Read the memo

LA Times staff warned not to join women's marches

latimes-bldg-from-corner.jpgAn email from the bosses this morning warned all Los Angeles Times journalists not to take part in marches this weekend pegged to the Donald Trump inauguration. It's against "long-standing ethics guidelines" to take part in the women's marches planned for LA, Washington and elsewhere. Staffers were asking, says the memo from Managing Editor Marc Duvoisin.

From: "Duvoisin, Marc"
Date: January 19, 2017 at 11:21:13 AM PST
To: yyeditall

Subject: Women's marches in Washington and L.A.

To the staff:

The Women’s March on Washington and related events in Los Angeles and around the country will take place Saturday, and a number of newsroom staffers have asked if it is OK for them to participate.

In keeping with the L.A. Times’ long-standing ethics guidelines, the answer is no. Times journalists who are not covering these events should not participate in them.

Under our ethics guidelines, we are all obliged to refrain from public expressions of our personal political views, in order to safeguard The Times’ objectivity in fact as well as appearance.

This isn’t a new policy. The guidelines speak to this issue in several places: They state that “staff members may not engage in political advocacy,” “should avoid public expressions or demonstrations of their political views,” and must not “allow their outside activities to undermine the impartiality of Times coverage.” (The full guidelines are at http://lat.ms/2jyujj3.)

The Women’s March on Washington, according to its mission statement, is intended to “send a bold message to our new government on their first day in office,” and to “create change from the grassroots level up.”

As The Times prepares to cover the new administration and hold elected and appointed officials accountable with our journalism, it is our responsibility to do so without taking sides.

Journalists participating in a political event run the risk of jeopardizing our impartiality. Now more than ever, we need to reinforce our independent role in democracy.

If you have any questions about how we came to this conclusion about the Women’s March and related events, or about our ethics policy more broadly, please come see me, Davan, Larry Ingrassia or any other member of the masthead.

Marc

Duvoisin also signed the email memos warning staffers not to tweet their political comments during the election.


More media posts
More LA Times posts


More by Kevin Roderick:
Print LA Times falls to lowest number of pages
LA Observed Notes: Buyouts at the LA Times (again), Megyn Kelly (again)
Gary Friedman, 62, longtime LA Times photojournalist
Tail o' the Pup headed to Valley Relics Museum*
KPCC ends 'Off-Ramp' and gives host John Rabe new role
Recent Read the memo stories on LA Observed:
LA Times staff warned not to join women's marches
Read the memo: New York Times won't ban 'alt-right'
Read the memo: LA Times finally names an obituary editor
LA Times journos warned - again - about tweet politics
LA Times squeezed out of hosting its own awards shindig
Memo: LA News Group now So Cal News Group
Another Pulitzer winner for the Breeze leaves journalism
LA Times alums join bigger Kaiser Health News*


 

LA Observed on Twitter