Tampa Bay Gay
Code Of Ethics

Voted Best Gay Website in Tampa Bay
Tampa Bay Gay
Code Of Ethics
Tampa Bay Gay
Code Of Ethics

These publicist principles are designed to preserve professional ethics; they do not constitute grounds for legal liability.


Respect for the truth and accurate informing of the general public are the overriding principles of Tampa Bay Gay.

Guideline 1.1. Exclusive Agreements

Public information about events or developments whose significance, import, and implications make them of general interest and vital for the formation of political views and public opinion must not be restricted or impeded by exclusive agreements with informants or measures which screen such informants from the public domain. Tampa Bay Gay will not monopolize information that prevents other members of the press acquiring important news and thus acts contrary to the principle of the freedom of the information. This excludes "exclusive interviews".

Guideline 1.3. Press Releases

Press releases issued by government agencies, political parties, associations, organizations or other representative bodies must be identified as such if they are published unedited.


News and information accepted for text or pictorial publication must be checked for accuracy with all the thoroughness; circumstances permit. Its meaning must not be distorted of falsified by editing, headings, or captions. The content of documents must be faithfully reproduced. Unconfirmed reports, rumors, and assumptions must be identifiable as such.
Where a symbolic photograph is published, it must be made clear in the caption that it is not a documentary picture.

Guideline 2.1. Opinion Polls

Tampa Bay Gay may publishing findings by opinion poll; when doing so it is necessary to indicate the number of people interviewed, the dates on which the poll was conducted and the identity of the poll's sponsor. Where no sponsor is involved, reports should point out that the data was collected.

Guideline 2.2. Symbolic Photographs

A non-documentary illustration - especially a photograph - that the casual reader might mistake for a documentary illustration must be marked accordingly. The following must therefore be clearly identified or described in captions or accompanying text to ensure that they are not misinterpreted even by a casual reader: -Substitute or indicative illustrations (same motif on different occasion, different motif on same occasion, etc) -Symbolic illustrations (reconstructed scenes, graphic representations, artists' impressions of events described in text etc.) -Photomontages or other alterations.

Guideline 2.3. Interviews

An interview is always within the bounds of journalistic propriety if the interviewee or his proxy authorizes it. Under circumstances of exceptional time pressure, it is also acceptable for comments to be published in unauthorized interview form as long as interviewees are aware of the intention to publish the wording or gist of their statements. Journalists should always identify themselves as such. An interview orally or in written form is not mere news material but a work protected by copyright, especially if it contains critical appraisals or comments, which lend it a personal stamp. When such interviews are reproduced in full or in part, the publishing newspaper, magazine, or online publication must indicate the source. Even where the essence of the thoughts expressed is paraphrased, journalistic propriety requires that the source should be indicated. Where interviews are announced in resume form, it must be borne in mind that interviewees, as co-authors, are protected against distortions or detractions, which could jeopardize their legitimate personal or copyright interests.

