Our policies

We believe you deserve to know where we stand and how our organization works, so you know you can trust our work is free from outside influence. As such, we subscribe to the standards for editorial independence established by the Institute for Nonprofit News and follow their guidelines on donor transparency, advertising acceptability and conflicts of interest.

Editorial Independence & Donor Transparency Policy 

The Devil Strip retains full authority over editorial content to protect the best journalistic and business interests of our organization. We 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.

The Devil Strip 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.

We will make public all donors who give a total of $5,000 or more per year. We will not accept anonymous donations for general support unless 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.  

We will not accept donations from anonymous sources, government entities, political parties, elected officials or candidates actively seeking public office. We will not accept donations from sources who, deemed by our board of directors, present a conflict of interest with our work or compromise our independence.

The Devil Strip is committed to transparency in every aspect of funding our organization. Accepting financial support does not mean we endorse donors or their products, services or opinions.

We accept gifts, grants and sponsorships from individuals, organizations and foundations to help with our general operations, coverage of specific topics and special projects. Our news judgments are made independently — not based on or influenced by donors. We do not give supporters the rights to assign, review or edit content.

View our donors list here.

Advertising Acceptability Policy

The Devil Strip reserves the right to accept or decline any advertisement or sponsorship it is offered. We do not accept advertising from national or large regional companies, chains and big box stores unless they are headquartered in the greater Akron area. We do not accept advertising from businesses that appear to exploit women or children. 

The Devil Strip will decline to accept advertising that it knows or believes to be misleading, inaccurate, fraudulent or illegal, or that fails to comply, in the publisher’s sole discretion, with their standards of decency, taste or dignity.

We maintain a clear separation between news and advertising content. Advertising that attempts to blur this distinction in a manner that, in the publisher’s sole judgment, confuses readers will be rejected.

Conflict of Interest Policy

The following Financial Conflict of Interest Policy (“Conflict of Interest Policy”) is an effort (i) to ensure that the deliberations and decisions of The Devil Strip are made solely in the interest of promoting the quality of journalism in the greater Akron area, and (ii) to protect the interests of The Devil Strip when it considers any transaction, contract or arrangement that might benefit or be perceived to benefit the private interest of a person affiliated with The Devil Strip (each, a “The Devil Strip Representative”). As used in this Conflict of Interest Policy, a representative includes any director, advisory board The Devil Strip, financial advisor, legal counsel or employee.

Duty to our mission. Each representative owes a duty to The Devil Strip to advance our mission when the opportunity to do so arises. Each representative must give undivided allegiance when making decisions affecting the organization’s future. Similarly, representatives must not act in a way that is inconsistent with the central goals of the organization.

Gifts. No representative shall personally accept gifts or favors that could compromise his or her loyalty to The Devil Strip. Any gifts or benefits personally accepted from a party having a material interest in the outcome of The Devil Strip or its employees by a representative of The Devil Strip individually should be merely incidental to their role in The Devil Strip and should not be of substantial value. Any gift with a value of $50 or more, or any gifts with a cumulative value in excess of $50 received by a representative in any 12-month period from a single source, shall be considered substantial. Cash payments may not be accepted, and no gifts should be accepted if there are strings attached. For example, no representative may accept gifts if they know that such gifts are being given to solicit their support of or opposition to the outcome or content.

Failure to adhere to these policies may result in immediate termination of the representative’s responsibilities. 

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