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This extremely short document is a public draft summarizing various internal documents. This document is not an exhaustive review of ethics--not could it ever be--and it may change significantly before ratified.

By default, we treat conversations with journalistic sources as "on-background."

When a source talks to a journalist, the conversation is either:

  • on-the-record. The journalist can directly quote and attribute everything using the source's name and job title.
  • off-the-record. The journalist does not reveal the source's identity--generally corroborating the source's information from elsewhere.
  • on-background. The journalist can summarize information from the source, but without attributing them by name.

Typically, journalists start conversations as on-the-record by default. The source and journalist must mutually agree to go off-the-record or on-background. If the journalist does not agree, then anything the source says can be attributed to them.

(You can read explanations of this principle from The Associated Press, The Oxford University Press, and The New York Times.)

At Neocrym, we are a little bit different. We are not a newspaper. We do not want people worrying whether we are going to spill their secrets, so our convention is to treat all conversations as on-background.

If we want to go on-the-record with you, we will ask first.

We do our best to disclose potential conflicts of interest.

This is a tough rule to follow, because not everybody will necessarily agree with our definition of conflict of interest.

In general, we do not post perjorative content if our business could potentially benefit from it. Obviously, posting positive content can benefit our business--but we try to disclose in which ways we can benefit.

We do not accept payment for sponsored content under a Neocrym employee's byline.

If one of our publications runs a sponsored post, the byline will reflect the sponsor and not a Neocrym employee.

Note that posts from Neocrym employees may contain individual affiliate links, but we disclose the usage of these links in every post that uses them. Please read our Affiliate Link Disclosure for more information.