Ethics Guidelines

dot.LA aims to shine a light on the tech and startup scene in Los Angeles. In pursuit of providing fair and accurate coverage of this burgeoning scene, every editorial member of the organization is expected to uphold dot.LA's journalistic integrity avoiding perceived or real conflicts of interests and refusing pay or influence in exchange for coverage.


This document is intended to give guidance in this regard, but it is understood that in reality, edicts do not always reflect the complicated relationships and factors that can arise. For that reason, dot.LA expects editorial staff members to ensure that the reputation of the organization is upheld as an independent newsroom free of favor or influence.

Investors, Sponsorship

dot.LA maintains a separation between our news coverage decisions and all sources of revenue. This separation ensures that financial support does not present a conflict of interest for our journalism or compromise our editorial independence.

Investments, grants, and sponsorships from individuals and organizations help to fund our journalism, but our news judgments are made independently and not on the basis of funding support. Acceptance of investment does not constitute implied or actual endorsement of investors or their positions.

dot.LA may accept funding for reporting on particular topics. Our editorial staff determines what those topics are and retains full editorial control of the resulting coverage. All investors pledge to this (link here).

Perquisites

Individual dot.LA journalists do not accept gifts or favors of more than nominal value, nor any special treatment, from any person or entity that is or could be a subject of or source for our coverage, or otherwise have an interest in our reporting.

Conflict of Interest

Members of our newsroom shun secondary employment, political involvement, public office and service in community organizations if they create a conflict of interest or compromise journalistic independence and integrity.

If a member of our editorial team has a conflict of interest, they should or will be recused from coverage or will disclose the conflict. This may include, but is not limited to, financial or personal relationships.

Coverage

Accuracy and Accountability

It is a journalist responsibility to report all events and facts accurately and fairly. Questions about accuracy should be replied to quickly and substantive errors should be corrected and acknowledged promptly. Reporters should consult with their assigning editors if there are accusations of unfairness or bias in the reporting. Plagiarism is not tolerated under any circumstances.

Interviews

dot.LA journalists do not provide specific questions to subjects in advance of an in-person interview. Interviews conducted over email, Facebook Messenger, or Gchat are permitted — but in-person, video, and telephone interviews are often more valuable.

Anonymous Sources

dot.LA always endeavors to identify sources by name for transparency. In cases when disclosing a source could put them or their livelihoods in danger, editors will sparingly grant anonymity and let our readers know why we've made the decision to do so. See "dot.LA style guide" for more information.

Conduct

dot.LA expects its editorial staff to behave with professionalism both in person and online, treating individuals that they come in contact with during the course of their work with dignity and respect. Editorial members should also identify themselves to sources when possible.

Members of the staff should not conduct themselves — whether in person or online — in any way that would tarnish the organization or themselves. Harassment online or in person is not tolerated.

Advertising and Revenue Partnerships

Investments, grants, and sponsorships from individuals and organizations help to fund our journalism, but our news judgments are made independently and not on the basis of funding support. Acceptance of investment does not constitute implied or actual endorsement of investors or their positions.

dot.LA reserves the right to sell ads, produce sponsored content and accept funding for reporting on particular topics. Our editorial staff determines what those topics are and retains full editorial control of the resulting coverage. Any ads or financial partnerships that result in creative and/or copy on our site will be clearly delineated.

Individual dot.LA journalists do not accept gifts or favors of more than nominal value, nor any special treatment, from any person or entity that is or could be a subject of or source for our coverage, or otherwise have an interest in our reporting.

dot.LA will clearly disclose to the best of its ability anytime the company reports on an investor, advertiser and will clearly acknowledge any known relationship in which there is a financial interest or partnership with dot.LA or its staff, either in the text of the story or in a footnote. You can see our co-founders list of investments here.

Under the current arrangement, dot.LA's CEO plays a role in both the advertising and editorial side of the institution. Where there is a conflict, dot.LA's Managing Editor will be responsible for determining coverage decisions.

Advertisements

This content is constructed purely by advertisers with the approval of dot.LA's business operations team and are clearly labeled as advertisements. should be labeled as either paid or "sponsored." Advertisements on dot.LA are required to meet certain standards, including that all claims made be true.

Underwriting

Coverage decisions are ours, topic/area, section or medium of coverage is determined by advertiser.

Native Advertising

dot.LA sells advertising on its site that is produced by dot.LA. When we do, we clearly identify these stories as such, identifying them on the homepage and landing pages as " COMPANY NAME in partnership with dot.LA."

- anonymously written

- word length (500-800 words)

- 24 hour editorial period

Sponsored Content

dot.LA hosts content written by paying sponsors and edited by dot.LA's business development and creative teams. Such posts are clearly labeled where they appear on the site's homepage and interior pages, as well as on the individual post pages as "sponsored content."

Disclosure of investments

dot.LA co-founders play a role within L.A.'s tech community. A full disclosure of their investments can be found here and will be regularly updated.

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