The California Streets Initiative (CSI) maintains a firewall between our news coverage decisions and all sources of revenue: foundations, large donations, advertisements, and our small donor campaigns. This separation ensures that financial support does not present a conflict of interest for our journalism or compromise our editorial independence.
Gifts, grants, and sponsorships from individuals and organizations help fund our nonprofit journalism, but news judgments are made by the editors of our publications, NOT the executive director who oversees and implements our fundraising plans. Acceptance of financial support does not constitute implied or actual endorsement of donors or their positions.
CSI accepts financial support for reporting on particular topics. Our editorial staff determines what those topics are and retains full editorial control of the resulting coverage. Grant writing and grant reporting is done by our executive director, and interactions between grantors and our editors is not a requirement of the editor’s positions.
Individual CSI journalists do not accept gifts of more than nominal value or special treatment from any person or entity that has an interest in our reporting, such as being a subject of or source for our coverage. Members of our newsroom shun secondary employment, political involvement, public office, and service in community organizations if they create a conflict of interest or compromise journalistic independence or integrity.
Copy is never shared with advertisers or donors prior to publication.
CSI does not accept donations from government entities, political parties, elected officials, or candidates actively seeking public office.
Our organization makes public all donors who give a total of $5,000 or more per year. We do not accept anonymous donations of more than $5,000.
CSI has always practiced editorial independence; the practice was formalized in 2020. This written policy iteration is based on standards developed by. the Institute for Nonprofit News and the Society of Professional Journalists and those adopted by The Trace.