Overview: Paying our own way
NPR pays the newsgathering expenses of its journalists. We don’t allow sources or subjects of coverage to pick up the check for dinner or pay our travel expenses, we respectfully turn down gifts or other benefits from those we cover, and we don’t sell materials sent to us for review.
There may be times when unusual circumstances lead us to make exceptions. For example, in combat zones, embedding with U.S. military units may be the only practical way to determine what’s happening on the front lines. In some foreign settings, declining a meal or gift might be taken as a breach of respect.
But our journalism must not be tainted by suspicions of quid pro quo. At all times, we make clear to those we cover that their cooperation, charity or assistance – while appreciated – won’t skew our efforts to fully report the truth. And we disclose to our audience any instances in which we’ve accepted from our sources anything but information.
October 17, 2011