TAPinto first launched as a single news site aimed to provide high quality, independent and objective local news coverage to New Providence, NJ. In a short time, thanks to our readers, staff, and the strong desire for impactful local news, we have grown well beyond our initial goals and are now part of a community of over 8 million readers covering more than 100 local communities. From the beginning, building trust with the communities we serve has been at the core of our mission.
To provide some context, local news is at a crossroads. Models for sustainable journalism that worked just a few short years ago no longer do. The shifting economics of news has led to countless local papers shutting down or cutting reporting staff, leaving behind a large void in the marketplace. The results are significant -- voices have been lost, issues no longer debated, and in many areas, communities lack the credible checks and balances that journalism has long provided our democracy. We are proud that our unique franchised local news model at TAPinto has helped fill that void.
With new models and innovations, come new challenges. We understand that TAPinto needs to keep evolving and we are committed to continuing to challenge ourselves to improve all facets of TAPinto.
That is why we are always searching for ways to give our franchisees the tools to make their reporting and coverage transparent, independent and objective, while updating our policies to ensure that all of our sites follow the highest ethical standards for journalism.
Here is what we have done to continue to build trust with our readers:
SPJ Code of Ethics
The Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) has served as the preeminent professional association for journalists since 1909. SPJ publishes a strict code of ethics. All TAPinto sites are required to adhere to the SPJ Code of Ethics. You can read more about the Code of Ethics here.
While editorial and opinion have their place, TAPinto's mission is focused on reporting the news. To protect the integrity of reporting, TAPinto maintains a policy that prohibits our franchisees and journalists from engaging in editorialization and opinion journalism.
No Endorsement of, or Contributions to, Local Political Candidates
Our TAPinto franchises provide readers with important coverage of local government and politics. To ensure quality, unbiased coverage, we adopted a policy that prohibits franchisees from making endorsements of, or otherwise publicly supporting, their local political candidates in any manner. We also adopted a policy that prohibits all TAPinto franchisees from contributing to political candidates running for local office in their town(s).
Disclosure of Ownership
All of our sites are bound by a disclosure policy so our readers know the ownership of each TAPinto franchise.
Disclosure of Perceived or Potential Conflicts of Interest
Since some TAPinto franchisees own other businesses all of our sites are bound by a disclosure policy that requires an Editor’s Note be included at the end of any content about a topic with which the franchisee has a relationship.
Clear Advertising Disclosures
Lines between news content and advertising at times have become blurred as online news organizations test new advertising products and business models. All of our content advertising and sponsorship is clearly and conspicuously marked so readers know if they're looking at paid content.
As always, we welcome feedback from TAPinto readers to help us continue to improve and grow.