- Sep 23, 2014
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Buganda Watch (BW) delivers topical news and educational information on matters of relevance to the Baganda community worldwide. It publishes, among other things, original stories, opinions from leading thinkers on Buganda issues, research reports, educational materials and other resources concerning Buganda and Baganda.
BW’s primary guiding principle when creating content is to tell the truth as accurately and fairly as possible. The following guidelines help us to maintain that principle and, in turn, our credibility.
- For accuracy, when BW identifies any individual or organization in a story such that the individual’s or organization’s public image could be affected significantly BW contacts the individual or organization to give that individual or organization an opportunity to challenge the proposed story before the story’s publication according to the journalistic principle of “equal time.” No story is published if the challenge is legitimate.
- In recognition of the reader’s right to know the origin of information, BW gives all facts and information from the wires or other media full attribution within the story if those facts or information come from sources not independently confirmed by BW. BW does not give attribution to events directly witnessed by BW’s personnel. This policy applies to information that is considered common knowledge or information confirmed by multiple sources.
- For transparency, BW uses information and quotes from unnamed or confidential sources very sparingly (See: Using Unnamed Sources below).
- For transparency, BW, as a general policy, states the origin of information obtained from a document, online source, broadcast media, video, podcast or e-mail. BW explains reporting done by telephone when it can help the reader better understand the content or rationale of the interview.
- BW does not alter quotes in any way except to mark with ellipses parts not used and to correct grammatical mistakes, slang or dialect in an effort to enhance clarity.
Bylines, Datelines and Taglines
- Whenever possible BW uses datelines to give readers the most accurate accounting of where information for a story is gathered.
- BW uses bylines and taglines to explain who has written a story or contributed to it.
- In general, BW states the location and roles of all reporters at the conclusion of each story.
Photographic, Audio and Video illustrations
BW uses photographic, audio and video illustrations to provide both context and evidence to enhance the reader’s understanding of the story.
- BW endeavors to always use explicit and clear captions and/or credit lines to explain when two or more images are combined.
- BW does not merge two or more images to create a montage; or splice segments of audio or video to create a composite where the composite might suggest that the subjects or individuals were or subject matter was photographed or recorded together.
Using Unnamed Sources
- There are times when BW has to use information from confidential sources to enable the reader to understand the story.
- BW uses extreme care not to identify unnamed sources in a way that exposes their identity. BW tries to describe unnamed sources as precisely as possible while protecting the identity or the source.
- BW uses information only from a confidential source with first-hand knowledge or experience, with confirmation by and independent second source report.
- Confidential documents are used or published by BW only when credible evidence or second party independent verification has been obtained and when the chain of custody can be traced back to the originators…
- Anonymous sources are only used to report facts. BW does not use accusations, opinions or speculations from sources that insist on anonymity.
- Even though BW protects the identities of confidential informants, the editor of BW usually knows their identities. Furthermore, if the information the confidential informant provides proves to be false or unfounded, the identity of the provider could be revealed to the public.
- Acceptance of confidential information or other artifacts by BW does not constitute an agreement or commitment to a specific publication date, physical placement in the newspaper or any other understanding that limits BW’s independent judgment.
- BW does not exaggerate the number of sources or their standing.
- When it is essential to quote sources from other media, BW attributes the information to the appropriate organization, citing the description of the source.
Reporting on Buganda Institutions
- BW does not publish any information that, in its judgment, is intended to embarrass or otherwise injure the person and office of the Kabaka of Buganda, Namasole or the Buganda royal family.
- BW does not publish any information that, in its judgment, is intended to embarrass or otherwise injure the Baganda cultural institutions, including the clan leaders.
Crowd Sourced News
BW provides a self-service page for readers to submit news reports, with a capability to upload text, image and other attachments.
- BW verifies the validity of the email of any reader who submits a story online.
- All reader-submitted news stories must be independently verified and is subject to BW editorial policies before publication.
Opinions and Reader Comments
- The views and opinions expressed in op-ed columns, readers’ letters, research reports, educational materials and online news submission are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policies or positions of BW.
- Reader comments that violate BW editorial policies in any way are barred or removed from the website.