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Editorial charter

Background

Canary Media is an independent nonprofit journalism entity founded in 2021, dedicated to chronicling the transition to a decarbonized economy and society, with a particular focus on the transformation of the primary energy, transportation, industrial and building sectors. We were created with seed funding from RMI, an independent nonprofit founded in 1982 that serves as a leading source of expertise and analysis on the technological, economic and policy challenges to making the transition to a clean, prosperous and secure zero-carbon future.

Mission

Our mission is to discover, reveal and explain the most vital developments determining the course of the world’s multitrillion-dollar shift to a decarbonized economy and society. Our newsroom will cover the technology, economic, policy and social justice issues driving this epochal shift, and our media platform will serve as an independent hub for a diverse and inclusive community dedicated to this cause.

Imperative

Cutting human-caused carbon dioxide emissions by 50 percent below 2010 levels by 2030 and reaching net-zero CO2 emissions by 2050 will require a massive shift in how energy is generated, transmitted, distributed and consumed. Decarbonizing transportation, heating, industrial processes and other energy end uses will require new infrastructure to make use of increasingly carbon-free electricity or alternatives to fossil fuels. Economic and regulatory structures must be reconfigured to allow these transitions to be accomplished in a way that avoids stranding or misdirecting capital investments, or burdening people with excessive costs or unforeseen negative impacts that could undermine the political will to accomplish this transformation.

Purpose

Our purpose as an organization is to reveal and clarify these challenges for an audience that ranges from key decision-makers to everyday citizens. There are no easy or simple solutions, and a multitude of tradeoffs between present-day values and future costs and benefits, involved in determining the optimal pathways to accomplishing these imperatives. Our group of independent expert reporters and writers, supported by the world-class data resources and analytical insights of RMI, will provide the up-to-date information and expert analysis for an audience of policymakers, investors and industry participants under pressure to plan and execute the rapid and far-reaching changes required. As a go-to site for this vital information, our media platform will allow thought leaders and common-cause activists to share knowledge and coordinate mutual effort to successfully accomplish their goals.

Expertise

We don’t have much time to make the changes needed to counteract the worst impacts of global warming. People under time pressure prize expertise that is timely and on point. Our team of full-time, on-contract and freelance journalists have collective decades of experience in the fields of renewable energy, energy storage, power grids, utilities, advanced transportation, energy efficiency and advanced energy management technology and implementation. We have a decade-plus track record of providing breaking news coverage and in-depth analysis for key decision-makers playing a role in this transformation, and are well-positioned to provide the same to help solve the complex and interdependent challenges that lie ahead.

Objectives:

To inform and influence key decision-makers within the corporations, industries, financial institutions, funding entities, government agencies, legislative bodies, research institutions, nonprofit trade and advocacy groups and community organizations playing a role in the energy transition and decarbonization.

To provide clear, concise and pertinent fact-driven reportage and analysis to a broad and diverse audience, in order to popularize the understanding, and dispel misconceptions, regarding the challenges in reducing investment into carbon-emitting resources and altering the commercial, industrial and social processes that contribute to climate change.

Editorial style and consistency

Canary Media editorial staff, freelancers and contributors will adhere to, and have their work edited in accordance with, the guidance laid out by the Associated Press Stylebook. Our copy will retain consistent application of in-house style guidance developed to manage particular usage and terminology unique to the industries and subjects we cover.

Editorial code of ethics

We adhere to strict standards of ethical behavior in the pursuit of the truth, and in our relationship to our sources. Canary Media editorial staff follow the code of ethics articulated by the Society of Professional Journalists to seek and report the truth as accurately and even-handedly as possible, including the following commitments:

- Verify all information we publish, respond quickly and transparently to concerns over inaccuracy or error, and correct errors of fact quickly and prominently;

- Use original sources as much as possible, and clearly attribute any information derived from other sources;

- Clearly identify the sources of our information, and provide anonymity only to sources sharing information of public interest who would face danger or retribution if their identities are disclosed;

- Seek out subjects of news coverage to allow them opportunity to comment on or refute criticism or allegations of wrongdoing;

- Provide context and avoid oversimplification or misrepresentation of complex issues;

- Maintain a forum for the open exchange of views, including those with which we disagree;

- Clearly delineate news reporting from opinion and advocacy;

- Respect human diversity and seek out sources reflecting this diversity, avoiding stereotypes or exclusion of marginalized voices;

- Balance the public’s need for information with the potential of causing harm to private individuals;

Editorial independence

We retain editorial independence in our approach to uncovering and publicizing the activities of institutions and individuals acting knowingly and unknowingly in ways that may retard or misdirect efforts to achieve an equitable and optimal path to decarbonization. We are also committed to revealing and bringing to public account those that would seek to hijack this existential emergency for unearned profit or public relations benefit, through a thorough and unsparing investigation of the motives of the entities we cover.

Separation of editorial and business dealings

Canary Media is committed to providing news and analysis that is free of any interference or influence from its financial backers, as well as all parties that pay Canary Media for advertising, branded content, research and insight, or any other products or services. We maintain a strict separation between editorial staff’s reporting, publication and decision-making processes and the financial dealings of the overall business. Canary Media’s investors, advertisers and any other parties providing financial restitution for the services Canary Media provides are barred from influencing our editorial content.

Prohibition against editorial interference

Canary Media editorial staff members do not accept any efforts to drive our coverage efforts toward or away from any subject, company, organization, institution or cause — including from RMI. We maintain complete independence over our decisions of what to cover and what not to cover, or the content and nature of that coverage. We remain transparent and accountable in regards to our personal and professional dealings with the institutions and individuals we cover.

No financial dealings

Canary Media’s editorial staff are barred from holding any financial positions or interests in any private or public entity that is or could be subject to any editorial coverage or content we publish. This prohibition extends to public comment and discussion on the part of editorial staff. This prohibition includes direct ownership of any interest or shares in any company meeting the above description, but excludes mutual funds, 401K plans and other types of ownership in which the editorial staff do not have direct control over such investments. This prohibition does not extend to guest columnists, opinion or perspective authors or research analysts not directly employed by Canary Media. These outside contributions will be clearly identified and differentiated from the work of its editorial staff.

No gifts of value

Canary Media’s editorial staff are barred from accepting any gifts or services of any value from companies or organizations seeking to influence our coverage. We will not accept any personal gifts of a value of greater than $5. If such gifts are sent to us without our consent, we will donate them to a nonprofit charity of Canary Media’s choosing.

Disclosure of business relationships

Canary Media and its investors may have business relationships with companies or organizations which are the subject of editorial coverage. Those business relationships will always be disclosed when material, and will in no instance have any influence on editorial content or decision-making processes.