Our ethics policy

This policy lays out the guidelines by which we intend to run our investigative unit and assure the integrity of our journalism. It is based on the Society of Professional Journalists code of ethics.

Liberty Investigates is a unit within the non-profit human rights organisation, Liberty.  We carry out investigative journalism about human rights. Liberty depends on its members and on foundations for funding.

As journalists we work without fear or favour. Liberty Investigates operates under the principle of editorial independence. Our editorial advisory board can be found here.

Liberty Investigates aims to produce journalism that is accurate, fair and worthy of trust. If we get things wrong, we will correct our mistakes, and will clearly show if we have amended an article for this purpose.

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We will endeavour to explain why we investigate the stories we have chosen, and how we conduct ourselves.

We will act ethically, in the public interest, and expose human rights abuses.

The Liberty Investigates team will avoid conflicts of interest, real or perceived and remain free of associations and activities that may compromise integrity or damage credibility; we will always disclose any potential conflict of interest in our work.

The team will test the accuracy of information from all sources and exercise care to avoid inadvertent error. Deliberate distortion is never permissible. We will make certain that everything in our stories, including on social media, does not misrepresent or take out of context. This includes distortion of audio and video.

We will diligently seek out subjects of news stories to give them the right to reply to allegations of wrongdoing.

We will work within Liberty’s values, avoid stereotyping and respect diversity.

We will distinguish between reporting and comment, and will include views that we may not agree with for the benefit of balance. We will include relevant right to replies from those bodies that we scrutinise, and will strive to be fair even as we speak truth to power.

We will treat all those in our work with respect. We will have particular regard for those in at risk groups who may have been deeply affected by the subjects we cover, such as children, disabled people, those affected by bereavement or violence and people from communities that face hostility. We will support people to tell their stories and to amplify their voices.

We recognise and take account of the fact that reporting can cause upset, and we will do our best to mitigate that.

We will act transparently and hold ourselves accountable to the public.

We will not plagiarise the work of others.