Editorial Independence Policy
Our organization retains full authority over editorial content to protect the best journalistic and business interests of our organization. We maintain a firewall between news coverage decisions and sources of all revenue. Acceptance of financial support does not constitute implied or actual endorsement of donors or their products, services or opinions.
We accept gifts, grants and sponsorships from individuals and organizations for the general support of our activities, but our news judgments are made independently and not on the basis of donor support.
Our organization may consider donations to support the coverage of particular topics, but our organization maintains editorial control of the coverage. We will cede no right of review or influence of editorial content, nor of unauthorized distribution of editorial content.
Our organization will make public all donors who give a total of $5,000 or more per year. We will accept anonymous donations for general support only if it is clear that sufficient safeguards have been put into place that the expenditure of that donation is made independently by our organization and in compliance with the Institute for Nonprofit News membership standards.
We are committed to transparency in every aspect of funding our organization.
Accepting financial support does not mean we endorse donors or their products, services or opinions.
We accept gifts, grants and sponsorships from individuals, organizations and foundations to help with our general operations, coverage of specific topics, and special projects. Our news judgments are made independently – not based on or influenced by donors. We do not give supporters the rights to assign, review or edit content.
We will make public all donors who give $5000 or more per year. As a nonprofit, we will avoid accepting donations from anonymous sources, and we will not accept donations from government entities, political parties, elected officials or candidates actively seeking public office. We will not accept donations from sources who, deemed by our board of directors, present a conflict of interest with our work or compromise our independence.
We track how our visitors use this site so that we can see what people like and don’t like. We also analyze and aggregate information about use patterns and share the aggregated data with our advertisers (for example, we keep track of how many users see and click on particular advertisements). We may also collect personal information about you via registration for newsletters, commenting, donations, membership and other areas. Where you have an opportunity to supply information about yourself you may choose not to provide requested information but in such cases you may not be able to use certain functions on this website.
We will not release your name, e-mail or any other personal information to anyone outside EarthTalk without your consent, unless we are under a legal order to do so, or there is an emergency involving danger to a person or property. We will not provide our advertisers or anyone else outside EarthTalk with any information specific to you unless we have your consent.
If you chose to provide your personally identifiable information for the purposes of a third-party contest, survey or newsletter, your consent shall be deemed to be given for the release of your personally identifiable information with regard to that third party only, in addition to EarthTalk. Only authorized EarthTalk employees or consultants are allowed access to personal information about you. Any employee or consultant who violates our privacy and security policies is subject to disciplinary action.
We occasionally have service contractors, third party agents, subsidiaries, affiliates, and joint ventures that perform functions on our behalf, including but not limited to credit card processing and website hosting. They have access to personal information needed to perform their functions, and are contractually obligated to maintain the confidentiality and security of the data. They are restricted from using or altering this data in anyway other than to provide the requested services to EarthTalk. In addition, we may always share, disclose, and transfer all information, postings, and any and all other personal and non-personal information we have collected to a successor-entity in the case of the sale of the assets of EarthTalk, corporate reorganization, merger, change in control, or other similar transaction.
Use and Disclosure of Anonymous Information
Anonymous Information is any information other than Personally Identifiable Information, including aggregate information derived from Personally Identifiable Information.
EarthTalk may use this information:
- To improve the EarthTalk.org and Emagazine.com websites, to monitor traffic and general usage patterns, and for other general business purposes.
- To inform publishers as to what content is appealing to readers, to inform advertisers of the usage habits or characteristics of the interested audience, and to advise potential donors so that they may better understand EarthTalk user base.
A cookie is a small amount of data, which often includes an anonymous unique identifier that is sent to your browser from a web site’s servers and stored on your computer. Each web site can send its own cookies to your browser if your browser’s preferences allow it, but (to protect your privacy) most browsers only permit a web site to access the cookies that the same web site has already sent to you, not the cookies sent to you by other sites.
We may use third-party advertising companies to serve ads on our behalf. These companies may employ cookies and action tags to measure advertising effectiveness. All computers and servers on the internet use IP addresses to recognize and communicate with each other. We collect IP addresses to administer and analyze our site and report aggregate, non-personal information (such as how many visitors we have). When you call up our site on your computer, our servers enter the IP address of that computer into a log. To maintain our users’ anonymity, we do not associate IP addresses with records containing personal information.
