Code of Ethics


Hoptown Chronicle is an independent nonprofit news outlet. Our mission is to provide public service journalism for readers in Hopkinsville, Kentucky, and surrounding regions. Our ethics are driven by a commitment to news reporting, narrative storytelling and photography that is honest and informative. We are a fact-based publication.

Reporting and Sources

Hoptown Chronicle will be honest, independent and transparent in its reporting of the news. In everything, we will seek the truth.

We will not mislead readers or sources with hidden agendas. We will not misrepresent our purpose when interviewing sources for a story.

We will seek primary sources and authentic voices in reporting stories.

We will do our own work, and we will provide credit when we relay information that comes from another organization or news outlet.

Aside from making improvements to the technical quality of photos, videos and audio recordings, we will not alter the substance of media published by Hoptown Chronicle. We will label illustrations as such. We will give credit to media produced by others, including individuals, organizations and media outlets.

We will not pay sources for interviews.

We will not take advantage of vulnerable sources, including children and people who are mentally or emotionally disadvantaged.

Conflicts of Interest

Our editorial decisions are made in the interests of ethical journalism. We recognize that conflicts of interests, and the appearance of conflicts of interests, diminish the credibility of news outlets.

Donors and potential donors to Hoptown Chronicle do not receive preferential treatment in our reporting. We list all of our donors — including individuals, organizations and businesses — at all levels of giving.

We reserve the right to decline financial support from individuals or organizations that present a serious challenge to our editorial independence.


We label opinion writing as such by our staff and by contributors. We will seek to avoid any blurring of lines between opinion and fact-based news reporting.

Social Media

As a news organization dedicated to public service journalism, supporting civility and engaging in productive conversations about our community is important to us.

Reader contributions are important and help inform our reporting, and we value a diversity of viewpoints and robust dialog.

When readers comment on Hoptown Chronicle’s social media posts, we ask that they be respectful and related to the topic at hand. Hostility, insults and hateful speech are not appropriate and do not encourage a lively forum of discussion where people can speak freely and honestly.

We reserve the right to delete comments that include inappropriate language, personal attacks or are off-topic.

We also reserve the right to remove comments that are false or include misinformation. We take seriously our responsibility to provide readers with fair, reliable and accurate information, which is why everything we publish is verified and documented.

Commenters who repeatedly diminish the tone and civility of discussions may, at the discretion of the editor, be banned from commenting.

We do our best to review all comments and answer all questions from readers. If we missed your request for more information, please contact us via direct message or send an email to

This Code of Ethics is a working document. We will make changes when we see opportunities to improve or clarify our ethical standards.