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RAILWAY NEWS SERVICES STANDARDS-OBJECTIVES-PRACTICES & POLICY

ATD LINES/Railway News Services is committed to serving the public interest by providing content of the highest quality that enriches the marketplace of ideas, unencumbered by commercial imperative. Throughout ATD LINES/Railway News Services history, four fundamental principles have guided that commitment.

  • Editorial integrity: ATD LINES/Railway News Services content should embrace the highest commitment to excellence, professionalism, intellectual honesty and transparency. In its news and information content, accuracy should be the cornerstone.

  • Quality: ATD LINES/Railway News Services content should be distinguished by professionalism, thoroughness, and a commitment to experimentation and innovation.

  • Diversity: ATD LINES/Railway News Services must be responsive to a diverse public and has a responsibility to explore subjects of significance and the marketplace of ideas.

  • Local station autonomy: Local decision-making ensures topical and relevant content and allows ATD LINES/Railway News Services to reflect the communities they serve.

    ATD LINES/Railway News Services responsibility to the public also demands a continuing understanding of emerging technologies and the changing ways the public consumes information.

    The ATD LINES/Railway News Services Editorial Standards and Policies that follow explain the best practices and procedures expected across multiple platforms and reflect these core principles and philosophy.

    I. Introduction

    This document is an update of the ATD LINES/Railway News Services policies first adopted in 1981. While the principles embodied in those policies are enduring and remain as valid today as when they were first adopted, changes in technology, news broadcasting, journalism, public expectations, and experience with the current guidelines necessitate, as the original news policies themselves anticipated, "periodic review of procedures to establish and implement program standards and practices, and a revision of the statement as required."

    In reviewing the ATD LINES/Railway News Services Editorial Standards and Policies adopted in 1981, the Editorial Standards Review Committee convened by ATD LINES/Railway News Services heard from news producers and from ATD LINES/Railway News Services staff, and found from their own review, that the existing standards were well conceived and remarkably contemporary. The ATD LINES/Railway News Services concluded, should continue to operate according to the overall principles articulated in those standards. The 1981 review focused, in part, on how to make the Policies less exclusively concerned with ATD LINES/Railway News Services and to address issues raised by digital platforms and the increasing engagement that technology allowed with the public. Five years later it is even more essential to recognize the ways in which news delivery systems, including social media, have affected and will continue to affect the production, distribution, and consumption of content, and the editorial implications of these changes. In that regard, the ATD LINES/Railway News Services believed that transparency and integrity should continue to be hallmarks for ATD LINES/Railway News Services in its approach and its content going forward.

    II. Guiding Principles

    The ATD LINES/Railway News Services is a profit corporation is governed by a board comprised largely of representatives of ATD LINES/Railway News Services. ATD LINES/Railway News Services operates in the public interest by serving the needs of Railway News Services. Four fundamental principles shape the content service that ATD LINES/Railway News Services provides: editorial integrity, quality, diversity, and local autonomy.

    A. Editorial Integrity

    ATD LINES/Railway News Services reputation for quality reflects the public's trust in the editorial integrity of ATD LINES/Railway News Services content and the process by which it is produced and distributed. To maintain that trust, ATD LINES/Railway News Services is responsible for shielding the creative and editorial processes from political pressure or improper influence or other sources. ATD LINES/Railway News Services also must make every effort to ensure that the content it distributes satisfies those editorial standards designed to assure integrity.

    B. Quality

    In selecting content, for any platform, ATD LINES/Railway News Services seeks the highest quality available. Selection decisions require professional judgments about many different aspects of content quality, including but not limited to excellence, creativity, artistry, accuracy, balance, fairness, timeliness, innovation, boldness, thoroughness, credibility, and technical virtuosity. Similar judgments must be made about the content's ability to stimulate, enlighten, educate, inform, challenge, entertain, and amuse.

    C. Diversity

    To enhance each ATD LINES/Railway News Services ability to meet its Local, Regional, State, National, International needs, ATD LINES/Railway News Services strives to offer a wide choice of quality railway content. Content diversity furthers the goals of a democratic society by enhancing public access to the full range of ideas, information, subject matter, and perspectives required to make informed judgments about the issues of our time. It also furthers Railway News Services special mandate to serve many different and discrete audiences. The goal of diversity also requires continuing efforts to ensure that ATD LINES/Railway News Services content fully reflects the pluralism of our railway society, including, for example, appropriate representation of women and minorities. The diversity of Railway News Services producers and networks helps to ensure that content distributed by ATD LINES/Railway News Services is not dominated by any single point of view.

    D. Local, Regional, State, National, International Railway News Services Autonomy

    ATD LINES/Railway News Services believes that Railway News Services greatest potential is realized when it serves the unique needs of the Local, Regional, State, National, International rail line communities and that there are wide variations in such needs and news features. No one is better qualified to determine and respond to those local needs than the Railway News Services media organization to rail line communities. ATD LINES/Railway News Services role is to assist each rail line community broad range of content options, consistent with these Railway News Service Editorial Standards and Policies; providing timely information necessary to make informed judgments about a railway news suitability.

    Adopted: June 24, 2011


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