Guideline 2.6. Readers' Letters

(1) Tampa Bay Gay should publish readers' letters - of appropriate form and content - to give readers an opportunity to air their views and help form public opinion. This can include visitors/members posting in message boards.
(2) Correspondence addressed to publishers or editorial departments Tampa Bay Gay can be published as readers' letters if it is evident from the form and content that this is in accordance with the sender's wishes. The sender's consent can be assumed if a letter refers to articles published on Tampa Bay Gay concerned or to matters of general interest. Readers have no legal right to have their letters published.
(3) It is both proper and common practice to publish reader's names along with their letters. By the very act of sending a letter, a reader gives tacit consent to Tampa Bay Gay of his or her name.
(4) Only in exceptional cases can a different name be appended at the author's request. This agreement is to be in written format and original documentation kept on file.
(5) The obligation of Tampa Bay Gay to take care not to publish material of punishable content also applies to readers' letters. Under press laws, editors are co-responsible for readers' letters, which contain derogatory allegations about identifiable third part.
(6) The publication of fictitious readers' letters represents deception of the public and is irreconcilable with the duty of the press. If there is any doubt about the origin of the letter, it is incumbent on the editor to check its authenticity.
(7) Where a reader's letter contains factual claims about a third party, that party is entitled under press law to reply to the allegations in print.
(8) The right of Tampa Bay Gay to refuse to give evidence also extends to the writers of reader's letters. A reader's letter published on Tampa Bay Gay is classified as editorial matter and privileges its author to refuse to give evidence.
(9) The laws protecting the general right of the individual basically prohibit the alteration or abridgement of letters from named correspondents without their consent. This also applies to letters, which do not bear an "individual stamp" and are thus not protected by copyright. Letters can be shortened only if the "Reader's Letters" column contains a standard reference to the publisher's right to print letters in edited form. If the author of a letter expressly forbids alteration or abridgement, the editorial department addressed must either comply with the writer's wishes or refuse publication even if it has retained the edit reader's letters.
(10) All reader's letters arriving on an editor's desk are to be treated as confidential documents. Under no circumstances may they be passed on to third parties.


Published news reports or assertions subsequently found to be incorrect must be promptly and appropriately corrected by Tampa Bay Gay.

Guideline 3.1. Editorial Corrections

An editorial correction must draw the reader's attention to the fact that the preceding report was wholly or partially incorrect. It must therefore contain not only the correct facts but also a reference to the incorrect report in question. Publication of the correct facts is required even if the error has already been publicly acknowledged elsewhere. This will be posted at the bottom of the page on the article that the error was made with the revision date as well. This does not include partnership or third party news materials; this material is left to the original news provider. The duty to rectify an incorrect report lies with the editorial department. Merely prompting and publishing readers' letters does not fulfill this duty.


Dishonest methods must not be employed to acquire news, information or pictures.

Guideline 4.1. Research

Research is a legitimate tool of publicist work but must be conducted within the bounds of the constitution, the law and respect for human dignity. As a matter of principle, a researching journalist who makes untruthful statements about his identity or the identity of the publication Tampa Bay Gay is guilty of conduct incompatible with the dignity and role of the press. This will result in immediate turmination of all ties with Tampa Bay Gay. Covert research can be justified in individual cases if it brings to light information of special public interest which could not be obtained by other means. In the case of accidents and disasters, Tampa Bay Gay shall bear in mind that rescue operations for victims and persons in jeopardy take precedence over the public's right to be informed. Nor does the public's interest in being informed justify any unlawful acts committed by journalists to acquire news material.


As a general principle, confidentiality agreed at briefings and background interviews must be observed.

Guideline 5.1. Confidentiality

Where an informant agrees to supply information for publication only on condition that he or she remains unidentified and protected as a source, that stipulation shall be respected. A bond of confidentiality may only be broken where the information in question relates to the planning of a criminal act, in which case the journalist has a duty to report the matter to the authorities. Nor need confidentiality be observed if, after careful consideration of material and other interests, important reasons of state are deemed predominant. This situation can arise, in particular, if constitutional order is likely to be affected or endangered. Reporting on plans and activities, which are designated secret, is permissible if, after careful consideration, the need to inform the public is found to outweigh the stated reasons for secrecy. This does not, however, justify the committing of unlawful acts to acquire information (see also Guideline 4.1).


The responsibility of Tampa Bay Gay towards the general public precludes the publication of editorial matter, which is influenced by the private, or business interests of third parties. Publishers and editors must resist any attempts at such influence and ensure that editorial and advertising matter are kept clearly separate. Advertising announcements, advertising photographs and advertising drawings should be identifiable as such.

Guideline 6.1. Separation of Editorial Material and Advertising Matter

Advertisements resembling editorial material must be printed in a script, position and form, which clearly distinguish them from the editorial contents of Tampa Bay Gay so that they are identifiable as advertising even to the casual reader. They must be clearly marked with the word "Advertisement".


