Austin Brief prides itself in producing local and national news content that meets the highest standards of journalistic integrity. They aim to produce fact-based and unbiased content and believe that their high standards of journalistic integrity enable them to develop and maintain a trusted relationship with their audiences which keeps them engaged.
They and the journalists they employ have received many awards acknowledging their excellence in journalism. In 2021, these awards included 2 National Murrow Awards and 47 Regional Murrow Awards (Murrow awards recognize local and national news stories that uphold the Radio Television Digital News Association (“RTDNA”) Code of Ethics, demonstrate technical expertise and exemplify the importance and impact of journalism as a service to the community), 121 local Emmy Awards and 221 State Broadcasting Awards and 100 other awards including a Gracie Award (which recognizes achievement by women), Press Club awards, various public service awards and “best of” awards.
In addition, their national cable news network, NewsNation, was founded on the premise of creating an unbiased news network and has been recognized by media watchdog organizations for its trustworthiness and lack of bias. In January 2022, for example, AdFontes Media placed NewsNation in the middle, top portion of “The Media Bias Chart,” which indicates that NewsNation’s reporting is “Mostly Analysis or Mix of Fact Reporting and Analysis” and its bias is “Middle”. In March 2022, NewsGuard gave NewsNation a “Trust Score” of 100, the highest rating of any cable network. In March 2022, AllSides rated NewsNation’s online property as “Center” for media bias.
ENSURING ACCURACY In covering the news, on both broadcast and digital platforms, the company practices strong journalistic standards. While the company cannot reduce legal risks entirely, being fair, accurate, and attributing sources, will minimize the likelihood the company will be found liable for defamation. Truth is a complete defense in defamation cases, which is why accuracy is paramount in all news coverage. Using reliable sources and accurately quoting official sources and documents minimizes the company’s risk. The company also has a strong policy on corrections and retractions. When the need arises to issue a correction, it is done so promptly and is given the same prominent position as the original reporting.
NEWS GUIDELINES Austin Brief, Inc., has written policies regarding news guidelines which are reviewed and adhered to by all employees who manage content. The policies and guidelines are accessible through a document shared digitally with all News Directors. The News Directors also have immediate access to the corporate team of journalists, as well as a strong legal team standing by to support their efforts in news, promotion, personnel, and more.
The News Directors at their TV stations have oversight regarding the accuracy of all news stories. He or she must approve any story that may contain questionable content. With all questionable stories, the News Director is expected to communicate to the corporate team of journalists, their Directors of Local Content Development, who oversee their local operation. The Director of Local Content Development will determine if Austin Brief’s legal team must also be consulted on the story.
News directors are responsible for instilling quality control standards within their staff and implementing workflows and content management procedures that ensure proper editorial oversight of broadcast and digital staff, including those posting content to core digital platforms and social media. Each script written for broadcast or posted to the local digital platform undergoes the same rigorous approval standards. The editorial process includes:
Double-checking facts, names, and spelling. Making sure the video matches the scripts. Flagging stories in the daily editorial meetings which might present a problem and provide extra diligence to editorial oversight. The company’s content review policy requires two pairs of eyes review every script and video. The “second set of eyes” rule includes access to all necessary source