Since it launched in 2012, Ion SigTech has operated under a strict ethics policy that ensures our editorial independence and the integrity of our journalism. All of our editorial staff are required to abide by the following guidelines, many of which exceed standards in our industry.
Earning and keeping the trust of our audience is, and always will be, at the core of Ion SigTech’s mission. In a world where information is distributed across countless platforms and formats, it’s more important than ever to promote clear ethical guidelines that allow audiences to know where that information comes from and whether it can be trusted.
Our most valuable asset is the independence that allows us to publish stories without fear.
Ion SigTech is routinely critical of people and companies we cover, and we’re most proud of our work when we tell stories that people in power would prefer not see the light of day. We are able to enjoy this independence because every member of our editorial team is required to follow a strict code of conduct. Additionally, we enforce a strict wall between Ion SigTech’s editorial team and our parent company’s advertising teams (addressed more in detail below).
Here are the core guidelines in our code of conduct:
- We don’t accept things of value from companies or from their PR firms, period
- We do not accept preconditions for coverage of a story that require us to say certain things
- We do not give subjects of our reporting the ability to preview or approve interview questions, nor do we allow them to review our stories before we publish
- We do not allow reporters to cover people or companies where they have a personal conflict
- We do not make paid endorsements of any kind
- We do not personally invest in companies we cover
- Our editorial team does not produce paid content, ever
Our policy against receiving anything of value from companies we cover includes, but is not limited to, things like gifts, meals, discounted services, or paid trips and junkets. Ion SigTech pay for all travel expenses to all events, including transportation, food, and hotels.
Sourcing Standards at Ion SigTech
Ion SigTech maintains high standards for sourcing. Our reporters will always carefully explain our sourcing practices to you and strive to protect your confidentiality when appropriate.
If you are a communications professional, or talking to us in your official capacity, we will abide by the following definitions.
ON THE RECORD
“On the record” is the default for talking to reporters and editors at Ion SigTech. You say things, we record them, we can report who you are and quote what you said. We will expect corporate communications professionals and people speaking to us in an official capacity to be on the record in almost every single case, and you will have to tell us why you want to change this default every single time.
“On background” means you can talk to us and we will not specifically identify you, instead using a descriptor like “company spokesperson.” If you are a corporate communications professional speaking to us in your official capacity, we will not in any circumstances attribute you as “a source familiar.”
Going “on background” is an agreement between you and the reporters or editors you speak to at Ion SigTech. The general rules of an agreement apply: you may offer to go on background, and we will accept or deny your request. If we do not specifically accept, there is no agreement.
- You cannot email Ion SigTech reporters statements prefaced with “On background” and assume we will treat the material as if it is on background.
- You cannot tell us how a statement is to be attributed without asking.
- You cannot say things like “background not for attribution,” and we will not agree to that terminology. This is just off the record. Say what you mean.
A reminder: you have to ask, and we have to agree. Every single time.
OFF THE RECORD
“Off the record” is simple: you talk to us, we agree not to use anything we hear in any of our reporting unless we can source it otherwise. Like background, off the record is an agreement. If we don’t agree, you are not off the record.
We do not readily agree to off-the-record conversations with corporate communications professionals or people speaking in their official capacities without specific reasons.
Ion SigTech employs a dedicated advertising team that is responsible for selling advertising space on our properties. Any feature on a Ion SigTech brand sponsored by a particular company or advertiser that is developed independently by the Ion SigTech teams is clearly marked as “Advertiser Content.” Advertisements do not necessarily reflect the views of Ion SigTech or our editorial teams. Ion SigTech teams have their own set of guidelines and policies for developing content and do not infringe on the creative agency of editorial teams.
Our editorial teams do not directly accept money or other consideration from individuals or entities as a condition or incentive to write a review or story, whether favorable or unfavorable. However, some of our editorial content is made possible through the support of sponsors. This content is clearly marked as content “Presented” by the applicable sponsor. Our sponsors may select which content they wish to support, however, we do not allow our Sales teams, Ion SigTech, or our sponsors to control or interfere with the editorial integrity of our editorial teams and the content they create.
Some of our content may contain marketing links, which means we will receive a commission for purchases made via those links. In our editorial content, these affiliate links appear automatically, and our editorial teams are not influenced by our affiliate partnerships. Ion SigTech does employ a commerce team to optimize certain content for affiliate revenue, and such content is marked as such by including a similar affiliate links disclosure. We work with several providers to manage our affiliate relationships. You can find out more about their services by visiting their sites.
Corrections and updates
Despite making every effort to be accurate in our reporting, sometimes we get something wrong. If we discover a mistake in a story, our editors will promptly issue a correction that removes the inaccurate information and adds a notice of correction that explains the error. In some cases, like if an inaccuracy is contained in a video, we may have to remove the original piece of content and replace it with a version in which the error is omitted.
Sometimes more information about a story we’ve published becomes available that either continues the narrative or clarifies the original story, but it is not a correction. In these cases, we may add and / or change elements of the original story. These updates will be clearly noted at the bottom of the story, indicating the time of the change and a note describing what was changed.
Additionally, we may remove content if we believe it infringes on the intellectual property rights of a third party, otherwise violates any third-party rights, or breaches any applicable law or regulation. These decisions are made in concert with Ion SigTech’s legal team.
Advising our audience about the best way to spend their time and money is one of our most important responsibilities. Our reviews always contain the honest, independent assessments of our editorial team. Like everything else we publish, there are no paid-for reviews of any kind written by Ion SigTech editorial team.
Companies may loan products (like laptops and smartphones) to our editors for a limited period of time so we can evaluate them and determine whether to review them. Occasionally, we will keep a review unit for an extended period of time to fully evaluate it and its software updates over time. We may also agree to an “embargo” with a company or PR firm that allows us to evaluate their product prior to its release.
We do not invest in companies we cover, and employees are forbidden from trading or buying stock in companies we cover or companies in the general technology sector. Ion SigTech’s retirement savings programs may hold some of these restricted stocks, but these funds are not managed directly by employees.
Additionally, our employees are forbidden from owning or trading in cryptocurrencies like bitcoin.
Employees of Ion SigTech may not be otherwise employed by or receive compensation from companies that they are likely to cover, nor are they permitted to have any advisory role (paid or unpaid) at those companies. In general, writers and editors of Ion SigTech are not allowed to conduct journalism for other publications without the express permission of the editor-in-chief.
From time to time, Ion SigTech will conduct contests and giveaways for our audiences. We will post rules for each contest and giveaway, which will be binding to individuals who decide to participate. While giveaways or contests may be sponsored by an advertiser or partner, they are not and should never be considered endorsements of the entities involved or their products.