THE Citizen Bulletin is an independent, community news outlet serving the people of Matabeleland with stories that connects real community issues to action. Our work is guided by a Code of Ethics adapted from the Voluntary Media Council of Zimbabwe’s regulations for online content producers. Our Code of Ethics draws inspiration, and specific language from a number of U.S local news outlets including THE CITY and The Texas Tribune, The Marshall Project among others.
We’re a nonprofit news outlet drawing financial support from a variety of sources including individuals and foreign donors. We’re currently working a community cooperative model which enable us to generate revenue from the communities that we serve through membership subscriptions and once-off shareholding fees. We sometimes work with advocacy groups to report on issues of public concern in and around Matabeleland. However, both donors and community organizations should not expect preferential coverage or public relations reporting from us. Our interest is on independently reporting issues that affect our communities of concern. Whenever stories mention any of our funders, partners or members of our advisory boards, we’ll disclose relevant relationships.
Fabrication – the making up of information, quotes, people or any elements of a story – and plagiarism – passing off someone else’s work as one’s own – are journalism’s biggest sins. Cases of either will be dealt with severely.
Our team may improve the technical quality of photos and video or audio recordings, but will not misleadingly alter the substance. All photo illustrations, graphics or animations will be clearly labeled as such.
We will try our best to identify all sources, granting individuals anonymity only when it is necessary to do so. We will seek to identify in our reporting any bias we know our sources have. Anonymous sources will be told that the reporter will share their identity with a senior editor, who will also endeavor to keep that information confidential.
Our journalists will never misrepresent themselves or mislead a source to get an interview or a story. We do not pay for interviews. Thorough efforts will be made to contact the primary subjects and sources of criticism in our stories.
Impartiality, Independence and Conflicts of Interest
We can’t say this enough: Editorial decisions are made by journalists alone. Journalists will not work on stories or projects in which they have a unique vested interest, financial or personal. They should avoid active, direct investment in companies or industries they regularly cover.
Journalists seeking secondary employment or freelance work must be cleared by an editor to ensure the work does not conflict with their responsibilities at The Citizen Bulletin. Editorial employees may moderate panels or speak at events so long as their role is purely journalistic.
The Citizen Bulletin editorial team will not accept any gift from any company, individual or institution that may compromise integrity or impartiality, or may damage credibility. We always strive to provide reasonable resources to our team members to enable them to carry out their duties.