ELi’s Editorial Independence Policy

ELi (East Lansing Info) is unaffiliated with local government, is non-profit, and is overseen by a volunteer Board of Directors. We retain full authority over what we publish, and we take very seriously our duty to the community to provide accurate, nonpartisan, factual news.

In keeping with the standards of the Institute for Nonprofit News (INN), of which we are a proud member, our organization makes public which donors give a total of $5,000 or more per year on our Sponsors page. We will accept anonymous donations for general support only if 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.

No donations are anonymous to the Board of Directors (the Board of Directors can see all of our financial information, including all donors and donations). Unless a donor specifically requests to be anonymous and donates less than $500 per year, his or her name will be listed on our sponsors page.

We do not take donations from individuals seated on or running for East Lansing City Council or East Lansing Public Schools Board of Trustees. We reserve the right to refuse donations from other individuals if we believe the donations could detract from our reputation as an independent, trustworthy, and reliable news source.

The Board reviews possible corporate sponsorships and will decline any that might cause us editorial or reputational difficulties. We do not publish any “sponsored content” or “native advertising.” We acknowledge our gratitude to our corporate sponsors by presenting their logos in certain parts of our productions. We do not accept any conventional advertisements.

We add conflict of interest disclosures to articles where there might be a perceived financial conflict of interest, and if a perceived financial conflict of interest might cause doubt about our legitimacy, we will not publish an article that involves such a conflict. We work hard to make sure we do not make news decisions on the basis of donor support, because we see our duty as being to the community as a whole.

ELi may consider donations to support the coverage of particular subject areas or 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.

(Adopted by the ELi Board of Directors in February 2018.)