Capital Daily's Best Practices

Ethics Policy

Accuracy and Fairness
The Capital Daily team is committed to journalism that is accurate, fair, and complete. Each journalist on our team is committed to act with honesty, transparency, and independence, including from conflicts of interest.
Accuracy is the moral imperative of journalists and news organizations, and should not be compromised. We make an effort to verify the identities and backgrounds of our sources, to support the reliability of those sources and their stories. We are careful to distinguish between assertions and facts. We make sure to retain the original context of all quotations or clips, striving to convey the original tone. Our reporting and editing will not change the meaning of a statement or exclude important qualifiers.
While news and ideas are there for the taking, the words used to convey them are not. If we borrow a story or even a paragraph from another source, we either credit the source or rewrite it before publication. We give people, companies, and organizations that are publicly accused or criticized an opportunity to respond before we publish those criticisms or accusations. We make a genuine and reasonable effort to contact them, and if they decline to comment, we say so.
We avoid stereotypes of race, gender, age, religion, ethnicity, geography, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance or social status. And we take particular care in crime stories.
We take special care when reporting on children or those who are otherwise unable to give consent to be interviewed. We understand that some individuals might have little understanding of the implications of talking to the media. When unsure, or when dealing with particularly sensitive subjects, we err on the side of seeking parental consent. Likewise, we take special care when using any material posted to social media by minors, as they may not understand the public nature of their postings.
We do not pay for information, although we may compensate those who provide material such as photos or videos. We sometimes also employ experts to provide professional expertise, and pay for embedded activities. We are careful to note any such payments in our stories.

Independence and Conflicts of Interest
The Capital Daily editorial team retains full authority over its editorial content and no stories are published unless they’ve been approved by an editor and undergone an editing process from various members of the team to ensure the coverage is independent, fair, inclusive and accurate.
Additionally, our paid members, donors and patrons who have provided financial support to our organization do not have any impact on the stories covered by our editorial team. If our editorial team decides to cover a topic that is related to a financial supporter, the editorial team retains full control of the coverage.
We serve democracy and the public interest by reporting the truth. We defend the public’s interest by promoting the free flow of information, exposing crime or wrongdoing, protecting public health and safety, and preventing the public from being misled.
We do not give favoured treatment to advertisers and special interests. We resist their efforts to influence the news. We do not solicit gifts or favours for personal use, and should promptly return unsolicited gifts of more than nominal value.
We do not show our completed reports to sources — especially official sources — before they are published, unless the practice is intended to verify facts. Doing so might invite prior restraint and challenge our independence as reporters. We gather information with the intent of producing stories and images for public consumption, but we generally do not share unpublished information such as notes, audio tapes, emails, etc.
Columnists and commentators should be free to express their views, even when those views conflict with those of their organizations, as long as the content meets generally accepted journalistic standards for fairness and accuracy. In regards to handling conflicts of interest on the part of a staff journalist, editor or our news outlet, we use the following guidelines. As fair and impartial observers, we must be free to comment on the activities of any publicly elected body or special interest group, but we cannot do this without an apparent conflict of interest if we are active members of an organization we are covering. We carefully consider our political activities and community involvements — including those online — and refrain from taking part in demonstrations, signing petitions, doing public relations work, fundraising or making financial contributions if there is a chance we will be covering the campaign, activity or group involved.
Bribery or similar profit-seeking from sources would result in immediate dismissal.

Accountability and Transparency
We are accountable to the public for the fairness and reliability of our reporting. We serve the public interest, and put the needs of our audience at the forefront of our newsgathering decisions. We clearly identify news and opinion so that the audience knows which is which. We don’t mislead the public by suggesting a reporter is some place that they are not. Photojournalists and videographers do not alter images or sound so that they mislead the public. When we do alter or stage images, we label them clearly as a photo illustration, for example. We use care when reporting on medical studies, polls and surveys, and we are especially suspect of studies commissioned by those with a vested interest, such as drug companies, special interest groups or politically sponsored think tanks. We make sure we know the context of the results, such as sample size and population, questions asked, and study sponsors, and we include this information in our reports whenever possible. We declare ourselves as journalists and do not conceal our identities, including when seeking information through social media. In cases where a journalist went undercover to obtain information, we openly explain this deception to the audience.

