One of our reporters received a gift this week from a source after a story ran, and we wanted to take this opportunity to explain our policy on accepting gifts.
While nice gestures, reporters cannot accept gifts. But we are thrilled that you value the story and information given in it.
We abide by the Society of Professional Journalists code of ethics, which states reporters must: “Refuse gifts, favors, fees, free travel and special treatment, and shun secondary employment, political involvement, public office and service in community organizations if they compromise journalistic integrity.”
“While most gift givers are well meaning and aren't seeking favors or influence, we strive as a newsorganization to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest,” said Durango Herald Managing Editor Don Lindley. “Wewant to be free of obligation to any interest other than the public's rightto know.”
So please don't be offended if a reporter refuses a gift or calls to return one.