The Tributary is a nonpartisan, nonprofit media organization. Our mission is to provide impartial, investigative journalism.  We present facts in an accurate and fair manner. Our sole agenda is to hold accountable those in power, regardless of politics.

To ensure we earn the trust of our community, we will follow this code of ethics, which borrows heavily from other nonprofit news organizations, including ProPublica and Texas Tribune.

When we err, we will correct our story as soon as possible with a description of the error, the correct information and how the error occurred. Corrections can be sent to

Our reporting will be transparent, and we will strive to identify all the sources of our information, shielding them with anonymity only when they insist upon it and when they provide vital information — not opinion or speculation; when there is no other way to obtain that information; and when we know the source is knowledgeable and reliable. To the extent that we can, we identify in our stories any important bias such a source may have. If the story hinges on documents, as opposed to interviews, we describe how the documents were obtained, at least to the extent possible. We do not say that a person declined comment when he or she is already quoted anonymously.

We don’t misidentify or misrepresent ourselves to get a story. We identify ourselves as Tributary journalists.

We don’t pay for interviews.

We don’t plagiarize.

Nothing in our work should be fabricated. We don’t use pseudonyms, composite characters or fictional names, ages, places or dates.

Overall, we must be fair. Whenever we portray someone in a negative light, we should make a real effort to obtain a response from that person, preferably in person. We should give them a reasonable amount of time to get back to us before we publish. If we don’t reach the parties involved, we should explain in the story what efforts were made to do so.

No story is fair if it omits facts of major importance or significance. Fairness includes completeness.

No story is fair if it misleads or deceives the reader. Fairness includes honesty — leveling with the reader.

Editorial decisions are made by journalists alone.