People in the community occasionally ask me what role Eagle journalists are able to have as private citizens during election seasons. And someone last week pointed out that they saw a candidate’s bumper sticker on a car in The Eagle’s employee parking area.
The newsroom’s written ethics policy is very clear about journalists’ involvement in political campaigns. Here’s what it says:
"Donâ€™t work on political campaigns. To prevent the appearance of a conflict of interest, do not contribute to political campaigns or sport political buttons, bumper stickers or yard signs. The same holds true for issues. If you are covering a liquor-by-the drink referendum or a school-bond issue, or an aspect of it, you should not sign petitions in favor it."
This policy pertains only to the newsroom. The Eagle’s other 300 or so employees are free to take part in the political process as they wish. The only restriction is that they cannot campaign or contribute and represent their individual views as those of The Wichita Eagle.