Editorial Policies & Procedures

 

At The Intercept, we strive to hold the powerful accountable with truthful and aggressive reporting. We seek to be fair in our coverage, which means allowing people or institutions a reasonable window to respond to reporters’ inquiries before publishing a story that contains significant revelations about them. It does not mean mandating “balance” when one perspective on a subject — such as the science of climate change, or the justification for a war crime — is clearly without merit. While we recognize that writers have a point of view, we insist that they be accurate in their reporting; rigorous, comprehensive, and ethical in their methods; and transparent with readers about how they have arrived at their conclusions. And when we make mistakes, we hold ourselves accountable.

Sourcing and Attribution

The Intercept’s guidelines for reporters on the use of anonymous sources are intended to provide transparency about our sourcing whenever possible, while at the same time protecting vulnerable whistleblowers — and others who face significant risk — from retaliation.

We always prefer to attribute information directly to its source. Sometimes, however, the only way an important story can be told is by relying on the accounts of individuals who would face serious repercussions if their identities were revealed. In those cases, the reporter collaborates closely with the rest of our editorial team to ensure that the decision to grant anonymity is justified and that any reported facts are corroborated. We strive to supply readers with as many details as possible to contextualize and establish the credibility of anonymously sourced information without compromising the source.

When we receive documentary materials from a source whose identity we don’t know — such as files shared through our SecureDrop server — we seek to verify that the materials are authentic through additional reporting, including by reaching out to any people or institutions implicated by the disclosures. We will only publish documents, or stories based on them, if we are persuaded that they have public interest value independent of the source’s motivations for leaking them.

Corrections and Updates

To request a correction, send us an email at corrections@theintercept.com. Our editorial team will carefully review any potential inaccuracy before making changes to a published piece. In the event of a minor factual error, the story will be amended and the change will be noted at the bottom. Significant corrections will be noted in the headline or at the top of the story.

If new details or clarifications are added to a story after its publication, our practice is to include a note describing the update at the end of the piece.

If you would like to write a response to a story, consider posting a comment. You may contact an editor to propose a longer response or to request that a statement be added to a story. The email addresses of our editors and reporters are available on our staff page.

Submissions

The Intercept welcomes pitches from freelance contributors. To submit a proposal for consideration, please email it to submissions@theintercept.com. If we are interested in pursuing the story, an editor will follow up.

Reprint Requests

For inquiries about republishing or translating our stories, please contact us at permissions@theintercept.com. You can repost the first three paragraphs of an article without requesting permission as long as you credit The Intercept at the top of the story, republish the excerpt verbatim, and link back to the original post at The Intercept.

Send Us a Tip

We are committed to publishing stories based on newsworthy leaked material. We’ve taken steps to make sure that people who have decided to become whistleblowers can share information with us as securely as possible. Please click here to learn about your options for passing on tips and documents to The Intercept’s reporters.

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