Statement on Editorial Policy

Florida Baptist Witness publishes Good News about God's work that edifies, educates, exhorts and empowers Florida Baptists to exalt God and extend His Kingdom.” With this mission in mind, the staff shall strive to provide a responsive, informative and inspirational voice for all Baptists in friendly cooperation with the Florida Baptist State Convention and Southern Baptist Convention. The staff not only must apply the highest degree of professional ethics, but using truth and justice as a minimum standard, also should reflect the highest Christian principles and ideals.

Utilizing the highest journalistic standards, the editorial staff of the Witness shall publish timely, just and accurate accounts of news and events of interest to Southern Baptists, with emphasis on Florida Baptist concerns. A clear distinction between news reports and expression of opinion should be indicated either by position or by labeling.

Florida Baptists have a right to expect the editorial staff of the Witness to be open and cooperative in news handling, just as the staff has the right to expect FBSC and SBC agencies, institutions, boards, commissions, committees, other organizations and denominational leaders to be open and cooperative with the Witness.

Because Florida Baptists need adequate information about current issues and developments, as well as information promoting and strengthening the identity, purposes and organized work of Southern Baptists in Florida and beyond, the executive editor is expected to justly report news, events and features of general interest to Florida Baptists. Such reporting necessitates the inclusion of news generated by controversy. The executive editor has the obligation to relate such matters factually, truthfully and justly, and the executive editor has the right to do so without fear or reprisal. The executive editor, who is accountable to the Board of Directors, has sole responsibility for the content of the publication.

The Board of Directors grants to the executive editor the freedom to express editorial opinion and encourages the exercise of this privilege. The executive editor is given the privilege to agree with the majority and to speak unpopular opinions, although he speaks only for himself, and not for the Board of Directors nor for the Florida Baptist State Convention.

The executive editor and the Board agree that a continuing adherence to this policy will strengthen the existing bond of mutual trust and respect between the executive editor and the Board and between the Witness and its readers.

The Board of Directors of Florida Baptist Witness, as authorized by the Florida Baptist State Convention to establish policies for Florida Baptists' newspaper, affirms this editorial policy statement to guide the executive editor concerning the mission and objectives of the Witness, and to enhance the operation of the Witness through the exercise of maximum responsible freedom while recognizing this agency's accountability to Florida Baptists through their State Convention.

Adopted November 12, 1986; Revised April 7, 2006

Special Reports