Best Practices

All of Examiner Media’s publications and platforms, print and digital, follow the same best practices policies. Below are links with more details about Examiner Media’s commitment to various news industry best practice standards.

Ethics Policy

To best serve our audience in Westchester and Putnam counties, Examiner Media is committed to producing accurate, fair, and complete journalism. Our journalists are expected to act with honesty, transparency, and independence and avoid conflicts, or even the appearance of conflicts, of interests.

We follow the Ethics Code produced by the Society of Professional Journalists. To learn more, visit the SPJ Ethics Code.

The news business is a fast-evolving industry, and we will continue to monitor industry changes to ensure our practices meet the moment.

In the age of social media, in particular, it is vital to avoid amplifying misinformation when determining how and when to proceed with a story and how to correct specific errors. Examiner Media’s commitment to following the guidelines in our own internal Ethics Policy complements our adherence to the SPJ Ethics Code.

Click here to read the details of our Examiner Media Ethics Code, including all Journalism Fundamentals such as; Telling the Truth, Conflicts of Interest, Reliability and Attribution, and Fact-Checking, et al.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

As a community-based media outlet, we are committed to reporting on stories and producing content that embraces and conveys the true diversity of our coverage area. To that end, Examiner Media strives to maintain a staff and a stable of freelance contributors that accurately reflect the demographics of the community we serve.

Read our Diverse Voices & Diverse Staffing Report

Corrections Policy and Practice

Correcting known mistakes is part of the proud tradition of newspapers and a vital way to establish credibility with our readers. Examiner Media’s corrections policy codifies how we correct the record when we mistakenly publish inaccurate information.

We are committed to telling readers when an error has been made, its magnitude, and the correct information as quickly as possible. Email Editor-in-Chief Martin Wilbur at mwilbur@theexaminernews.com to alert us of any possible errors. Once a correction request is received, our editorial team will conduct a swift and thorough review of the disputed facts and attempt to substantiate the story as reported with firsthand sources to determine if a correction is warranted.

If an error is made in our print edition, the correction will appear in our print and digital editions. Digital-only mistakes are corrected online only.

With our digital content, we update the story in question with the corrected information as soon as we verify an error has been made. At the end of the online article, we will note the correct information, refer to the inaccurate information initially published, and cite the date and time the update was made.

Corrections
If we verify we have made a mistake, whether in an article or headline or photo caption or otherwise, we’re committed to publishing a correction at our soonest opportunity. If there is a substantial correction online, we publish a correction and explain the change at the end of the article. 

Clarifications
When our coverage is accurate but we are not clear or unintentionally misleading, or fall short in any similar fashion, we commit to publishing a clarification at our soonest opportunity. 

Editor’s notes
A serious correction that calls into question our broader decision making might require a special editor’s note.

Social media 
If we publish incorrect information on social media, we must correct it on that specific platform.

The following web page shows all print corrections, ordered by date:
https://www.theexaminernews.com/corrections-2021/

Removal Requests

Examiner Media generally declines requests to remove details from articles or remove articles from our website entirely. We maintain an internal committee to review removal requests, and also consult with the New York Press Association for general guidance. 

Our deliberations are handled on a case-by-case basis. Primary considerations are whether fundamental circumstances have changed after publication and/or whether keeping the material published poses grave danger to an individual or group. Requests can be submitted to Publisher Adam Stone at astone@theexaminernews.com.
Ownership Structure

OWNERSHIP, FUNDING AND STAFFING:

Examiner Media, a private company, is committed to transparency in its ownership structure and funding sources.

Founded in 2007 in Westchester County, New York, by local journalist Adam Stone, Examiner Media is a news organization covering Westchester and Putnam counties in New York’s southern Hudson Valley region. We publish four print community newspapers (The Examiner, The While Plains Examiner, The Northern Westchester Examiner, and The Putnam Examiner); a corresponding local news website (www.theexaminernews.com); a local news email newsletter; and a digital newsmagazine, Examiner+ on the Substack platform (Examiner+).

Stone remains the sole owner of the business.

We gather the news independent of commercial or political interests. We do not accept gifts, including paid travel, to avoid conflicts of interest or the appearance of conflicts. The editorial side of our news organization operates separately and independently from the business side, not guided by advertising considerations or other revenue considerations.

Examiner Media does not engage in “pay to play” stories. Throughout its history, almost all of the company’s revenue has been generated by advertising. In 2021, the company began generating subscription revenue through the Substack platform for its premium-content Examiner+ digital newsmagazine. The only bank loans the company ever received were through the PPP program following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Since 2020, the company has won grants of varying sizes from Substack, Google, and Facebook, but that funding constitutes a nominal percentage of overall revenue.