EarthTalk.org employs a number of security methods designed to prevent unauthorized access, maintain data accuracy, and ensure correct use of information. Your personal data will be stored within a database that is located behind a firewall for added security.
No data transmission over the Internet or any wireless network can be guaranteed to be secure. As a result, while we try to protect your personal information, we cannot ensure or guarantee the security of any information you transmit to us, and you do so at your own risk. We are not liable for the illegal acts of any third party.
We do not encrypt normal web sessions, however any transmission to the EarthTalk.org or Emagazine.com websites of credit card information uses SSL encryption to help protect the data.
Links to Other Sites
EarthTalk.org provide links and pointers to Web sites maintained by other organizations. EarthTalk.org provides these links as a convenience to users, but it does not operate or control such sites. EarthTalk.org also disclaims any responsibility for the information on those sites and any products or services offered there, and cannot vouch for the privacy policies of such sites. EarthTalk.org does not make any warranties or representations that any linked sites, or this site, will function without error or interruption, that defects will be corrected, or that the sites and their servers are free of viruses and other problems that can harm your computer.
If at any time you would like to unsubscribe from receiving future emails, we include detailed unsubscribe instructions at the bottom of each email.
EarthTalk.org is not directed to children (persons under the age of 13), and we do not knowingly collect, either online or offline, Personally Identifiable Information from children. If you believe that we have received information from a person under 13, please contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or in writing at 825 Faxon Ave., San Francisco, California 94112 and we will take appropriate action.
Disclaimers and Limitations of Liability
ALTHOUGH WE TAKE REASONABLE STEPS TO PREVENT THE INTRODUCTION OF VIRUSES, WORMS, OR OTHER DESTRUCTIVE MATERIALS AND PROGRAMS TO OUR SITE, WE DO NOT GUARANTEE OR WARRANT THAT OUR SITE OR MATERIALS THAT MAY BE DOWNLOADED FROM OUR SITE ARE FREE FROM SUCH DESTRUCTIVE FEATURES. WE ARE NOT LIABLE FOR ANY DAMAGES OR HARM ATTRIBUTABLE TO SUCH FEATURES. WE ARE NOT LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, LOSS OR INJURY BASED ON ERRORS, OMISSIONS, INTERRUPTIONS OR OTHER INACCURACIES IN OUR SITE, NOR FOR ANY CLAIM, LOSS OR INJURY THAT RESULTS FROM YOUR USE OF THIS SITE OR YOUR BREACH OF ANY PROVISION OF THIS AGREEMENT.
Advertising Acceptability Policy
EarthTalk reserves the right to accept or decline any advertisement or sponsorship it is offered.
EarthTalk will decline to accept advertising that it knows or believes to be misleading, inaccurate, fraudulent or illegal, or that fails to comply, in EarthTalk’s sole discretion, with its standards of decency, taste or dignity.
EarthTalk, like all quality publishers of original journalism, maintains a clear separation between news and advertising content. Advertising that attempts to blur this distinction in a manner that, in EarthTalk’s sole judgment, confuses readers will be rejected.
Conflict of Interest Policy
The following Financial Conflict of Interest Policy (“Conflict of Interest Policy”) is an effort (i) to ensure that the deliberations and decisions of EarthTalk (“EarthTalk”) are made solely in the interest of promoting the quality of journalism in the state of California (if applicable), and (ii) to protect the interests of EarthTalk when it considers any transaction, contract, or arrangement that might benefit or be perceived to benefit the private interest of a person affiliated with EarthTalk (each, a “EarthTalk Representative”). As used in this Conflict of Interest Policy, a EarthTalk Representative includes any director, advisory board EarthTalk, financial advisor, legal counsel or employee.
- Duty to EarthTalk. Each EarthTalk Representative owes a duty to EarthTalk to advance EarthTalk’s legitimate interests when the opportunity to do so arises. Each EarthTalk Representative must give undivided allegiance when making decisions affecting the organization. Similarly, EarthTalk Representatives must be faithful to EarthTalk’s nonprofit mission and are not permitted to act in a way that is inconsistent with the central goals of the organization and its nonprofit status.
- Gifts. No EarthTalk Representative shall personally accept gifts or favors that could compromise his or her loyalty to EarthTalk. Any gifts or benefits personally accepted from a party having a material interest in the outcome of EarthTalk or its employees by a EarthTalk Representative individually should be merely incidental to his or her role as an EarthTalk Representative and should not be of substantial value. Any gift with a value of $250 or more, or any gifts with a cumulative value in excess of $250 received by an EarthTalk Representative in any twelve-month period from a single source, shall be considered substantial. Cash payments may not be accepted, and no gifts should be accepted if there are strings attached. For example, no EarthTalk Representative may accept gifts if he or she knows that such gifts are being given to solicit his or her support of or opposition to the outcome or content of any EarthTalk publication.
