FrontPageDetectives will strive for the highest ethical standards in news coverage of crime. Our job is to report on criminal activities, the people involved and those impacted by the crimes. It is also to inform people about safety in their communities and around the world.
Our creditability is built on being accurate and being fast with the news. We strive to hit both marks — but will sacrifice speed to tell complete, accurate and fair stories about crimes.
Each day we will tell the story of crime in America.
That requires FrontPageDetectives to continue to maintain ethical practices in providing its coverage. Here is an overview of some common media ethics and how FrontPageDetectives handles these practices.
FrontPageDetectives believes in accurate sourcing for its stories, whether that is individuals or government agencies. Sometimes that requires anonymous sourcing, especially with sensitive stories. They will be used as a last resort or to protect identities to tell complete stories of topics that aren’t easy to discuss.
All anonymous sources will be known to the editor-in-chief and cleared before publication.
FrontPageDetectives allows profanity in some instances. Often, its cases when it can be used to enhance the storytelling. It will not be used casually or when it is not necessary to convey the message. Any concerns about profanity should be addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org
Plagiarism is not tolerated at FrontPageDetectives. Any allegations of plagiarism should be reported to the editor-in-chief at al@empiremediagroup.
All allegations will be investigated and handled. The findings will be made public.
Sometimes, news coverage means using information from other media outlets. In those cases, the attribution will be clear, and the sites will be linked for their coverage. Entire stories will never be used without permission of the original publication.
FrontPageDetectives believes in fairly reporting stories. Allegations of crimes are often based on police and witness reports. It’s not always possible to reach suspects, but any suspect who would like to discuss a crime will be given an opportunity to be included in a current story or used in future coverage.
Mistakes happen, everybody is human. FrontPageDetectives will strive to make quick corrections to mistakes. Any issues with stories should be reported to the editor-in-chief and will be addressed. Often that is with a correction on the original webpage with the story.
FrontPageDetectives will use mugshots when appropriate to help tell stories. They are public records and can be used to help tell the story. They are also used to inform the public about criminals as someone could recognize a person and provide more detail to the authorities about a crime.
Often, stories on FrontPageDetectives are reported after an arrest or an incident. They could be updated as cases move through a court system. That could be through a new story or a simple update at the top of the story.
FrontPageDetectives does not remove stories that are accurate at the time of reporting. They are based on public records, research and fair coverage. While the staff understands that many stories are sensitive, that does not warrant their removal.
FrontPageDetectives understands that crimes can have a major impact on people’s life. That said, stories are accurately reported at the time and will remain available to read. Leaving stories up goes to creditability and allows FrontPageDetectives to accurately cover crimes. It allows prevents selective removal of stories in the future.
It is vital for FrontPageDetectives staff to maintain relationships with people quoted in stories or involved in crimes. In these cases, it’s essential to remain friendly with sources and sometimes discuss things that aren’t coverage-related. That being said, staff will make it clear that a journalist-source relationship exists, and that subject will always know when they are talking and could be quoted for a possible story.
FrontPageDetectives staff will not accept gifts from sources, government agencies or others. It creates a slippery slope and potential issues impacting coverage in the future. The easiest thing is just to say “no.”
That said, sometimes gifts are received anonymously or through promotion. Often, they are of nominal value. IN the cases they aren’t, the items are discarded, given away or donated to charitable groups.
There are some cases where there are conflicts of interest in coverage. In those cases, staff should let the editor-in-chief know immediately. The staff member might be allowed to work on a story because it allows a unique way to cover the crime. Other times it might warrant
a different staff member taking on the story. These stories will be judged on a case-by-case basis.
Staff members are allowed to work on related projects — such as books or podcasts — when approved. In the case there is a conflict with FrontPageDetectives coverage, those issues will be discussed and a solution found.
FrontPageDetectives encourages outside media appearances for its staff. It’s a way to spread the word about the site’s work and the staff’s expertise. All outside appearances will be cleared by management beforehand. When with other groups, FrontPageDetectives staff will maintain the same ethical standards and will act in a manner that represents FrontPageDetectives in a respectable manner.