Diverse Voices

Inclusiveness is at the heart of thinking and acting as journalists. The complex issues we face as a society require respect for different viewpoints. Race (ethnicity), class, generation, gender, and geography all affect point of view. Reflecting these differences in our reporting leads to better, more nuanced stories and a better-informed community.

We are interested in hearing from different ethnic, civic and business groups in the communities we serve. As a news organization, we seek to include views from all segments of the population. We also make room in our coverage to include the interests of minorities and majorities, those with power and those without it, and holders of disparate and conflicting views. We avoid stereotypes and don’t refer to a person’s race, colour, religion, sexual orientation, gender self-identification, or physical ability unless it is pertinent to the story. Please let us know about stories you think we should cover.

Diverse Staffing Report

We are founded on a commitment to diversity of voices and team members, inclusion, anti-racism and anti-discrimination. Our goal is to listen to diverse perspectives and share stories that provide a platform for people of all backgrounds and cultures to be represented, seen and heard. We celebrate the diversity, uniqueness and cultural vitality of our communities’ craft, their beliefs, traditions, histories and resulting points of view.

We endeavour to ensure that everyone feels that they are valued and belong. We do so by channeling principles that give life to welcoming, empathetic and respectful work environments. Our commitment to diversity, equity and belonging is and will continue to be reflected in our people and culture.

In regards to our numbers, we can only obtain this information for staff members who choose to self-identify themselves. In our team of eight journalists, 25% of the team are visible minorities that are representative of the community that Capital Daily covers. In regards to gender, our editorial team is 50% men and 50% women. In regards to languages, 100% of our team speak English, and 38% of our team also speak French. And in regards to ages, 50% of our team is between the ages of 20 and 29, 37.5% of our team is between the ages of 30 and 39, and 12.5% of our team is between the ages of 50 and 59.

Corrections Policy

This news organization is committed to telling readers when an error has been made, the magnitude of the error and the correct information, as quickly as possible. This commitment and transparency is applicable to small errors as well as large, to short news summaries as well as large features. If our audiences cannot trust us to get the small things right, how can they trust us on the big things?

When we make a mistake, whether in fact or in context, and regardless of the platform, we correct it promptly in every location it appeared, and in a transparent manner, acknowledging the manner of the error. When we publish a correction, we indicate that the content has been altered or updated in a note at the bottom of the page. We also note what the original error was and the date of when the change was made. If the error was included in a newsletter, we send a correction in the next newsletter. We admit openly when we have made a mistake and we make every effort to correct our errors immediately.

We generally do not unpublish 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.

Correction requests can be emailed to corrections@capitaldaily.ca and will be reviewed by the journalist who wrote the article and the managing editor. If there is a dispute, it will be escalated to the director of content for review. You will be notified if and when the correction is made, or given a reason as to why the correction will not be made. If a correction is required for information that appeared in a newsletter, it will be included in the following day’s newsletter.

Ownership Structure

Capital Daily is committed to transparency in our ownership structure and funding sources. We cite potential conflicts of interest on the same page as the relevant work. We are part of a group of publications owned by Overstory Media Inc., which is a privately owned Canadian company with major shareholders Andrew Wilkinson and Farhan Mohamed. Capital Daily is funded through advertising that appears in our newsletters, as well as our membership program. Additional funding comes from supported editorial that appears on the website and is clearly labelled as such. Capital Daily is a Qualified Canadian Journalism Organization which allows us to receive tax credits for our journalist salaries, and we have also received grants from programs through the Canadian Periodical Fund, Meta Accelerator Groups, Journalists for Human Rights and The Society of Environmental Journalists. 

