Answering audience questions with “transparency portal”

One of Norway’s leading newspapers, Verdens Gang, created a “transparency portal” last fall, which includes a list of FAQs about reporting and explains its reporting process to readers. This came after VG was engulfed in a journalism scandal regarding one of the stories it published. “Prior to the scandal, VG leadership was already discussing steps it could take to increase transparency and improve audience trust. But the botched story galvanized the newsroom to examine its standards and ways of operating,” Sophie Culpepper writes for Nieman Lab.

Verdens Gang’s “transparency portal” is a demonstration of the SPJ Code of Ethics’ fourth pillar: be accountable and transparent. Ethical journalism means taking responsibility for one’s work and explaining decisions to the public. VG acknowledged the mistakes made in the botched reporting, corrected them promptly and explained the corrections. The new portal also explains its choices and processes to audiences.