The Code of Ethics for SoBeFiT Magazine has been designed to help our staff members understand our publication’s operational guidelines. These guidelines are an integral part of our title’s dedication to aim for the highest ethical and journalistic standards.
Accuracy and Integrity
SoBeFiT Magazine is committed to the highest ethical standards of professional journalism. In order to provide our readers with the most accurate and credible information available, the editorial staff must maintain a high standard of editorial excellence and values. Plagiarism, defined as the taking of words or ideas from an individual or organization without attribution, is expressly prohibited. Fabrication of events or persons in news or feature articles will not be tolerated. When original information, quotes, ideas and distinctive language from other sources, including but not limited to excerpts from published works, are used in our articles either directly quoted or paraphrased, they should be clearly attributed within the text. In the event fictional or satirical references are used and in order to avoid confusion in readers’ minds, the article must be clearly labeled that the article involves fictional characters and events.
Use of Published Works
With proper attribution, brief passages from published works, including but not limited to articles, books and journals, whether published digitally or in print, may be used in articles, but must be limited to no more than 150 words from a single source without permission from copyright owner. In the event an excerpt from a copyrighted work is more than 150 words, permission must first be obtained from the copyright owner.
In the event published information is inaccurate, incorrect or misleading, every effort must be made to publish the corrected information as quickly as possible.
All information solicited from individuals for use in the publication should come from verifiable public sources. However, there may be situations which merit the use of anonymous sources. In the event anonymous sources are utilized, the source shall not be revealed and all information solicited from the source shall be independently verified.
Staff writers are responsible for their own fact-checking in all articles submitted to the Managing Editor for publication.
All interviews should be taped or digitally recorded. In such recording, Staff Writers must obtain the Interviewee’s oral consent to be interviewed and permission to utilize all information obtained during the interview in the publication. In addition to the interviewee’s oral consent, best efforts should be made to obtain Interviewee’s written release to be interviewed. Digital and printed records must be maintained for a minimum of five (5) years.
The same guidelines governing regular editorial staffers apply to paid and non-paid contributing writers, photographers, illustrators and graphic artists. All freelancers have the right to work for outside publications.
The publication will provide a range of ways for readers to provide feedback, including telephone number, address and e-mail address. A section will be provided in the publication for Letters to the Editor.
Use of children
The use of children in the publication creates special challenges. At all times, parental written approval must be obtained prior to interviewing or photographing children. Children must always be supervised by a parent or guardian while being interviewed or photographed for the publication.
CONFLICTS OF INTEREST
Editorial and Advertising
• Editorial content must always be based on readers’ needs and not on non-editorial concerns, such as advertisers.
• In order to avoid the appearance of partiality or advertiser involvement, the publication must have a clear distinction between editorial and advertising.
• Except with respect to buyers’ guides, directories or other ad-sponsored sections, an advertisement should not appear next to a related editorial.
• The publication has an obligation to readers to make clear which content has been paid for, which is sponsored and which is original and proprietary editorial material.
• All advertising materials should have a distinctly different design from our own layouts in order to avoid reader confusion with editorial material.
• Except for specially commissioned advertising sections, the editorial staff should not assign, write, edit, design or layout special advertising sections or supplements, but may review, modify and approve for publication any advertising that they deem too similar to editorial design. In the event of a commissioned section, the Editor-in-Chief must approve the overall concept and execution.
• The editorial staff may modify any advertising section that does not meet the publication’s editorial standards.
• All special advertising that may be confused with editorial material must be clearly labeled with the words “Advertisement”, “Advertising”, “Advertorial”, “Special Advertising Supplement” or similar designation horizontally at or near the center of the top or bottom of every page of the advertisement in all caps and in type at least equal in size to the publication’s standard body font. Special advertising sections shall be limited to no more than two per issue and placed in the back 70% of the publication. Except in connection with the magazine’s own products or services, the publication’s logo or name may not appear as any part of the text or headlines of advertisements.
Use of Trade Names
It is preferable to use generic names of products or services in editorials. When product names are mentioned in editorial material, the trade name alone should be used, without trademark and similar symbols, and capitalized to show that the name is a proper noun.
It is not acceptable to receive compensation to: (a) mention brand names, individuals or entities, or (b) place the picture of a product or logo in editorial content.
