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Transparency and Editorial Independence

Editorial Independence

We subscribe to standards of editorial independence adopted by the Institute for Nonprofit News.

The Institute for Public Service Reporting retains full authority over editorial content to protect the best journalistic and business interests of our organization. We maintain a firewall between news coverage decisions and sources of all revenue. Acceptance of financial support does not constitute implied or actual endorsement of donors or their products, services or opinions.

We maintain a rigid firewall between us and the University of Memphis, our leading supporter. Though we are a semi-autonomous branch of the U of M and our journalists are employees of the university, we maintain strict editorial independence.

We operate under a memorandum of understanding, signed by University President David Rudd, that states in part, “It is understood that in order to ensure the free and independent press that is so vital to preserving our American democratic ideals, that all editorial decisions made by IPSR, its director and staff in conjunction with this agreement will be free of any control, undue influence, threats or promises by the University, its administration, the state of Tennessee, or any other persons.’’

Additionally, our journalists are members of the faculty, each bearing the title “Distinguished Journalist in Residence,’’ each enjoying the full measure of academic freedom to pursue research and reporting.

We accept gifts, grants and sponsorships from individuals and organizations for the general support of our activities, but our news judgments are made independently and not on the basis of donor support.

The Institute may consider donations to support the coverage of particular 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.

Our organization will make public all donors who give a total of $1,000 or more per year. We will accept anonymous donations for general support only when it is clear that sufficient safeguards are in place ensuring that the expenditure of that donation is made independently by our organization and in compliance with INN’s Membership Standards.

Donor & Financial Transparency

We are committed to transparency in every aspect of funding our organization.

Accepting financial support does not mean we endorse donors or their products, services or opinions.

We accept gifts, grants and sponsorships from individuals, organizations and foundations to help with our general operations, coverage of specific topics and special projects. As an arm of a tax-exempt organizationthat operates as a public trust, we do not pay certain taxes. We may receive funds from standard government programs offered to nonprofits or similar businesses.

Our news judgments are made independently – not based on or influenced by donors or any revenue source. We do not give supporters the rights to assign, review or edit content.

We make public all revenue sources and donors who give $1,000 or more per year. As a nonprofit new organization, we avoid accepting charitable donations from anonymous sources, government entities outside the University of Memphis, political parties, elected officials or candidates seeking public office. We will not accept donations from sources who, deemed by our director, associate director and board of advisers to present a conflict of interest with our work or compromise our independence.

Our Supporters*


Robert E. Loeb

Gayle S. Rose

Dr. Jeanne and Frank Jemison, Jr.


Community Foundation of Greater Memphis


Urban Child Institute


University of Memphis

*FY 2020-21

Written By

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