Founded in 1946, Jewish Currents is a magazine committed to the rich tradition of thought, activism, and culture of the Jewish left, and the left more broadly.
Jewish Currents is a not-for-profit news organization and subscribes to the standards of editorial independence adopted by the Institute for Nonprofit News. Our organization retains full authority over everything we publish. We maintain a firewall between editorial decisions and sources of revenue. Acceptance of financial support does not constitute implied or actual endorsement of donors or their products, services, or opinions. We impress upon our major donors that we are beholden solely to our mission, and that our editorial judgments are made independently and not on the basis of the support we receive.
As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that operates as a public trust, we do not pay certain taxes. We accept gifts, grants, and sponsorships from individuals and organizations to support our general operations; in some cases, we may also consider donations to support special projects and the coverage of particular topics. We cede no right to review, assign, edit, or otherwise influence editorial content, nor to distribute content without authorization. Jewish Currents board and staff inform all potential donors that their contributions to Jewish Currents do not entitle them to preferential treatment, and in no way protects them from investigations or scrutiny.
We are committed to transparency in every aspect of funding our organization. We make public all revenue sources and donors that grant $5,000 or more per year. As a news nonprofit, we do not accept charitable donations from political parties, elected officials, or candidates seeking public office. We do not accept donations from government entities in direct support of our work, though we may participate in standard government benefit programs available to all nonprofits or similar businesses. We avoid accepting anonymous donations. In the event that we do accept an anonymous donation, we will do so only toward “general support,” and we will ensure that no more than 15% of all of our donor income comes from anonymous sources. We will not accept donations from sources who—in accordance with our editorial standards—present reputational risk or a conflict of interest with our work, or who might be perceived as compromising our independence.
This editorial independence policy applies to all editorial output across different media, including events, podcasts and audio content, and other multidisciplinary content. Financial sponsors for events or other special projects are disclosed in Jewish Currents’ marketing materials, and donors and financial sponsors do not control the event or project’s content. Partnership with organizational cosponsors does not constitute endorsement of their views.
Code of Ethics
Our work is accurate.
- We verify information before releasing it and use original sources whenever possible.
- We don’t plagiarize.
- We never deliberately distort facts, misrepresent context, or oversimplify information.
- We check facts before publication and correct errors quickly when they occur. We commit to full transparency about any updates or corrections made to a published story. If you see the need for a correction or clarification of our work, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- We identify our sources, granting anonymity only when there is no other way to obtain the information in question—such as when sources may face danger, retribution, or other harm if they speak on the record—and only in situations where we have verified that the source is knowledgeable and reliable. We explain our decisions to grant anonymity within the given piece.
- We give the subjects of our news coverage the opportunity to respond to criticism or allegations of wrongdoing.
- We seek the opinions of stakeholders on an issue and rely on our research to present an accurate picture to readers. When the facts support a clear conclusion, we prioritize accuracy. In other words, we do not subscribe to the notion that journalistic integrity means giving equal weight to both sides of a debate in which one side is more aligned with the truth.
Our methods are ethical.
- We balance the public’s need for information against potential harm to sources and subjects.
- We show compassion for those who may be affected by news coverage and use heightened sensitivity when dealing with juveniles, victims of trauma, and sources or subjects who are inexperienced or unable to give consent.
- We operate according to the principle that private people have a greater right to control information about themselves than public figures and others who seek power, influence, or attention. We weigh the consequences of publishing or broadcasting personal information.
- We don’t “punch down”; we don’t target people who don’t represent an institution or institutional power except in cases where reporting on them is clearly in the public interest.
- As a Jewish publication, we operate from the baseline editorial position that there should be a just solution in Israel/Palestine. We believe that conducting reporting motivated by a concern for the human rights of everyone in the region is in keeping with journalistic best practices.
- We label commentary and disclose all affiliations that help provide context for commentators’ positions.
Our work is independent.
- We avoid conflicts of interest. As a magazine of the Jewish left, we report on a community of which we are also a part, but we carefully consider the distance between writer, editor, and subject when assigning a piece. When a conflict is unavoidable, we disclose it to our readers.
- We refuse favors, fees, free travel, and special treatment that could compromise the integrity or impartiality of our work, or damage the credibility of our journalists.
- The editorial staff may align on policy ideas, but not on candidates. We do not endorse candidates for public office. When we publish op-eds by politicians, we do so in order to get their positions on the record.
- We report on social movements with skepticism and rigor, and arrive at our own independent conclusions; we do not provide a mouthpiece for them to promote their work or their campaigns on our platform. We do not publish open letters.
- We don’t pay for access to information.
- We arrive at all editorial decisions independently. We inform our major donors that they will be accorded no influence over our coverage.
- Our sources do not receive the right to review the pieces in which their information appears.
- We evaluate our advertisers according to the same standard as donations to Jewish Currents, consistent with the policy and code of ethics outlined here.
- We distinguish news from advertising and shun hybrids that blur the lines between the two. We prominently label all sponsored content.
We would like to thank the Institute for Nonprofit News (INN), the Society for Professional Journalists, and fellow INN members including Chalkbeat, ProPublica, and The Texas Tribune, whose statements on ethics and editorial independence informed our policies.