Our newsgathering is independent of commercial or political interests. We do not accept gifts in order to avoid any conflict-of-interest or appearance thereof. When we rely on an organization for a product or access to an event, we are transparent about the relationship and note it within the relevant work. The newsroom is insulated from advertisers and underwriters.

Editorial Mission Statement

At Capital Daily, we cover politics, crime, real estate, development, housing, health, environment, and business, all with a direct tie to the CRD and the people who live here. With these stories, we take a big-picture approach. For example, when it comes to housing and development, we look at how Victoria is dealing with its growth, the housing affordability crisis, NIMBYism, and urban planning questions, not the new condo development and whether it has a rooftop patio. Our secondary beats include sports, history, travel, transportation, infrastructure, wellness and lifestyle. Our overarching mandate includes investigative and longform stories, in-depth reporting, community spotlights, daily news residents can use, as well as hard-hitting exposés. We tell hyper-local stories with a national level of care.   

Capital Daily began operations in October 2018 and joined Overstory Media Inc. in May 2021. We serve a general audience of the city of Victoria, as well as the Capital Regional District. We have a reporting staff of eight journalists, along with a handful of freelancers who contribute stories on occasion. 

Senior Leadership Team 
CEO: Farhan Mohamed / farhan@omgmedia.com 
VP Finance: Gaith Sarhan / gaith@omgmedia.com 
General Manager, Vancouver Island: Tom Gierasimczuk / tom@omgmedia.com 
Director of Content: Nikki Gill / nikki@omgmedia.com 
Managing Editor: Jimmy Thomson / jimmy@capitaldaily.ca

Verification and Fact-Checking Standards

This news organization commits to do its best to publish accurate information across all of its content. We take many steps to ensure accuracy: We investigate claims with skepticism; question assumptions; challenge conventional wisdom; confirm information with experts; and seek to corroborate what sources tell us by talking with other informed people or consulting documents. We verify content, such as technical terms, statistics, etc., against source documents or make clear who is providing the information. We may share relevant components of a story with a primary source or an outside expert to verify them.

Fact-checking is done on an ad-hoc basis except in the case of investigative features in which cases we take great care to fact-check. In rare cases, we have hired professional fact-checkers to review these features before they are published. 

We stand by the information as accurate, and if it’s not, we will change it as quickly as possible and be transparent with our readers about the magnitude of the error. 

We guide our journalists to ask the following questions when they double-check information in a quest for the truth: 
How do you know? 
How can you be sure? 
Where is the evidence? 
Who is the source, and how does the source know? 
What is the supporting documentation? 

Newsroom Contact Information
We include the name and contact information for the reporter on the story, and we welcome feedback from our readers and sources regarding the information that we publish. Feedback can be emailed to corrections@capitaldaily.ca

Unnamed Sources Policy

We normally identify sources of information, but we may use unnamed sources when there is a clear and pressing reason to protect anonymity, the material gained from the confidential source is of strong public interest, and there is no other reasonable way to obtain the information. Sources must be attributed unless given explicit authorization by the Managing Editor. Such authorization is only given in situations in which a source’s safety or employment is at risk, or they would otherwise be in legal jeopardy, and where the source’s information can be corroborated. The decision to use unnamed sources is also weighed against the public interest value of the information. Where there is a need to use unnamed sources, we identify their position or proximity to the story as precisely as possible without risking identifying them individually. We explain the need for anonymity. 

We avoid pseudonyms, but when their use is essential and we meet the guidelines above, we tell our readers. When we do use unnamed sources, any vested interest of potential bias on the part of a source must be revealed. We independently corroborate facts if we get them from a source we do not name, and we do not allow anonymous sources to take cheap shots at individuals or organizations.

