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Code of Conduct

By The Newsroom Guide Editorial Team.

Last edited by Cordelia Yu. Created .

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This code of conduct governs the COVID-19 Guide for Journalists and Newsrooms (the Guide) community. We create it not because we expect bad behavior, but because laying out our values and obligations to each other reinforces our bonds of solidarity and having a code provides a guidestar for when we stumble.

The Short Version

(A note: conversations in our spaces are off the record unless explicitly stated so. This is a space for us to plan, discuss, and organize. Please ask people’s permission to reprint their thoughts.)


This code of conduct applies to all Guide spaces, including our collaborative Google Docs, public channels, private channels Slack channels in News Nerdery, and direct messages, both online and off. Anyone who violates this code of conduct may be sanctioned or expelled from these spaces at the discretion of the editorial team. Some spaces may have additional rules in place, which will be made clearly available to participants. Participants are responsible for knowing and abiding by these rules.


The Guide started as a collaborative community that grew from a shared sense of responsibility. We are committed to that responsibility and will look out for and support each other in our shared goals.

We ❤️collaboration and respectful conversation between peers. We 💔 infighting and internet asshole behavior. Our hope is to create a resource for journalists to protect themselves and help newsrooms make human-centered decisions that take care of the people in this community so that we may all better serve the public.

Expected Behaviors

The Guide is dedicated to providing a harassment-free experience for everyone. Every member of the community is expected to be considerate of and respectful towards others.

Unacceptable Behaviors

We do not tolerate harassment of participants in any form.

Harassment Includes (but is not limited to)


If you are being harassed by a Guide contributor, or have any other concerns, immediately contact someone on the leadership team. (You can find us in the proj-covid19-guide channel in the News Nerdery Slack.)

In order to protect volunteer organizers from abuse and burnout, we reserve the right to reject any report we believe to have been made in bad faith. Reports intended to silence legitimate criticism may be deleted without response.

We will respect confidentiality requests for the purpose of protecting victims of abuse. At our discretion, we may publicly name a person about whom we’ve received harassment complaints, or privately warn third parties about them, if we believe that doing so will increase the safety of Guide contributors or the general public. We will not name harassment victims without their affirmative consent.


Participants asked to stop any harassing behavior are expected to comply immediately.

If a participant engages in harassing behavior, the leadership team may take any action they deem appropriate, up to and including expulsion from all Guide spaces and identification of the participant as a harasser to other Guide members or the general public.


Many of the best ideas in this Code of Conduct come from the codes of conduct for Letters for Black Lives, LGBTQ in Tech, and Vox Product.