and ask the community’s help in confirming or correcting our information.
    • Reporters should fact-check before publication but should not preview any of the actual text of a story with sources.

    Sources: Reliability and Attribution

    • We refrain from quoting sources who have a conflict of interest relating to the story (e.g. a scientist who conducted a study about a drug's effectiveness when the study was funded by the manufacturer). These sources may be used for background information, but their voices should not be included in stories.
    • We disclose how sources In “ordinary people” stories were identified (e.g. through Twitter).
    • We report things that have clearly been established as fact at the top of the story and put the attribution in later.
    • We consistently include clear attributions throughout a story, even if something has been established as fact.
    • We include attributions throughout a story in a chronological account.

    Online Commenting

    • We review every comment by every commenter.
    • We permit comments on all articles.
    • We allow anonymous commenting.
    • We will never access and review the identity of a registered commenter.


    • We will not alter quotes in any way.
    • We will allow separate phrases of a quote separated by ellipsis. (“I will go to war … but only if necessary,” the president said.)
    • We will allow separate phrases of a quote separated by attribution. (“I will go to war,” the president said. “But only if necessary.”)

    Withholding Names

    • Unless we have a compelling reason to withhold a name, we always publish names of people involved in the stories we cover.
    • We do not publish names of sexual assault victims unless they agree to speak on the record.
    • In breaking news stories, we do not publish the names of dead people until authorities have notified their families and released the names.
    • We should always be careful about identifying kidnap victims if the person may be in danger.
    • We withhold the names of mass killers to deny them the attention they appear to seek. Other than names, we cover other details of these crimes based on their newsworthiness.
    • In covering active police or military operations, we will withhold such details as location or tactics planned, until after the operation, to avoid endangering police, troops or civilians who could be affected.
    • We will consider potential harm to sources facing intolerance in their societies before naming them in stories.

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