As the media platform for the global development community, Devex’s value and social mission depends on preserving the trust of aid workers and development professionals by providing fair and accurate information. We believe that by establishing clear, published guidelines for content supported by outside parties, we can promote transparency among Devex staff, readers, and supporting organizations. While the principles outlined here cannot encompass every possible event or circumstance that could occur, we intend for them to be an evolving set of guidelines to inform our thinking around Devex’s content.
Devex is dedicated to providing global development professionals with the news, data and analysis they need to do their jobs and fulfill their missions. In addition to a subscription model and advertising that partly supports the production of our original content, Devex also seeks financial backing from outside parties through partnerships. We do this as part of our business sustainability model and as a way to provide additional content of use to our members.
NGOs, foundations, development agencies, global corporations and institutions of all kinds help to provide critical support to our content, including digital media, social media and events. This support is sometimes financial and sometimes in-kind, in the form of expertise and promotion. We call arrangements with these outside parties ‘partnerships,’ and they lead to the creation of underwritten and/or sponsored content.
When we produce content in collaboration with partners — organizations whose specific expertise adds value to Devex’s reporting and events — they may contribute their own content and attempt to influence our perspective on an issue like any outside organization might, but ultimate editorial control for all content we publish in partnership rests with Devex.
Underwritten content is supported through an advertising arrangement: partners receive promotion for their brand (and sometimes their own sponsored content) in exchange for financial support that allows Devex to produce our own, editorially independent content.
Sponsored content is provided to us by partners or created by Devex under contract to promote a partner’s work or perspective on a particular issue that may not be covered as part of our standard editorial process. Editorial control for this sponsored content rests with the sponsoring organization, not Devex, although we may choose to reject the content entirely if it does not meet our guidelines.
With that background, the following are the guidelines that we make every effort to follow for all Devex content including digital media, social media and events:
- While Devex values its relationships with sponsors, Devex’s editorial integrity is paramount. Devex reserves the right to decline potential sponsored content opportunities that may diminish our reputation or brand in any way.
- All sponsored content will be readily and visually differentiated from editorial content so that readers are immediately made aware that the partner, who must be named, had an editorial influence. This content will be denoted to our readers as “From Our Partner” and will indicate the partner(s) name.
- Since we consider underwriting to be a form of advertising with no editorial influence, Devex’s own original content underwritten by a partner will be simply noted in a less prominent manner.
- Outside parties contributing content are responsible for doing everything possible to make certain that their messaging is rooted in fact and compliant with all applicable laws, regulations and guidelines. While sponsored content does not necessarily reflect the views of Devex or its employees, Devex can use its judgement to remove any message that is demonstrably false or unlawful.
- Devex does not insist that sponsored content avoid controversy. Devex editorial content often challenges conventional wisdom or presents novel perspectives on development issues, and sponsored content can do the same. However, Devex may refuse to publish any content that, in our judgement, could undermine the integrity or authority of our social enterprise.
- Devex will endeavor to publish sponsored and underwritten content on a schedule agreed upon with our partners, but reserves the right to revise the timeline for publication in case of a time-sensitive news priority that would take precedence for our community.
- Devex allows sponsors and partners to choose whether or not to enable comments on content they have supported. If this commenting functionality is turned on, only Devex is able to moderate these comments, and comments will only be moderated for hateful, inflammatory or indecent contributions, not for statements that may be contrary to the sponsor’s viewpoints.
- As a general rule, members of the Devex news operation do not produce sponsored content. Such content is produced by sponsors themselves or by Devex staff engaged only in sponsored content. There are potential exceptions: when sponsored content requires the special expertise of a particular Devex journalist or when the location of a sponsored event or interview makes it most practical to utilize a Devex journalist. However, such exceptions must be approved by the Devex editor-in-chief and will not be approved when the subject matter is sensitive or controversial in nature or when the Devex journalist in question is not comfortable participating in the sponsored content in question.
Devex greatly appreciates the support of its partners who help us fulfill our mission to “Do Good. Do It Well.”