Macon Community News

The Macon Newsroom

Macon Community News

The Macon Newsroom

Macon Community News

The Macon Newsroom

Editorial Policies

Editorial Independence Policy

The Macon Newsroom subscribes to standards of editorial independence adopted by the Institute for Nonprofit News:

Our organization retains full authority over editorial content to protect the best journalistic and business interests of our organization. We maintain a firewall between news coverage decisions and sources of all revenue. Acceptance of financial support does not constitute implied or actual endorsement of donors or their products, services or opinions.

We can accept gifts, grants and sponsorships from individuals and organizations through Mercer University for the general support of our activities, but our news judgments are made independently and not on the basis of donor support.

Our organization may consider donations to support the coverage of particular topics, but our organization maintains editorial control of the coverage. We will cede no right of review or influence of editorial content, nor of unauthorized distribution of editorial content.

Our organization will make public all donors who give a total of $5,000 or more per year. We will not accept anonymous donations.

Donor & Financial Transparency

We are committed to transparency in every aspect of funding our organization.

Accepting financial support does not mean we endorse donors or their products, services or opinions.

We accept gifts, grants and sponsorships from individuals, organizations and foundations to help with our general operations, coverage of specific topics and special projects. As an organization that operates under the 501(c)(3) nonprofit status of Mercer University, we do not pay certain taxes.

Our news judgments are made independently – not based on or influenced by donors or any revenue source. We do not give supporters the rights to assign, review or edit content.

We make public all revenue sources and donors who give $500 or more per year. As a news nonprofit, we avoid accepting charitable donations from anonymous sources, government entities, political parties, elected officials or candidates seeking public office. We will not accept donations from sources who, deemed by our board of directors, present a conflict of interest with our work or compromise our independence.

The Macon Newsroom is supported financially by the Peyton Anderson Foundation and the Knight Foundation

Board of Directors

The Macon Newsroom does not operate with a board of directors, but falls under the direction of Mercer University’s Center for Collaborative Journalism, which has an advisory board composed of working journalists and journalism educators.

Equity and Inclusion

The Macon Newsroom aims to reflect the diversity of the communities it serves in its staff and contributors, its editorial choices and priorities.

Partnerships and Parent Organizations

The Macon Newsroom is a partnership of the Journalism and Media Studies department at Mercer University, The (Macon) Telegraph, 13WMAZ, Georgia Public Broadcasting, the Knight Foundation and the Peyton Anderson Foundation.

Use of The Macon Newsroom Content

Publications are allowed to reuse Macon Newsroom content for no charge provided that credit is given to The Macon Newsroom.

Conflict of Interest Policy

The following Financial Conflict of Interest Policy (“Conflict of Interest Policy”) is an effort (i) to ensure that the deliberations and decisions of The Macon Newsroom are made solely in the interest of promoting the quality of journalism in the state of Georgia, and (ii) to protect the interests The Macon Newsroom of when it considers any transaction, contract, or arrangement that might benefit or be perceived to benefit the private interest of a person affiliated with The Macon Newsroom. As used in this Conflict of Interest Policy, a Macon Newsroom Representative includes any director, advisory board member, financial advisor, legal counsel or employee.