In general, the staff should not accept money or other lavish gifts from advertisers or advertising agencies. However, modest gifts sent to a large number of staffers are generally acceptable, although gifts sent to a single staff member should be avoided.
Staffers may perform freelance work on their own time, provided that such work does not conflict with their duties to the magazine. Notwithstanding the foregoing, staffers may not accept any freelance assignments with a publication that competes directly or indirectly with SoBeFiT Magazine whether in print, digital or other media. Such freelance work must not interfere with the staffers duties to the magazine, create the appearance of a conflict of interest or compromise the staffer’s professional reputation or that of the magazine. Prior to accepting any freelance assignments, staffers must first obtain approval of the Editor-in-Chief who will take into consideration the limitations set forth above.
Rules, terms and conditions of contests should be clearly explained and featured in the publication, along with contest sponsors and judges.
OWNERSHIP OF WORK
All ideas, designs, artwork, research, notes and other work, whether text or ideas, that staffers create on behalf of the company as an employee of the Company whether on or off Company time belong to the Company. This material may not be used in any manner outside the Company or sold to another publication without the prior approval of the Editor-in-Chief.
USE OF LOGO
The publication’s logo should only be used on promotional material that is connected to the publication. Use of the publication’s logo on cross-promotional material requires the approval of the Editor-in-Chief.
GRAPHICS AND PHOTOGRAPHS
Care should be taken to avoid modifying photographic material in ways that might mislead the reader. As long as there is no misrepresentation or modification of the artist’s original view or inspiration, alterations of photos are allowed for the purpose of improving the quality of the work for the benefit of the readers. If the content of a photo is materially altered, the extent of the alteration should be clearly identified and explained. Photo illustrations such as set-up scenes and computer-generated photos and illustrations may be used as long as the intent is not to mislead readers and the caption or credit line informs readers that it is a photo illustration. Proper photo credits must always be published.
Charts and Graphics
Informational graphics, including those created by the Art Department and those obtained from third parties should include an explanation of research methodology and cite the source. Special care should be taken to ensure that the charts and graphics fairly and accurately portray the material in the accompanying article.
• The editorial staff shall control all editorial content on the publication’s digital versions, including its web site, e-newsletters, blogs, and other non-print media.
• Editorial standards applicable to the printed publication shall also apply to all digital content.
• The homepage and all subsequent pages on a publication’s web site shall display the publication’s name and logo prominently, in order to clarify who controls the content of the web site.
• Advertising material should be clearly identified on all pages and corresponding hyperlinks.
• Any content that comes from a source other than the editors should be clearly labeled.
• Whether for editorial or advertising information, hypertext links should be placed at the discretion and approval of the Editor-in-Chief. In the event hypertext links are utilized, links within editorial text should never be paid for by advertisers.
• Advertising and sponsored links should be clearly distinguishable from editorial content.
• Special advertising sections should be clearly identified and should not have the same font type and layout as editorial content. In order to protect our brand, editorial staff should not permit editorial content to be used on an advertiser’s site without a clear explanation of the relationship, such as “Reprinted with permission”.
The publication’s web site should clearly state its terms of service and privacy policies, including whether user information is provided to any third parties.
Collaboration with Advertising
It is appropriate for the editorial and sales departments to work together to build the publication’s readership base, but never in a way that gives advertisers an opportunity to influence editorial content. Editorial staff may work closely with marketing, circulation and other departments to improve the publication’s business, but never in a way that may jeopardize the integrity of the publication. Circulation data should never be inflated for purposes of obtaining advertising.
This publication is held to a high ethical standard; therefore, advertisers promoting the following products will not be permitted: tobacco, liquor, beer, wine, sex enhancement drugs, supplements and other aids, and certain types of diet and energy supplements, not including vitamins, minerals, amino acids, creatine, glucosamine, and certain energy drinks. Acceptance and approval of all advertising shall be in the sole discretion of the Editor-in-Chief.
In order for an advertiser to have the opportunity to withdraw an advertisement from an issue, advertisers must be informed in advance of any editorial material that may be viewed as critical of the advertiser.
Swapping of Editorial and Advertisement
There shall be no exchange of editorial content for advertising or advertising for editorial content.