Code of Ethics

Founded in 2019 by former state senator Konni Burton, the Texan is dedicated to informing Texans about issues in politics and policy that directly impact their lives. As a reader-funded media company, the Texan is a pioneer in the journalism industry, ensuring that the reader is the focus as opposed to the donors or advertisers who typically fund news outlets.

Our mission is to provide Texans with relevant, objective information about statewide politics in a manner that respects their worldview. At a time when trust in legacy media is at an all-time low, the Texan aims to step into the breach with real journalism absent the activism that is pervasive throughout many other outlets.

Accuracy and Corrections

      • Texan reporters will not republish stories, images or other proprietary content from other media sources without asking for permission and crediting the original source.
      • Texan staff is prohibited from taking special requests from public officials or individuals featured in a story in regards to obtaining proprietary content.
      • Texan reporters will provide accurate information that is fair to all sides of an issue and will make an active effort on every story to provide context without transposing our own agenda on others or attributing motivations.
      • All humans are fallible, and errors will occur. When they do, the Texan will work as expeditiously and transparently as possible to correct the error and publicly detail it for our readers on the story page.
      • Plagiarism, misuse of intellectual property, fabrication of sources or information, or failure to correct an inaccuracy in a timely or public fashion are grounds for immediate termination.

Sources

      • Texan reporters will identify themselves as journalists with our publication whenever they conduct interviews—be it in person, over email, or over the phone. They will always inform the individual or individuals of their intent to record prior to recording any conversation.
      • Texan reporters are expected to vet every source for our stories—both for accuracy and for credibility. Our team will identify our sources for our readers unless individuals have specifically requested anonymity or anonymity is critical for obtaining information necessary to publish a story.
      • When a person or entity declines to comment, we will make that fact known to our readers. Additionally, our reporters will make every effort to provide context for known biases or agendas that our readers should know about when attributing information to sources.
      • The Texan reserves the right to publish recordings obtained and shared by third-party entities so long as the recording was obtained lawfully, does not violate other elements of our Code of Ethics and is relevant to an ongoing story.
      • It is company policy for our reporters to share the identity of an anonymous source with a senior editor, who will keep such information confidential. This is to ensure the integrity of the journalists at the Texan, build much-needed trust with those providing information relevant to a story, and reassure our readers that what is being presented is factual.
      • Any individual or organization that attempts to bully the Texan into revealing anonymous sources will have that information disclosed to our readers within the context of a story.

Conflicts of Interest

      • The Texan is designed to report on statewide politics and policy that impacts the lives of everyday Texans. To that end, no issue, individual, public official, political party, or organization is immune to investigation or reporting.
      • As an organization founded by a former state senator, the Texan could be viewed by detractors as a partisan entity. It is not. While our team certainly holds a worldview that is right-of-center, there are no agendas or hidden loyalties. Our journalists are tasked with pursuing the truth and reporting it to our readers regardless of political, religious, or ideological leaning.
      • Texan reporters are not allowed to report on stories in which there is a personal or financial interest.
      • Texan reporters are permitted to voice their personal perspectives on social media within certain limits. While employed, there can be no endorsement of legislation, no endorsement of public policy, and no endorsement of an elected official. Additionally, reporters at the Texan are prohibited from engaging in name-calling or personal attacks of any kind on social media or in a story. Violation of these conditions will be grounds for immediate suspension or termination.
      • No editors, journalists, interns, or contractors are permitted to participate in partisan political activity while employed at the Texan. This includes making political contributions or attending rallies in support of a candidate or elected official.
      • Employees are strictly prohibited from protecting prior employers from the ramifications of a published story. Any attempt by employees to forewarn or shield prior employers from the details of a looming story will be grounds for immediate suspension or termination.
      • If an employee with the Texan has a prior professional or personal relationship with an individual included in a story, that information will be made available to our readers.
      • Editors at the Texan may moderate podcasts, panels or speak at events hosted by the Texan so long as their role remains that of a journalist. Any prior affiliations of editors may be brought up within a podcast, panel, or public event for context.