  1. Duty to The Macon Newsroom. Each Macon Newsroom Representative owes a duty to The Macon Newsroom to advance The Macon Newsroom’s legitimate interests when the opportunity to do so arises. Each Macon Newsroom Representative must give undivided allegiance when making decisions affecting the organization. Similarly, The Macon Newsroom Representatives must be faithful to The Macon Newsroom’s nonprofit mission and are not permitted to act in a way that is inconsistent with the central goals of the organization and its nonprofit status.
  2. Gifts. No Macon Newsroom Representative shall personally accept gifts or favors that could compromise his or her loyalty to The Macon Newsroom. Any gifts or benefits personally accepted from a party having a material interest in the outcome of The Macon Newsroom or its employees by a Macon Newsroom Representative individually should be merely incidental to his or her role as a Macon Newsroom Representative and should not be of substantial value. Any gift with a value of $250 or more, or any gifts with a cumulative value in excess of $250 received by a Macon Newsroom Representative in any twelve-month period from a single source, shall be considered substantial. Cash payments may not be accepted, and no gifts should be accepted if there are strings attached. For example, no Macon Newsroom Representative may accept gifts if he or she knows that such gifts are being given to solicit his or her support of or opposition to the outcome or content of any Macon Newsroom publication.
  3. Conflicts of Interest. The following are examples of conflicts of interest which must be promptly disclosed to The Macon Newsroom Director pursuant to Section 4 below by any Macon Newsroom Representative with knowledge of such conflict of interest:
  • (a) any real or apparent conflict of interest between a donor or the subject of a Macon Newsroom publication or report and a Macon Newsroom Representative;
  • (b) a Macon Newsroom Representative’s ownership of an equity interest in a person or entity that is or will be the subject of a Macon Newsroom publication or report; and
  • (c) failure to disclose to The Macon Newsroom all relationships between the subject of any Macon Newsroom publication or report and any Macon Newsroom Representative or close relatives of the Macon Newsroom Representative.
  1. Conflict Procedure:
     (a) If a Macon Newsroom Representative or party related to a Macon Newsroom  Representative has an interest in any contract, action or transaction to be entered into with Macon Newsroom, a conflict of interest or potential conflict of interest exists. Any Macon Newsroom Representative having knowledge that such a conflict of interest exists or may exist (an “Interested Macon Newsroom Representative”) will so advise the Macon Newsroom Director promptly. An Interested Macon Newsroom Representative will include in the notice the material facts as to the relationship or interest of the Interested Macon Newsroom Representative in the entity proposing to enter into a contract, action or transaction with The Macon Newsroom.

(b) Notwithstanding anything herein to the contrary, The Macon Newsroom Director may authorize any committee appointed pursuant to The Macon Newsroom, by-laws (a “Committee”) to act in lieu of The Macon Newsroom Director in determining whether an action, contract or transaction is fair to The Macon Newsroom as of the time it is authorized or approved by the Committee.

(c) At any time that a conflict of interest or potential conflict of interest is identified, The Macon Newsroom Director or a Chair of the applicable Committee will ensure that such conflict of interest is placed on the agenda for the next meeting of the Committee, as applicable. The notice of such meeting of the Committee, as applicable, will include, to the extent available when the notice is sent, a description of the conflict of interest matter to be discussed. By notice before the meeting or at the meeting, the Committee, as applicable, will be advised that a vote will be taken at the meeting and that, in order to authorize the relevant contract, action or transaction, an affirmative vote of a majority of disinterested members present at the meeting at which a quorum is present will be required and will be sufficient, even though the disinterested members constitute less than a quorum of the Committee.

(d) Reasonable effort will be made to cause the material facts concerning the relationships between the individuals and The Macon Newsroom which create the conflict to be delivered to and shared with the members of the Committee, as applicable, prior to the meeting to enable the members to arrive at the meeting prepared to discuss the issue. In the event it is not practicable to deliver the information prior to the meeting, it will be delivered to the members at the meeting, and the members can act upon the matter with the same authority as if notice had been given prior to the meeting.

(e) The Committee, as applicable, will invite all parties to the conflict of interest to attend the meeting, to make presentations and to be prepared to answer questions, if necessary. The Committee, as applicable, will also invite outside experts if necessary.

(f) At the meeting, providing a quorum is present, the conflict will be discussed to ensure that the directors present are aware of the issues and the factors involved. The interested directors may be counted for purposes of a quorum, even though they may not take part in any vote on the issues.

(g) The Committee, as applicable, must decide, in good faith, reasonably justified by the material facts, whether the action, contract or transaction would be in the best interest of The Macon Newsroom and fair to The Macon Newsroom as of the time it is authorized or approved.

(h) All interested members must abstain from voting and, if necessary, leave the room when the vote is taken.

(i) The Committee, as applicable, will maintain a written account of all that transpires at the meeting and incorporate such account into the minutes of the meeting and disseminate it to the full Committee. Such minutes will be presented for approval at the next meeting of the Committee and maintained in the corporate record book.

(j) To the extent that the conflict of interest is continuing and the contract, action or transaction goes beyond one (1) year, the foregoing notice and discussion and vote will be repeated on an annual basis.