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Auburn Examiner Policies

Who is the Auburn Examiner: The Auburn Examiner team is comprised of a core group of regular unpaid volunteers who consistently contribute and provide support to the outlet. Currently, all but one of the team members either live, grew up, or own a business in Auburn. Learn more about the AE Team here: About.
Social media: Social media by/from/on Auburn Examiner accounts will use “we”. This is to indicate what is being communicated is coming from the Auburn Examiner news outlet.  If at any time an AE Team member wishes to post utilizing an Auburn Examiner account their initials will accompany the post.

How is the Auburn Examiner Funded: The Auburn Examiner is a private, independent, news outlet. We are funded by a combination of advertising, reader donations, and owner contributions. Learn more about our funding here: Funding the Auburn Examiner

Ethical Guidelines: The Auburn Examiner follows the ethical guidelines of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) and Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA).

Fact-Checking: It is the Auburn Examiner’s best practices policy to use two (2) sources whenever possible. Articles may be held for publication in order to ensure information is correct. The Auburn Examiner will proceed with only one (1) source should that source be a public information officer, company representative authorized to speak for the company, an expert in their field, or a source known to and trusted by the Auburn Examiner reporter. Court papers, peer-reviewed scientific studies, and police reports are just some of the documents the Auburn Examiner staff utilize for their research and fact-checking.

Corrections and Retractions
:
All corrections and retractions to content published by the Auburn Examiner will be maintained here: Corrections, Retractions, and Updates. Articles that have been corrected or that contain retractions will be* tagged with “Correction.”

Updates
: Articles that have received updates will be* tagged “Update.”  Minor editorial updates or corrections will not be noted.  A notation will be* listed at the bottom of these articles indicating the
change(s) made and when the article was last updated.

User-Generated Content: The Auburn Examiner will publish reader-submitted content (photographs, video) with credit. Payment will not be provided for user-generated content.
Comments: Comments on the Auburn Examiner are monitored. The Auburn Examiner reserves the right to edit, remove or not approve comments at will. 

Paying Sources: The Auburn Examiner does not and will not pay for interviews or information provided by sources.

Press Releases: Publishing a press release can help ensure information is provided in an expedient manner. Though from reputable entities, press releases inherently limit information included to fulfill the messaging of the press release. For this reason, we mark all press releases (and aggregated content)* and encourage our readers to do their own research. The publication of a press release is not an endorsement of the release, the topic, or the entity issuing it.

The Auburn Examiner has and will decline to publish a press release if there is a clear lack of credibility. Releases from two agencies on the same matter can and have been published. There will be times a press release is published, and the Auburn Examiner provides our own coverage.

Publishing Police and Fire Activity: There are times the Auburn Examiner will publish incident information as it happens. When this information is posted will be determined on a case by case basis.  Some of the factors that determine when we publish information about an in-progress incident:

  • There is a clear and present danger to the public
  • The police or fire agency has published the incident
  • Traffic is impacted due to a motor vehicle accident or other emergent incidents
  • Schools placed on lockdown
  • We receive repeated requests for information
  • False information or alarming speculation regarding an incident has been publicly posted.
    Updating Breaking News Incidents: The Auburn Examiner will endeavor to provide updates on incidents we provide breaking updates on. The information we can provide is limited to the information provided to us by the responding agency(ies) in charge of investigating the incident.

Publishing the location of an incident: The Auburn Examiner will only publish the exact address of an incident (e.g. fire, accident, or location associated with a criminal investigation) when it is a public location or cross street. Incident locations will be referenced by the nearest hundred block.

Publishing an Individual’s Criminal History: While each situation and individual is different, the Auburn Examiner will not include an individual’s criminal history unless it relates to the article. The following examples are when we would (probably) include any portion of an individual’s criminal history:

  • The individual has escaped custody
  • The individual’s criminal history provides a better understanding of the clear and present danger they are the public
  • The incident was a direct cause of their criminal activity (e.g. vigilante justice)
  • Law enforcement took actions based on the known criminal history of the individual

Publishing GoFundMe and other Charitable Campaigns: The Auburn Examiner will only post information for charitable campaigns with both confirmation and consent of the party or parties the campaign is stated to benefit. 

Publishing Identities: The Auburn Examiner relies on the SPJ ethical standard when it comes to publishing the identity of an individual involved in an incident we are covering. “Private people have a greater right to control information about themselves than public figures and others who seek power, influence, or attention.” This includes but is not limited to victims of crimes, suspects, or persons of interest that have not been charged, and individuals under investigation. Unless in a leadership position, the Auburn Examiner does not consider first responders, teachers, government employees, or health care providers to be public figures.

Deadnaming: Deadnaming occurs when someone, intentionally or not, uses the name of a person who has changed their name, by their previous (dead) name. This is most commonly (and maliciously) done to transgender individuals, but can also be done to those who have changed their name due to abuse.

The Auburn Examiner will not knowingly dead name or misgender any individual. Should an individual be unintentionally misidentified the error will immediately be corrected upon notification.

Comments: The Auburn Examiner will not approve comments that include any form of hate speech, encourage or threaten violence, or include indecently expressive content. Comments linking to outside media outlets or that share mis/mal/disinformation (in our judgment) will not be approved.

Do you want to know more about our publishing policies or why the Auburn Examiner does something? Shoot us an email: contact (at) auburnexaminer.com.

*If there is an instance this is missed or does not happen, it is because we’re mistake-makin’ humans, not nefarious newsies. Shoot us an email and we’ll correct the oversight or explain our decision.

Additions and changes to these policies may be made at any time without announcement.