Guidelines for Idaho Public Television Production Staff


Idaho Public Television's Production Team recognizes its responsibility as a trusted source of news, information, educational material, and entertainment for the citizens of Idaho and beyond.

To that end, IdahoPTV adheres to the highest professional standards in the telling of Idaho's stories. While the mix of local programs may vary, these are currently the regularly scheduled shows currently in production: IDAHO EXPERIENCE, IDAHO REPORTS, OUTDOOR IDAHO, DIALOGUE, and SCIENCE TREK.

Through these programs and our one-time Specials, IdahoPTV's Production Team seeks to serve the unfilled information, education, and entertainment needs of the people of Idaho.

IdahoPTV is responsible for the content of these programs and maintains all property rights to the material gathered in the course of producing these shows for our various platforms.

Aside from the guiding principles, listed below, relating to editorial integrity and quality, IdahoPTV operates in conformance with all applicable laws, including the rules promulgated by the Federal Communications Commission. In everything we do, our goal is to reinforce the trust that the public places in Idaho Public Television.

Journalistic Standards

Idaho Public Television is an entity of the Idaho State Board of Education and is governed by policies outlined on their website.

In addition to the Statement of Principles of Editorial Integrity in Public Broadcasting, Idaho Public Broadcasting also adheres to the standards embraced in the Code of Ethics of the Society of Professional Journalists. Our goal, as outlined by PBS, is to provide "content of the highest quality that enriches the marketplace of ideas, unencumbered by commercial imperative." (See PBS Editorial Standards and Policies. See also the SPJ Code of Ethics.)

The overarching principle is that IdahoPTV production personnel must strive for fairness and accuracy, and avoid conflicts of interest in the performance of their journalistic duties. In addition, public affairs personnel must conduct their personal lives in such a manner that protects them from compromising the impartiality of IdahoPTV's journalism.

Employee Responsibilities

We expect production personnel to have knowledge and follow the guidelines set forth in the before-mentioned SBOE Policy, PBS Programming and Underwriting Guidelines and the SPJ Code of Ethics. In addition, the following guidelines can provide an additional valuable framework for our producers, reporters, editors, and videographers:

  • Production personnel will adhere to the spirit and foundational values of the Idaho Public Television Mission Statement. These pillars guide our efforts to meet the needs of the people we serve: Trust, Quality, Lifelong Learning, Accessibility, and Community.
  • They will inform their supervisor, in advance and in writing, of any potential conflict of interest due to organizational membership or affiliation.
  • They will report in advance and in writing to the General Manager any secondary employment or business interests. Freelance work must be done on a staffer's own time and must be approved by the supervisor.
  • They must get permission from the General Manager for appearances with other media outlets. IdahoPTV supports its journalists' participation in various forums on public issues and events and encourages them to provide analysis and insight.
  • They will accept nothing of value in the form of gifts or honoraria from groups that have an interest in how the subject of the program is treated; and they may not appear on outside media outlets to endorse services or market products except for IdahoPTV-related ventures.
  • They will respect the rights, privacy, dignity, and well-being of all persons encountered in the course of gathering and producing programs and will guard against any practices that might infringe on the constitutional rights of any individual. In particular, journalists will be extra careful with people not accustomed to the media's glare, especially children.
  • They will notify the executive producer and the director of content of stories of a controversial nature so that Management is not surprised and can offer support, if needed. The notification will be done before beginning work on the story and will involve any public records requests used in the research. This notification will include the type of request and the reasons for the request.
  • They will keep their political views private, and not seek partisan public office or actively support political candidates, political parties, or ballot issues. They are covering the news and not participating in the news. Any lobbying efforts must clearly indicate that they are not representing IdahoPTV and requires the prior approval of the General Manager.
  • They will make every effort possible to reasonably represent all sides of every issue addressed in a production.
  • The broadcast or distribution of any error in a production will be promptly and completely corrected.
  • They will conduct themselves in social media forums in such a way as to not undermine their credibility with the public or jeopardize IdahoPTV's reputation for fairness and impartiality.
  • Producers will be responsible for acquiring release forms for all persons appearing in any IdahoPTV production, excluding designated public affairs programs. That includes a release form signed by a parent or guardian for the appearance of a minor in any IdahoPTV production.
  • Producers will be responsible for acquiring release forms for all visual, aural and written materials owned by others and used in IdahoPTV productions. Most of the music used in IdahoPTV productions comes from music libraries which we purchase; when that is not the case, release forms are required.
  • Producers will distance themselves from potential funding sources to the greatest extent possible. Best practices dictate that funding sources not become a part of the editorial process.
  • Producers will give proper credit to the work of others. Plagiarism charges diminish the credibility of the producer and the station.
  • Producers as a general rule will not pay for testimony or interviews; to do so would call into question the credibility of the interviewee. There are, however, exceptions to this general rule. For example, payment for materials like published articles, letters, diaries, photos, etc., may be made on occasion, if the material is critical to the broadcast. Also, reimbursement for expenses incurred by interviewees is permissible.
  • Producers will be responsible for ensuring that work for broadcast or any other platform is cleared by copyright.