MLK50 will follow the 2017 guidelines for nonprofit media and for funders of nonprofit media as set forth by the American Press Institute. Among the guiding principles:
•News organizations should retain editorial control. They should not relinquish legal and ethical responsibilities to funders or to the public.
• Independent journalism is a public good. Journalism can produce impact and change, but news organizations cannot and should not promise specific outcomes. News organizations can, however, summarize what they have learned during the course of their work.
• When civic or community engagement is part of a grant, journalists and funders should agree in advance what that means.
• To avoid the appearance of undue influence or attempting to buy coverage, funders should try to avoid when possible being the sole underwriters of specific stories or series. They also should avoid conversations about specific expectations related to the conclusions, outcomes or opinions that will be derived from the reporting.
• There should be no pre-publication review or attempts to influence coverage (either as a condition of the grant or in practice).