Tampa Bay Gay shall respect the private life and personal sphere of the individual. If a person's private behavior touches on public interests, however, it may be discussed in the press. In such cases, care must be taken to ensure that publication does not violate the personal rights of individuals who are not involved.

Guideline 7.1. Publication of Names/Photographs

As a general rule, there is no justification for publishing the names and photographs of offenders or victims in reports on accidents, criminal offences, criminal investigations or court proceedings. In all such cases, care must be taken to weigh up the public's right to be informed and the personal rights of the individual concerned. Victims of accidents or crime are entitled to special protection from disclosure of their names. The identity of the victim is irrelevant for understanding the events surrounding an accident or crime unless it involves a person of contemporary history or occurs in circumstances touching on issues of wider public interest. In the case of relatives who have nothing to do with the incident, respect for their legitimate personal rights must, as a matter of principle, take precedence over the public's right to be informed. The names of individuals concerned and their families should also be protected in portrayals of criminal cases published after the death of the persons involved. In these cases, it is necessary to check whether the incident can be considered part of criminal history and the perpetrator a person of contemporary history (see also Guideline 12).

Guideline 7.2. Anniversaries, Birthdays, Civil Union Announcements

Before publishing details of anniversaries involving persons not normally in the public eye, editors must first check whether the individuals concerned agree to publication or wish to be protected from publicity. Email stating a request is considered consent unless otherwise stated.


It is contrary to journalistic decorum to publish unfounded allegations, especially allegations of a defamatory nature. All allegations will include physical/published evidence to certify allegations as fact.


The publication of text or pictures whose form or content could deeply offend the moral or religious sensibilities of a particular group of persons is incompatible with press responsibility.

Guideline 9.1 Pornographic Images and Links

Pornographic images or images showing the direct pubic hair region will not be published on TampaBayGay.com. Links to pornographic content directly from TampaBayGay.com is prohibited with the following exceptions: Online bookstores, fourth party links, other websites owned by Tampa Bay Gay.


Violence and brutality should not be sensationalized. Reporting must take due account of the need to protect people.

Guideline 10.1. Accidents and Disasters

The bounds of acceptable reporting on accidents and disasters are exceeded where the suffering of victims and the feelings of their families cease to be respected. Those hit by misfortune must not be become victims for a second time because of the tactless media coverage.


There must be no discrimination against anyone on grounds of sex, race, ethnic background, sexual orientation,religion, social group or nationality.

Guideline 11.1. Crime Reporting

In crime reports, the fact that a suspect or offender belongs to a particular religious, ethnic or other minority should only be mentioned if the information is important for understanding the reported events.


The acceptance or granting of any kind of privilege, which could impinge on publishing or editorial discretion, is not compatible with the concept of a respectable, independent and responsible press. Anyone accepting bribes for the dissemination or suppression of news is guilty of dishonorable and unprofessional conduct.

Guideline 12.1. Invitations and Gifts

Publishing and journalistic discretion can be impaired if editors and editorial staff accept invitations or gifts whose values exceeds the bounds of social convention and professional etiquette. Articles/reviews based on opinion must disclose any invitation or gift valued over $200.00 in its publication; readers are left to determine their own opinions based on published value when disclosing such information.

German Press Council - Press Code:
This Code Of Ethics was based on an original drawn up by the German Press Council in collaboration with the press associations and presented to Federal President D. Dr. Dr.Gustav W. Heinemann on 12 December 1973 in Bonn. Last updated version of 23 February 1994. http://www.uta.fi/ethicnet/germany.html
This document was located at the Center for the Study of Ethics in Professions http://www.iit.edu/departments/csep/PublicWWW/codes/coe/jour-germany.htm
Some sections of this have been directly used while others summarized and some new information added. Additions to this Code Of Ethics will contain the dates that they become active. These publicist principles are designed to preserve professional ethics; they do not constitute grounds for legal liability.

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