Actionable Feedback

You are a frontline witness to life here — public safety, politics, housing, social movements, schools, culture — and your insights can help shape our news agenda. We invite your comments and complaints on news stories, suggestions for issues, and events to cover or sources to consult, and your participation in our policy conversations and town hall meetings that follow news developments. We believe that news organizations have a responsibility to engage with the public on the values, issues, and ideas of the day, and that we have much to gain in return. 

In instances where we receive a great deal of feedback on a story, we may devote a “Capital Letters” feature on our website to showcase the feedback from our readers. Our editorial staff often asks readers to respond with feedback on topics or questions through our daily newsletter. When readers provide essays in response to a story that was covered or a question that was asked, our editorial team may decide to run the essay as an Opinion piece on our website. We have published Capital Letters and Opinion pieces that are critical of our reporting. We also strive to hold monthly public events, in-person when possible, so we can connect with our readers. If there is feedback you would like to share with us, please send an email to letters@capitaldaily.ca.

Privacy Policy

The public has a right to know about its institutions and the people who are elected or hired to serve its interests. People also have a right to privacy, and those accused of crimes have a right to a fair trial. However, there are inevitable conflicts between the right to privacy, and the rights of all citizens to be informed about matters of public interest. Each situation should be judged in light of common sense, humanity, and relevance. 

We do not manipulate people who are thrust into the spotlight because they are victims of crime or are associated with a tragedy. Nor do we do voyeuristic stories about them. When we contact them, we are sensitive to their situations, and report only information in which the public has a legitimate interest. 

Journalists are increasingly using social networking sites to access information about people and organizations. When individuals post and publish information about themselves on these sites, this information generally becomes public, and can be used. However, journalists should not use subterfuge to gain access to information intended to be private. In addition, even when such information is public, we must rigorously apply ethical considerations including independent confirmation and transparency in identifying the source of information.

Click here to read Capital Daily's personal information privacy policy.

No Byline Policy

Why don't I see a byline on a story?
Multiple journalists on our team contributed to this piece of Capital Daily news, therefore the byline is to Capital Daily staff.

Who is responsible for the journalism I see?
You can see a full list of our editorial staff here.

Who can I contact about a story with no byline?
You can reach out to Capital Daily's managing editor, Jimmy Thomson, via email at jimmy@capitaldaily.ca

Editorial Labels

News: Articles that appear with the label News are based on facts either observed and verified firsthand by the reporter, or reported and verified from knowledgeable sources. This includes perspectives from multiple viewpoints on a particular issue. News reports do not incorporate the opinion of the author.

Opinion: Articles that appear with the label Opinion advocate for ideas and draw conclusions based on the interpretation of facts and data. These articles tell you the facts and what the author thinks about the event or issue. Opinion pieces may include reported facts or quotes, but emphasize the author’s own thoughts, preferences and conclusions.

Explainer: Articles that appear with the label Explainer provide context or background, definition and detail on a specific topic. Explainer pieces provide facts to help you understand how something works or what has happened in the past.

Investigative: Articles that appear with the label Investigative are an in-depth examination of a single subject requiring extensive research and resources. These articles are usually presented at length, either as a single item or as a series of items.

Q&A: Articles that appear with the label Q&A are generally one-sided, lightly edited with no opportunity for response. The purpose of these articles is to help the public get to know a person.

Non-news Labels

Advertiser Content: Content that is labelled as Advertiser Content is supplied by an organization or individual that has paid for placement and approved its use. This content is not impartial journalism and it is not edited by our team of journalists.

Created For: Content that is labelled as Created For an organization or individual is paid content that was produced for that organization or individual. This content is approved by the organization or individual before it is published. It does not meet the standards of impartial or independent journalism because a sponsor has been involved in production or final review.

Supported By: Content that is labelled as Supported By or Underwritten By is content that is produced with financial support by an organization or individual that did not approve or review the work. The content is produced independently by our team of journalists. These articles are held to strict journalistic standards, but are funded by entities interested in being associated with the topic or producer, or in expanding attention to a particular topic already on the news agenda.