Goal of Policies
The Alaska Watchman strives for accuracy in all our reports. This includes straight news, features, op-eds and any other article. Accuracy fosters a sense of trust from our readers that we are a reliable source of news. This is our goal.
Fact Checking Policy
We never take news reports at face value without first checking with original sources, agencies and organizations to directly verify the veracity of a report or claim.
The goal is also to report the facts within the proper context. We don’t want to take any source out of context or misquote them. To avoid this, we must faithfully transcribe or record quotes and fully understand the nuances of the issues through extensive background reporting, especially when the story is complicated.
In some cases, a source may speak with grammatical errors or in a confusing manner. In these situations, we may paraphrase the speaker to accurately relay their statement without unduly exposing them to embarrassment.
With regard to images, these must faithfully tell the true story without manipulation intended to mislead readers.
Our goal is to first and foremost to use verified and public sources of information. When this is not possible, the use of anonymous sources must be vetted to ensure they have verifiable information and access to original documents or first-hand knowledge of an event. Whenever possible, we aim to verify the anonymous source’s information with others who have knowledge of the same details.
We aim to hold to the highest ethics of journalism. When citing another source of news or opinion, attribution is essential. The same goes for quotes that we did not gather independently. These must all be attributed to the original source.
With regard to bylines, it is important that all our writers and columnists are properly credited for their work.
The use of photos is important in reporting many stories. These must not be altered or staged to present a false impression of the events on the ground.
In preparing a story for publication, we will verify facts or seek clarification by calling or emailing our sources as needed to read back facts or quotes that may be in question.
In all interviews we will clearly identify ourselves as reporting for the Alaska Watchman.
Corrections & Clarifications Policy
We will, from time-to-time make errors. When this occurs, we will correct the error as quickly as possible in order to maintain our reliability as an accurate news source. When significant errors occur, it is imperative to prominently display the correction and find out why and how this happened.
Clarifications may also be needed on occasion. At times this will entail a new article that adds depth and background to a story. Other times, we will provide additional information to a published story to ensure it is more clearly understood.