Prove your humanity

The Allegheny Front Code of Ethics and Editorial Guidelines

The Allegheny Front Mission Statement

The Allegheny Front’s mission is to educate the general public to become environmentally literate and understand the issues facing their communities.  By focusing on local and regional environmental news and stories, our reporting helps people to connect to their communities and become part of the civic dialogue.

The Allegheny Front Code of Ethics

This Code of Ethics has been assembled to establish guidelines for upholding those standards by staff, independent journalists, volunteers, and student interns working for The Allegheny Front.  It draws upon the Code of Ethics from other news organizations, including 905. WESA, NPR, the Society of Professional Journalists, the Public Radio News Directors Incorporated, and the Editorial Integrity for Public Media project, and the Institute for Nonprofit News .

Independence and integrity are the foundations of our service, which we maintain through these principles:


  • Journalism is the rigorous pursuit of truth. Its practice requires fairness and accuracy.
  • We strive to be comprehensive. We seek diverse points of view and voices to tell the stories of our communities.


  • Fairness is at the core of all good journalism.
  • We gather and report the news in context, with clarity and compassion.
  • We treat our sources and the public with decency and respect.
  • Our reporting is thorough, timely and avoids speculation.


  • The public’s faith in our service rests on our integrity as journalists.
  • Editorial independence is required to ensure the integrity of our work.
  • We identify the differences between reporting and opinion.
  • We guard against conflicts of interest – real and perceived – that could compromise the credibility and independence of our reporting.
  • We are accountable when conflicts occur. We disclose any unavoidable conflicts of interest.

Conflict of Interest

The Allegheny Front must uphold the trust of the public by not overlapping individual interests with professional responsibilities.  The Allegheny Front staff members must immediately disclose potential conflicts to their supervisor. 

The Allegheny Front journalists may not accept any form of compensation from the individuals, institutions or organizations they cover.  The Allegheny Front will pay for the travel expenses of staff when covering a story and pay for their meals unless provided at conferences, conventions, or where it is done out of ease for the entire press corps.

Our journalists may only accept complimentary passes to events if attendance will provide material or background for reviews, stories, or future programs or lead to a more substantial understanding of a particular topic, beat, or organization.  They are never obligated to complete any story on any organization providing invitations or passes to events. 

The Allegheny Front journalists may not sign political petitions.

Editorial Independence Policy

The Allegheny Front retains full authority over editorial content to protect the best journalistic interests of our organization. We are editorially independent of WESA and Pittsburgh Community Broadcasting Corporation, our nonprofit fiscal agent.

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.

Our news judgments are made independently and not based on 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.

Donor & Financial Transparency

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

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 part of a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that operates as a public trust, we do not pay certain taxes. We may receive funds from standard government programs offered to nonprofits or similar businesses.

We avoid accepting charitable donations from political parties, elected officials or candidates seeking public office. We will not accept donations from sources who present a conflict of interest with our work or compromise our independence.

We will accept anonymous donations for general support only if it is clear that sufficient safeguards have been put into place that the expenditure of that donation is made independently by our organization.

We acknowledge in the course of reporting, The Allegheny Front journalists may come across an organization that funds The Allegheny Front.  To the best of our ability, we will identify the relationship as well as disclose organizations we cover that receive a major portion of their funding from organizations that fund The Allegheny Front. Programming and news content will never be affected by organizations affiliated with The Allegheny Front.

At the end of each broadcast of The Allegheny Front’s weekly program, and podcasts, funding credits will be announced for donors that provide $5,000 or more of funding per year, with specific content areas listed as appropriate. These funders will also be listed on our website, under “About Us,” and may be listed on webpages for specific content and series, as appropriate. 

The Allegheny Front’s radio broadcast which airs on public radio stations will not include funding announcements or underwriting that contain a call to action for any cause, group or individual.  The Allegheny Front reserves the right to refuse any request for underwriting for its broadcasts that would violate an FCC rule or policy, violate The Allegheny Front, WESA or PCBC policies or adversely affect the reputation or financial condition of The Allegheny Front, WESA  or PCBC. No announcements will be aired on behalf of political organizations, political candidates or their committees, or that express a view on issues of public importance or interest or religious belief. The Allegheny Front will consider each request on a case-by-case basis. We follow the copy guidelines of 90.5 WESA, listed here: Underwriting 101.

The Allegheny Front journalists do not pay for information from sources or interviews with newsmakers. The Allegheny Front staff may not contribute financially or through volunteering to any political cause or organization whose purpose is partisan or involves environmental advocacy.  It is the responsibility of the staff to be aware of the organization’s intent, and to take appropriate action.

Fiscal Sponsor

Our non-profit fiscal sponsor is Pittsburgh Community Broadcasting Corporation (see 990 tax information and financial statements, board of directors and leadership team) which operates public radio stations WYEP and WESA in Pittsburgh. The Allegheny Front maintains editorial independence from PCBC and WESA.

Funds and donations for The Allegheny Front are separate from those for WESA and WYEP. The Allegheny Front receives no funding from PCBC.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Kathy Knauer, executive producer at ka***@al************.org