At Rtvsrece, we hold ourselves to the highest standards of journalistic integrity, transparency and ethical conduct. As an independent, nonprofit news organization dedicated to serving the Pittsburgh region, we prioritize accuracy, fairness and editorial independence in all our endeavors.

To ensure clarity and accountability, we have established a set of policies governing various aspects of our operations. These policies outline our approach to corrections, fact-checking, editorial independence, ethics, republishing, and data security and privacy. By adhering to these guidelines, we aim to uphold the trust and confidence of our readers, donors and the broader public.

Corrections | Fact-checking | Editorial independence | Ethics | Republishing | Data security and privacy


Corrections policy

The Rtvsrece team goes to great lengths to publish fair and accurate stories. Our journalists act with integrity and diligence throughout the process, from reporting and writing to editing and fact-checking.

We deal with errors proactively and transparently. If you believe you have found an error in something we have published, please reach out to the reporter(s) or to editors. If you cannot find the right contact, you can also email info@rtvsrece.com.

When information is proven to be factually inaccurate, we update the story with correct information and add correction text at the bottom of the story. The correction text is dated and does not repeat the error. When language is factually correct but unclear, we clarify the story text and append a clarification.

We don’t have a print product of our own, but when other news outlets republish our stories, we make every attempt to inform them of corrections or clarifications that need to be made.


Fact-checking policy

Our fact-checking process is intended to avoid inaccuracies and ensure needed context in our stories. Every story produced by Rtvsrece goes through a fact-checking process. We employ three levels of fact-checking based on details of the story, like timeliness and sensitivity. At minimum, a story is fact-checked by the reporter(s) and editors. In most cases, our reporters are providing source material to editors and/or an independent fact-checker to verify many or all of the facts in a story. To learn more about how and why we fact-check, read this post.


Editorial independence policy

Rtvsrece subscribes to INN’s standards of editorial independence as follows:

Our organization retains full authority over editorial content to protect the best journalistic and business interests of our organization. We will maintain a firewall between news coverage decisions and sources of all revenue. Acceptance of financial support does not constitute implied or actual endorsement of donors or their products, services or opinions.

We accept gifts, grants and sponsorships from individuals and organizations for the general support of our activities, but our news judgments are made independently and not on the basis of donor support.

Our organization also may consider donations to support the coverage of particular topics, but our organization maintains editorial control of the coverage. We will cede no right of review or influence of editorial content, nor of unauthorized distribution of editorial content.

Our organization will make public all donors who give a total of $1,000 or more. We will accept anonymous donations for general support only if it is clear that sufficient safeguards have been put into place that the expenditure of that donation is made independently by our organization and in compliance with INN’s Membership Standards.


Ethics policy

Rtvsrece has a core value of building trust within our region. Behaving in an ethical and trustworthy manner is a cornerstone to that. We follow the ethics policy of the Society of Professional Journalists to guide us in our interactions with news sources and the public. The extensive policy has four main tenets:

  • Seek truth and report it.
  • Minimize harm.
  • Act independently.
  • Be accountable and transparent.

To see the entire policy, visit here.


Republishing policy

We offer our stories to be republished to media partners, following these guidelines. Our stories also appear on social media and third-party platforms, like Apple News, NewsBreak, SmartNews and others.


Data security and privacy policy

Rtvsrece, a 501(c)(3) organization registered in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, operates https://rtvsrece.com.

As a journalism organization, we value transparency and do everything we can to handle our user data responsibly at Rtvsrece. We do, however, use third-party applications, such as Google Analytics and Facebook Pixel on our site, and we have no control over how they may be using information these applications receive from your browser.

Like many website operators, we collect information that your browser sends whenever you visit our site. This data may include information such as your computer’s Internet Protocol (“IP”) address, browser type (Google Chrome, Mozilla, etc.), browser version, the pages of our site that you visit, the time and date of your visit, the time spent on those pages and other statistics.

We also use “cookies” to collect de-identified information. You can instruct your browser to refuse all cookies or to indicate when a cookie is being sent though it could affect some functionality on the site.

Certain pages and services on our site may set other third-party cookies. We don’t have any way of knowing how such services handle the resulting data internally. Rtvsrece makes no claim, nor takes liability for the insecure submission of information via these applications.

Here are some of the services whose cookies you can find on Rtvsrece:

  • Sharing buttons for Facebook and Twitter. These use the standard scripts provided by each company.
  • Google Analytics and Parse.ly, which we use to measure site traffic. Google Analytics gathers certain de-identified information over time, such as your IP address, browser type, internet service provider, referring and exit pages, time stamp and similar data.
  • Stripe, which allows us to accept donations through our website.
  • Mailchimp, which helps us manage newsletter distributions.

We only collect personally identifiable information, such as your name and email address, when you sign up for a newsletter, donate to our organization or otherwise submit it to us voluntarily.

We share your information with a minimal number of common service providers, whose products use your information to help us improve our site, deliver newsletters or allow us to offer donation opportunities. We also use email addresses to serve ads with information that is relevant to you and others with similar interests. All sensitive/credit information you supply is encrypted via Secure Socket Layer (SSL) technology via Stripe. All transactions are processed through Stripe and are not stored or processed on our servers. *Data security and privacy policy adapted from Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism, a member of the Institute for Nonprofit News.