Statement of Ethics
Contex Group Journalism Statement of Principles and Ethics
This statement explains how Contex Group publications (print and digital) preserve editorial integrity.
About Contex Group
Contex Group is a leader in its specialty media segments in Canada, with flagship brands catering to the business, financial and construction sectors, including an event planning. Contex Group derives revenue from different sources, including advertising, sponsorship, subscription and events.
Contex Group brands include the following:
- Benefits Canada
- Canadian Institutional Investment Network
- Canadian Investment Review
- Les Affaires
Contex Group does not accept payments of any kind in return for coverage. Contex Group publications do not adjust editorial content to advertisers’ wishes, nor do they avoid covering subjects that may be sensitive for advertisers.
Fairness and accuracy
- Contex Group reporters and editors verify all facts before publishing and issue clear corrections when warranted.
- We do not allow our own biases to impede fair and balanced reporting; nor do we bow to pressure or accept instructions from a third party who has a direct interest in the content.
- We give people, companies or organizations fair opportunity to comment. We make a genuine and reasonable effort to contact them, and if they decline to comment, we say so.
- Sources must be accurately quoted. However, we do not allow sources or other third parties to view articles or illustrations prior to publication. We do not allow sources to view the quotes of other sources prior to publication.
- We clearly credit the reporting of other journalists and outlets.
- Opinion pieces by journalists are clearly indicated by the headline, section or a disclaimer, and often a combination of the three.
- Letters to the editor, which may be unedited or lightly edited for grammar or length only, are clearly identified.
- We generally do not “unpublish” or remove digital content, despite public requests or source remorse. Rare exceptions generally involve matters of public safety, an egregious error or ethical violation, or legal restrictions such as publication bans.
- We clearly identify ourselves as journalists when collecting information, so as to ensure everyone is fully aware that their words and actions may be reported and publicly published. If, in exceptional circumstances, we need to work undercover, this will be clearly disclosed to the audience.
- We respect embargos, “off the record” requests and the Chatham rule, provided they are agreed to prior to an interview. We are not bound to these requests if stated after the interview has begun.
- We identify our sources to our audience. In exceptional circumstances, we may agree to anonymous information, and we will explain our reasons to the audience.
- We publish on social media with the same judgment and professionalism as in our print and digital publications.
- Reporters will not act unethically in pursuit of a story, nor will they be forced to byline a piece edited in such a way that it has become inaccurate, misleading or otherwise breaks this code of ethics.
Non-sponsored articles by external experts
- Articles written by external experts are edited by the editorial team, often extensively, before running on our platforms. The authors are clearly identified in their bylines as non-journalists.
- No promotional mentions within contributed pieces are permitted.
- Each publication has sole discretion over which external experts may write for it and reserves the right not to run contributed pieces at any time during the editorial process.
- Sponsored contributed articles are clearly marked (see Advertising guidelines, below).
Conflict of interest policy
- Employees must follow the relevant policies in the Contex Group Code of Conduct and relevant guidelines intended for Collaborators (available upon request).
- We avoid accepting travel costs. If we ever report from a location or conference that we reached with help from external sources, we disclose it in our coverage.
- Employees will recuse themselves in situations in which they have a financial or moral conflict.
- If a third party wishes to contract a Contex Group journalist to speak for a fee, any fees must be payable to Contex Group (not to the journalist personally), and only if those fees do not give rise to a conflict of interest. If paid, journalists will not simultaneously report on and speak at an event. If reporting on a related topic in future, any payment will be disclosed in that coverage.
- We do not accept gifts, except in situations when acceptance will not raise public doubt (e.g., unsolicited products sent by post). Such nominal gifts can never be tied to any promise of coverage. All gifts must be disclosed to the employee’s manager.
- Reporters and editors do not participate in overt political activities such as campaigning or making financial contributions to political candidates. Reporters cannot be registered members of any political party.
Contex Group conducts four types of research: editorial, sponsored, market and custom.
- Editorial research is conducted by the editorial team with no input or influence from sales or circulation. Researchers only ask editorial questions, and the results are published for editorial purposes.
- Sponsored research is editorial research that one or more advertisers has paid to be adjacent to, or that is made possible by the paid adjacency of one or more advertisers. Either way, editorial has final say on the question set and sponsors have no influence on the outcome. This is disclosed when the research is published.
- Market research is conducted by Contex Group to find ways to better serve its audience and may or may not be published. Sales, circulation and editorial may provide input on the question set, but the research is not conducted by the editorial team.
- Custom research is conducted at the sole direction of one or more advertisers and editorial has no involvement in the final product. This is disclosed when the research is published.
Contex Group publications are committed to editorial integrity and transparency, believing that these principles benefit both the audience and advertisers.
- Contex Group publications will not allow any relationship with an advertiser to compromise editorial integrity.
- Any advertising or sponsored content considered by Contex Group publications to be obscene, libelous, immoral, illegal, defamatory, heinous, deceptive, misleading, hateful or damaging will not be accepted and/or will be removed at the sole discretion of the publication. Advertisers are responsible for ensuring their ads are accurate and comply with all applicable laws, regulations, and guidelines, including intellectual property laws.
- publications do not endorse any products, services, or points of view of any advertiser or sponsor. No advertisements or paid content on Contex Group platforms may imply an endorsement on the part of the Contex Group.
- All advertising and paid content (e.g., custom, directed and sponsored content) must be clearly distinguishable from editorial content. Contex Group publications will clearly disclose, separate and label advertisements, sponsorships and custom content at its sole discretion so such content is easily distinguishable from editorial content.
- The advertiser is solely liable for any paid content and for any and all damages that may ensue from its use or display.
- Contex Group reserve the right to update these guidelines, without notice, for the sake of preserving editorial integrity.
Prepared with thanks to the Canadian Association of Journalists, Quartz, FPJQand CBC.