Policy Documents

ARTICLE 1     Mandate

ARITCLE 2     Code of Ethics

ARTICLE 3     Copyright

ARTICLE 4     Corrections

ARTICLE 5     Anonymity

ARTICLE 6     Social Media


ARTICLE 1     Mandate

The City is a digital, multi-media magazine created by upper-year students in the Department of Journalism at Concordia University for The Digital Magazine class, under the supervision of faculty and staff members in the department. The City strives to tell the untold and hidden stories of Montreal and its surrounding areas. The reporting aims to be as balanced, fair and professional as possible.

The City newsroom is a space for students to learn and hone their skills in writing, videography, design, audio editing and other forms of media production. Students can expect to work in a professional, civil environment with no tolerance for discrimination or other disrespectful behaviour.

Work published in The City is expected to be high-quality, professional journalism that is at the same level as other Canadian digital magazines and publications. The publication reserves the right not to publish content that does not fit its vision or standards of quality.


ARITCLE 2     Code of Ethics

The City’s ethical guidelines are in accordance with those established by the Canadian Association of Journalists. Full guidelines can be accessed on their website. Below is an overview:

– We verify all facts, as accuracy is the moral imperative of journalists. This should never be compromised for speed.
– We verify the identities and backgrounds of sources.
– We make distinctions between assertions and fact, seeking documentation when necessary to support the claims of sources.
– We retain records of original quotations and recorded interview material.

– We respect the rights of our interviewees and the subjects of our articles.
– We give individuals or companies who are criticized the chance to respond before publishing. If they refuse to comment, we state so.
– A person’s religion, sexual orientation or race should not be mentioned unless it is critical to the story. In the same vein, we avoid stereotypes.
– Parental consent should be sought for minors, who typically do not have experience with the media and the implications of an interview.
– Our biases and opinions should not affect our reporting.
– We do not pay for information from sources.
– We do not cover topics or organizations where we are affiliated, whether at a personal, professional or financial level.

-We are accountable to our readers and viewers to conduct fair and reliable reporting.
– Visual media are not altered to mislead our audience and should be as accurate as possible. Heavily edited or staged material must be made clear.
– The distinction between opinion and news/fact must always be clear to the audience.

Digital Media
– Ethical practice remains critical even within a digital landscape.
– Online content and sources must be considered carefully and adequately verified.
– Our sources must be aware that content produced in The City will be published online and across social media platforms.
– When using online photos and videos from other sources, we make an effort to obtain permission from the original source. Credit must be given to the author and the name of the website or publication in which it originally appeared must be stated. However, we should seldom post material that is not created by our reporters.


ARTICLE 3     Copyright

Any text, visual or graphic material submitted to The City allows the publication:
– To use said material in part or whole on the publication’s website and/or social media profiles.
– The ability to edit the material as it sees fit. Major changes will involve consultation with the creator to ensure accuracy.
– The ability to use the material for archival purposes, on any pages on The City’s website, or for print/digital promotional content such as posters, flyers or pamphlets post story publication.

In any case where the material is being used:
– The creator has copyright ownership of any material they produced.
– The creator will be given full attribution.

– Any material produced must be original to the creator. The individual will be liable for any consequences or damages associated with the stealing or claiming the content of others as their own.
– Photography taken for The City cannot be republished elsewhere on the same day or before its date of publication in The City.
– Stories in full produced for The City cannot be republished in other print, visual or online publications, even personal blogs or portfolios (although they can be hyperlinked to).

Logos and Branding
– Any and all of The City’s logos are copyright to the publication and cannot be republished or modified by any of its reporters or readers.
– Any other branding elements such as the Lower Third or Credits Sequence designed specifically for The City cannot be used in any work produced outside of The City publication.


ARTICLE 4     Corrections

If there is a case where disinformation or a factual mistake is brought to light, the Associate Editor will promptly correct the mistake online. To remain transparent, a note will be added to the bottom of the article detailing the nature of the change, and that The City apologizes for the error.

If a case where an article must be completely retracted arises, the article in question will be promptly removed from the website by the Associate Editor. A retraction statement and apology will be made on The City’s social media accounts and its website. However, these cases should be seen as extremely rare and a retraction is only granted after a meeting with The City’s editors and editorial board.

Minor errors, including spelling and grammar errors that do not affect the meaning or message of the article or its contents, can be corrected promptly without a note that a correction was made.


ARTICLE 5     Anonymity

Generally, anonymity should only be granted if the publishing of the source’s name can negatively impact their personal or professional life. Reporters must consult the Associate Editor and/or Editor-in-Chief to determine if a given source can be granted anonymity. In any case, all parties must be made aware of the source’s real identity.

If given permission, the reporter must be transparent in their article that said source’s name is a pseudonym, or that they are anonymous, and justify why their identity cannot be revealed.

The City and its reporters cannot in any way reveal the anonymous source’s identity unless the source themselves later agrees to be published.

The City’s reporters must always be clear about their journalistic intent and identity and be transparent to all of their interviewees that any of the information they collect on the record may be published.


ARTICLE 6     Social Media

All of The City’s reporters must be mindful of the content they post on their personal social media accounts as they are personally responsible for what they publish. They must be aware that what they post online can potentially reflect onto the publication and affect its reputation. Any personal online activity should be regarded as public. The City’s reporters must not post personal attacks, defamatory, or false material. They should conduct themselves in a professional manner on social media.

It is crucial that reporters put a disclaimer in the bios of all their social media profiles, websites or blogs that all opinions stated on said accounts and pages are their own.

Reporters cannot use references to The City in their usernames on social media. For example, using “The City” or “The City Mag” or “The City ConU” or “The City Concordia”.

Reporters are free to promote or post about articles published on The City at any time. However, if they are to engage with readers or viewers of the content, they must be clear that their response to the individual or group may not be reflective of the views or opinions of The City as a publication. They cannot speak on behalf of the publication, only on behalf of themselves as a content creator. Any questions, comments or concerns addressed directly to the publication should be forwarded to the Associate Editor and/or Editor-in-Chief.

When working on an article for The City, reporters must remain transparent when reaching out to sources on social media. Reporters cannot use an anonymous social media account to gather information or conduct interviews. One’s identity and journalistic intent should be absolutely clear.

Last revised December 2019