Mission Statement with Coverage Priorities 

Examiner Media strives to deliver our audience in Westchester and Putnam counties in New York with factual, important, contextualized news and information, as well as human interest stories and features that help forge a greater sense of community.

Examiner Media’s staff of reporters and editors live and work locally. We cover local government, local elections, local sports, local crime, local education, local events, local business, local deaths, local births, and all else that makes a community tick.

Verification Standards (Fact-Checking)

Examiner Media commits to doing its best to publish accurate information across all of its platforms. We take many steps to ensure accuracy: We investigate claims, confirm claims with experts, and seek to corroborate what sources tell us by talking with other established sources or consulting documents. We verify content, such as technical terms, stats, etc., against source documents or clarify who is providing the information.

If Examiner Media reporters deem it necessary, to better understand their notes, for accuracy and proper context, they can review direct quotations and attributed facts with sources to enhance their understanding of an interview they already conducted.

However, interview subjects are not allowed to revise or change their quotes or drafts of stories in whole or in part in advance of publication, nor are interview subjects ever granted copy or photo approval.

  • Our journalists fact-check to independently verify all information before publication.
  • We should not publish rumors or other information we have not verified.
  • Reporters should fact-check their own work before submitting to an editor but should not preview any of the actual text of a story with sources.
  • Our staff members should take all possible reporting steps to ensure the accuracy of information that we publish and note our sources. We should not publish information we haven’t verified. If there’s room for debate, we should cite our sources, word stories carefully to avoid spreading false rumors, acknowledge the debate and ask the community’s help in confirming or clarifying information.
  • We use multiple sources to verify information in order to help ensure accuracy. We meet with sources in person and speak with them over the phone as often as possible. If a source makes a controversial charge, we aim to verify the information through documents or other independent research. Sources need to provide us with their first and last names and titles; we rarely use anonymous sources. We only use anonymous sources if doing so is the only way to tell an incredibly important story of great public interest.
  • In regards to comments from readers on our social media accounts, if we deem any posts as hate speech or inciting violence, or if we determine a comment is posted from a fake account, we will remove the content and ban the user. Also, we fact-check comments from users to verify accuracy. If assertions are missing important context, we will provide that context for our readers. 

We welcome feedback from our readers and sources regarding the information that we publish. Email Editor-in-Chief Martin Wilbur at mwilbur@theexaminernews.com

Anonymous Sources Policy

Examiner Media does not generally use anonymous sources.

We would permit a reporter to use an anonymous or unattributed source(s) if doing so was the only way to publish vitally important information. Even in that circumstance, the reporter would need permission from the editor. If such authorization is granted, the reporter would be required to characterize the source in the story to establish the nature of the source’s authority/expertise and convey the reason anonymity was the last, best option.

We never pay sources for information.

Methodology, Citations, and Sourcing Policy

When we are reporting a story working off documents for investigative/enterprise pieces, we will make public documents available for readers to review. This includes documents and data we prepare internally, external documents such as government body reports, as well as secondary news sources, such as articles published by other media outlets.

We will rarely if ever use datelines. We would use datelines if we’re producing live reporting from outside our coverage area. But this circumstance does not usually come up as a small community news organization.

With investigative/enterprise pieces, if an editor plays an integral role in the preparation of the coverage, over and above proofreading/basic editing, we would cite them as a contributor.

With our investigative/enterprise reporting, we will display methods and sourcing, including citations of article references and detail on why a reporter decided to cover the story and how they approached their reporting.

Actionable Feedback

We believe that news organizations have a responsibility to engage with the public on the values, issues, and ideas of the day and that we have much to gain in return. You are a frontline witness to life here – public safety, politics, housing, social movements, schools, culture – and your insights can help shape our news agenda. We invite your comments and complaints on news stories, suggestions for issues and events to cover or sources to consult.

Examiner Media is committed to soliciting actionable feedback from the public. We rely on your input to enhance our news coverage.

Click here to go to the Actionable Feedback Form and send us your your comments, complaints and general feedback.

No Byline Policy

For most content we publish, we show the name of the author with a byline displayed at the top of the piece, and/or link to the author’s biography below the article.

When the content is mostly provided by a source, like a gently edited press release or an obituary submitted to us by a funeral home, we do not list any staff names to avoid taking credit for work that we didn’t create but deem worthy of distribution. 

The Trust Project Types of Work labels describing all news and written pieces.

The Trust Project is a global network of news organizations building Trust Indicators and working with technology platforms to affirm and amplify journalism’s commitment to transparency, accuracy, inclusion and fairness so that the public can make informed news choices.  Our Best Practices page is endorsed by The Trust Project

Newsroom Contact Info

The Examiner News Privacy Policy

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