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Editorial Guidelines

Ethics and editorial principles at insauga.com

Insauga.com is an online media company dedicated to bringing accurate and timely information to its readers in Mississauga, Brampton, Hamilton, Halton, Durham and Niagara. Our journalists are careful to capture news about crime, municipal politics, transit, traffic, real estate, food, entertainment and more and present it to our readers in the form of accurate, fair and balanced stories.

Accuracy:

We make every effort to ensure our information is accurate by reaching out to the appropriate parties and individuals to confirm any tips or other information we might receive from various sources. If we receive information about an individual or organization that is accusatory or unflattering in nature, we give the other party ample time (typically no less than 24 hours) to respond. If a party releases a public statement defending themselves, we will include the statement.

We keep all notes and recordings from interviews so that we can refer to said materials in the event that a quote or statement is disputed. We will not share our notes or recordings publicly unless extraordinary circumstances compel us to, but notes and recordings will not be deleted or destroyed post-publication.

In the event that we do make a mistake in a story, we will promptly correct it and include an editor’s note outlining the correction.

Although we strive to rely almost exclusively on our own reporting, we are careful to properly credit other news organizations when we do refer to their reporting in a story. We will not hide the fact that we received information from another article and we will provide appropriate credit to said organization.

Generally speaking, we do not unpublish or remove articles from our website with the exception of some missing person stories. In some cases, we might remove a story if details in the article pose a threat to public safety or the safety of an individual. We can edit stories after publication if new details emerge or a court order is issued and we will be transparent about the fact that edits have been made.

Crime Stories

We reserve the right to not publish the names of individuals accused of petty or non-violent crimes. When writing about suspects, we might include names and photos if such information is published by police. We will not publish the name or photo of any individual protected by a publication ban. Readers should also note that in Canada, police generally do not provide mugshots or other photos of suspects to the media if such suspects are not at large and we will generally not seek out photos of such individuals ourselves.

Readers should also note that media in Canada is not permitted to share the names or photos of underage suspects. We respect and abide by this law and will not seek out such information on our own to share with readers.

We respect everyone’s right to a fair trial and will not declare or insinuate guilt in any crime reporting prior to a formal conviction.

Fairness and Transparency

If a person or organization is accused of something illegal or otherwise untoward, we will give that person or organization a chance to respond. If they respond publicly, we will include their statement–which may be edited for length or clarity–in our reporting.

We will not refer to a person’s race, religion, sexual orientation, skin colour or physical ability unless it is absolutely necessary or germane to the story.

We sometimes interview people under the age of 18, typically for stories centred around

education or extraordinary achievements in academics, music, sports or other subjects. When covering sensitive subjects involving children or teens (such as crime stories), we are careful not to include any identifying information that is not supplied by police or the child’s parents/legal guardians.

We believe a child or teen’s family should be contacted prior to an interview if the information in an article is sensitive.

We will not publish social media posts or videos we believe will be harmful to a child, teen or vulnerable person of any age (such as someone experiencing a mental health or other medical emergency).

While we do publish photos and videos of crime scenes and traffic collisions, we will rarely show an image of an injured or deceased person unless the circumstances are extraordinary.

While we do pay for some photo and video content on a case-by-case basis, we do not pay for information and will not provide any payment for tips, forwarded documents or interviews.

We do not write voyeuristic or exploitative stories about people involved in high-profile crimes or scandals (as either victims or accusers). We do not send reporters to private households to conduct “ambush” interviews.

We will use publicly available posts on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, etc) in our reporting and we generally do not ask permission before embedding or quoting a publicly available post in our articles. We will not post any posts or videos that we believe to be exploitative and we will not use underhanded tactics to gain access to private postings that members of the public are not privy to.

When we are covering events or reaching out for interviews, we identify ourselves as journalists working on a story for insauga.com. When we conduct restaurant or Top 5 reviews, we do not because we want to ensure we do not receive any special treatment that could bias our review from management or staff.

While we try to avoid using anonymous sources, we will use them if the story requires the person’s participation and we have evidence revealing our source’s name could be harmful.

If a source wishes to be kept anonymous, we must still corroborate their claims with the person or organization they have brought to our attention. We will not publish any articles based on rumours, hearsay or conjecture.

Independence

In order to ensure our reporting is neutral, unbiased and fair, we do not permit overlap between our advertising and editorial departments. Sponsored posts (i.e. posts paid for by advertisers) are clearly marked as such and are not subject to review by senior or managing editors.

We do not provide biased editorial coverage to advertisers or clients.

We do not accept payment for our coverage or reviews of festivals, concerts, events or restaurants. That said, we are often invited to attend festivals, concerts and other events free of charge. Sometimes, complimentary food and beverage will be provided at such events. While we may decide to accept complimentary passes and tickets on a case-by-case basis, we will not accept payment for the final article or review.

We do not show our completed reports to sources–including those in government or policing–before they are published. Any request to see or review a completed article prior to publication will be promptly denied. That said, we may show sources their direct quotes in the interest of fact-checking.

Opinion Pieces

Occasionally, our staff writers and editors will pen opinion pieces. These are clearly marked as opinion pieces and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of other people employed by insauga.com.