At the heart of Tomorrow are our core principles. They define the jobs we do, our relationship with those we report on and the wider public, and what standards we hold for ourselves. To offer reporting that is of service to the public and of the highest standards, we must challenge each story, picture, video or otherwise to strive for that platform. And you must challenge us too. Tomorrow must be able to justify itself. You might not like all the stories we report, but they should still meet the standards of our core principles. And if we meet those standards and you value our service, we hope you will help build the Tomorrow community with your stories, and your financial donations.
1. Freedom of Expression
There can be no journalism without the freedom of expression, to report what we see, hear and experience. And we must champion the freedom of expression of others. But expression also comes with responsibilities, in particular, to our other core principles.
Reporting is nothing without accuracy of information. We must cite reported facts, apply repeated checks to ensure their accuracy, and always challenge them. We report to a high standard of accuracy, but know too that new information must always be applied to seek out even sharper truths.
3. Independence and accountability
Tomorrow is independent of all public and private institutions. Even where we support communities, we remain independent and must challenge corruption and complacency wherever it may be found. We must also be accountable as individuals and as an organisation for our reporting, our wider actions, and in our spending of money contributed by the public.
4. Professional conduct and service
Our staff and contributors must meet professional standards and act professionally with those whom we interview, observe and engage. We cannot meet the demands of these core principles without professionalism or without the firm belief that journalism is a profession essential to a free and democratic society.
5. Comfort the afflicted and afflict the complacent
A variation on the classic “reporter’s creed” – there are some stories of human suffering where reporting can offer no “balance”; but we must challenge all our readers, whatever their backgrounds, to fight against complacency to that human suffering, to corruption, to secrecy, and to censorship.
6. A duty to openness
We must be open about how we carry out our journalism, but also champion open and accountable public institutions at every level, as well as private businesses and enterprises that take your money.
7. Justice must be seen to be done
The second half of the saying, “Justice must be done”, and one of the most important principles of reporting. Reporters must be present in the court system wherever and whenever possible to ensure accountability and assure the public of its effectiveness.
8. Be a safe harbour for the public and staff
We cannot carry out public interest reporting without protecting our sources, nor without protecting our staff and contributors where they must report from dangerous situations. Public interest reporting also requires the seeking out of stories where the public may be at threat of harm.
9. Observe and engage
Reporters must observe the news around them, recount those observations and challenge what they see. But we must also engage our readers, not just online, but in person whenever possible, to justify our profession and our stories, and thereby improve our reporting and the communities we help build.
10. Educate and entertain
As a news organisation, we must offer the public stories that inform, but balance those with stories that entertain. Much like the Roman “bread and circuses” principle, informing you about your community and your world is essential to life. But you need entertaining relief as well.
11. Promote responsible debate and mediation
Tomorrow does not seek to provoke arguments, but to inspire civil debate between members of local or indeed global communities on any and all subjects. Where possible, we should also help mediate solutions to build better communities. Arguments might make for easy journalism. Tomorrow is about responsible reporting.