- Conflicts of Interest. The following are examples of conflicts of interest which must be promptly disclosed to the EarthTalk Board of Directors pursuant to Section 4 below by any EarthTalk Representative with knowledge of such conflict of interest:
(a) any real or apparent conflict of interest between a donor or the subject of an EarthTalk publication or report and an EarthTalk Representative;
(b) an EarthTalk Representative’s ownership of an equity interest in a person or entity that is or will be the subject of an EarthTalk publication or report; and,
(c) failure to disclose to EarthTalk all relationships between the subject of any EarthTalk publication or report and any EarthTalk Representative or close relatives of the EarthTalk Representative.
- Conflict Procedure:
(a) If an EarthTalk Representative or party related to an EarthTalk Representative has an interest in any contract, action or transaction to be entered into with EarthTalk, a conflict of interest or potential conflict of interest exists. Any EarthTalk Representative having knowledge that such a conflict of interest exists or may exist (an “Interested EarthTalk Representative”) will so advise the Board of Directors promptly. An Interested EarthTalk Representative will include in the notice the material facts as to the relationship or interest of the Interested EarthTalk Representative in the entity proposing to enter into a contract, action or transaction with EarthTalk.
(b) Notwithstanding anything herein to the contrary, the Board of Directors may authorize any committee appointed pursuant to the EarthTalk by-laws (a “Committee”) to act in lieu of the Board of Directors in determining whether an action, contract or transaction is fair to EarthTalk as of the time it is authorized or approved by the Committee.
(c) At any time that a conflict of interest or potential conflict of interest is identified, the President of the Board or a Chair of the applicable Committee will ensure that such conflict of interest is placed on the agenda for the next meeting of the Board of Directors or the Committee, as applicable. The notice of such meeting of the Board of Directors or the Committee, as applicable, will include, to the extent available when the notice is sent, a description of the conflict of interest matter to be discussed. By notice before the meeting or at the meeting, the directors on the board or the Committee, as applicable, will be advised that a vote will be taken at the meeting and that, in order to authorize the relevant contract, action or transaction, an affirmative vote of a majority of disinterested directors present at the meeting at which a quorum is present will be required and will be sufficient, even though the disinterested directors constitute less than a quorum of the Board of Directors or the Committee.
(d) Reasonable effort will be made to cause the material facts concerning the relationships between the individuals and EarthTalk which create the conflict to be delivered to and shared with the members of the Board of Directors or the Committee, as applicable, prior to the meeting to enable the directors to arrive at the meeting prepared to discuss the issue. In the event it is not practicable to deliver the information prior to the meeting, it will be delivered to the directors at the meeting, and the directors can act upon the matter with the same authority as if notice had been given prior to the meeting.
(e) The Board of Directors or the Committee, as applicable, will invite all parties to the conflict of interest to attend the meeting, to make presentations and to be prepared to answer questions, if necessary. The Board or Directors or the Committee, as applicable, will also invite outside experts if necessary.
(f) At the meeting, providing a quorum is present, the conflict will be discussed to ensure that the directors present are aware of the issues and the factors involved. The interested directors may be counted for purposes of a quorum, even though they may not take part in any vote on the issues.
(g) The Board of Directors or the Committee, as applicable, must decide, in good faith, reasonably justified by the material facts, whether the action, contract or transaction would be in the best interest of EarthTalk and fair to EarthTalk as of the time it is authorized or approved.
(h) All interested directors must abstain from voting and, if necessary, leave the room when the vote is taken.
(i) The Board of Directors or the Committee, as applicable, will maintain a written account of all that transpires at the meeting and incorporate such account into the minutes of the meeting and disseminate it to the full Board of Directors. Such minutes will be presented for approval at the next meeting of the Board of Directors and maintained in the corporate record book.
(j) To the extent that the conflict of interest is continuing and the contract, action or transaction goes beyond one (1) year, the foregoing notice and discussion and vote will be repeated on an annual basis.
Personal Loans. EarthTalk may not loan to, or guarantee the personal obligations of, any EarthTalk Representative.