Editorial Policies and Standards

Mission and Coverage
Ownership and Funding
Editorial Independence Policy
Ethics Policy
The Trust Project
Verification and Fact-checking Standards
Corrections Policy
Veiled Sources
Byline Policy
Reader Engagement and Feedback
Diverse Voices Statement
Staffing Diversity

Additional YES! Policies and Information

Privacy Policy, Donor Transparency and Privacy Policies, Board Conflict of Interest Policy, Submissions Guidelines, Commenting Policy

Mission and Coverage

YES! is a nonprofit, independent media organization that inspires people to create a more just, sustainable, and compassionate world through reporting, commentary, and reader engagement.

Our explanatory journalism analyzes societal problems in terms of their root causes and explores opportunities for systemic, structural change. Our stories uncover environmental, economic, and social justice intersections. Our solutions reporting spotlights the ideas and initiatives of people building a better world. Our commentaries address dominant economic, political, and social structures and consider alternative ways of thinking that can produce a more equitable and Earth-friendly world.

Ownership and Funding

YES! was founded in 1996 as a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. We are not owned by any individual or corporation. We are accountable only to you—our readers.

Our revenue comes from multiple sources including subscriptions, donations, foundation support, and earned revenue from events. YES! is ad-free: we make no money from advertising and you won’t find ads on our site or in our magazine. More than 8,000 readers supported YES! with a donation in 2019.

Our editorial strategy is insulated from our revenue sources by a firewall.

Editorial Independence Policy

YES! subscribes to standards of editorial independence adopted by the Institute for Nonprofit News:

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 editorial activities and news judgments are made independently by the editorial department and not on the basis of donor support for the organization.

Our organization may consider donations to support coverage of particular topics, but our editorial director and executive editor maintain editorial control of all 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 each 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 INN’s Membership Standards.

Ethics Policy

YES! Media maintains an in-house style guide, and its editorial policies follow the Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics. YES! journalists seek and report the truth—they are honest and courageous in gathering, reporting, and interpreting information. They minimize harm by treating sources, subjects, colleagues, and members of the public as human beings deserving of respect. They act independently with an obligation to serve the public and avoid conflicts of interest. And they are accountable and transparent, taking responsibility for their work and explaining their decisions to the public. Furthermore, because YES! believes that systemic change begins at the grassroots level, YES! stories strive to include perspectives of those often excluded from mainstream coverage, including the voices of community members, movement leaders, and those directly impacted by the topics on which YES! reports. However, this focus in no way negates YES!’s commitment to publish balanced, factual reporting and analysis, in addition to clearly labeled commentary and opinion.

You can read more about SPJ’s principles here.

The Trust Project

The Trust Project logoYES! is proud to be a member of The Trust Project, an international coalition of reputable media organizations working together to promote truthful, verified news with fairness and accuracy. Through ongoing global collaboration with the public, news leaders, search and social platforms, the consortium is defining a standard for trustworthy journalism that can be easily recognized anywhere.

Verification and Fact-checking Standards

YES! is committed to publishing accurate information across all of its platforms. We take many steps to ensure accuracy: We investigate claims with skepticism; question assumptions; challenge conventional wisdom; confirm information with experts and current data; and seek to independently corroborate claims made by sources or entities. We verify third-party claims and information using original documents and primary sources whenever possible, and make explicit the origin of information and data. While we do not allow sources to review a story prior to publication, we may share relevant quotes or data with a source to confirm accuracy.

YES! Magazine stories are fact-checked. YES! counts on its writers and editors to make independent evaluations of difficult topics, to report on and analyze those topics using verifiable facts, and to clearly identify the sources of all information presented. Whenever possible, YES! provides direct links to original sources and data directly in a given article. We stand by the accuracy of our reporting, and strive to quickly and transparently correct any errors.

We welcome feedback from our readers and sources regarding the information that we publish at [email protected].

Corrections Policy

YES! is committed to telling readers when an error has been made, the magnitude of the error, and the correct information, as quickly as possible. This commitment and transparency is applicable to small errors as well as large, across our content. When an error occurs, YES! will publish a notification of correction at the bottom of the relevant story, identifying the nature of the error and providing the correct information in the body of the text and in the correction notice. Please report possible errors to [email protected].

Veiled Sources

YES! allows the use of pseudonyms in published journalism only in the case of a clear and pressing need for anonymity, such as the legitimate concern for the safety of sources, or where personal privacy must be protected for serious reasons. The decision to use a veiled source is made solely at the discretion of YES! editors.

Byline Policy

Authorship of each YES! story is clearly visible through a byline, which in turn links to an author’s (or each authors’) biographic profile page on our website. In cases where two or more staff editors significantly contributed to the reporting, research, and writing of a story or online item, a staff byline reading “YES! Editors” may appear. YES! does not publish anonymous pieces, except in rare instances where the aforementioned standards for veiled sources have been met.

Reader Engagement and Feedback

For more than 20 years, YES! has been partnering with readers to build a more just, sustainable, and compassionate world. We know we can have an even greater impact in the world when readers bring their thoughts, ideas, and expertise to the table. We are committed to engaging with you and taking action based on your suggestions, complaints, and other feedback. You may help us develop an individual story or line of coverage, answer questions that a story may raise, identify related or under-covered issues, and teach us about new and diverse sources, experts, and perspectives.

In line with this, we are committed to providing greater transparency about our journalism and offering regular points of contact and interaction. We believe that news organizations have a responsibility to engage with the public on the values, issues and ideas of the day, and that we have much to gain in return.

We use a variety of programs and techniques toward this end. We use Vox Media’s Coral discussion platform to hold conversations on select articles and topical issues. For more information, see our Commenting Policy. Through our YES! Presents program we host in person and virtual events that more deeply explore the themes we cover with our readers and supporters. We also regularly survey our audience to get invaluable feedback on our magazine covers and content, impact, and engagement activities. Be sure to subscribe to our newsletter to see our latest discussion prompts, surveys, and event invitations. If you have ideas, questions, or comments about our stories, you can reach us at [email protected]. This address is monitored by our support team, and emails are forwarded to the appropriate departments.

Diverse Voices Statement

Inclusiveness is at the heart of thinking and acting as journalists. The complex issues we face as a society require respect for different viewpoints. Race, class, age, gender identity, sexual orientation, ethnicity, and geography all affect point of view. Reflecting these differences in our reporting leads to better, more nuanced stories and a better-informed community.

YES! is committed to increasing the diversity of our staff, writers, and sources, and inquires about the racial and gender identities of our contributors with the goal of increasing representation for people of color, LGBTQ people, and others from historically marginalized communities. We prioritize working with writers who have lived experiences in the communities they cover.

Staffing Diversity

We seek diverse voices in our management and reporting staff. In 2020, 32% of YES! staff are people of color, up from 17% in 2015. Three of our seven-member leadership team are people of color, and our new board co-chairs are African-American and Arab-American. For each of the last three years, more than 40% of our writers are people of color (up from 14% in 2015).


Current as of Mar. 13, 2023

Christine Hanna

Sarah van Gelder and David Korten


Evette Dionne

Sunnivie Brydum

Chris Winters

Breanna Draxler

Natalie Pryor

Michael Luong

Sonali Kolhatkar

Ayu Sutriasa

Iman Mohamed

Kjerstin Johnson

Amanda Sorell

Esa Grigsby
Katherine Barner

To contact YES! editorial staff, please email [email protected].

Business and Operations

Julia Pagán

Shelly Hunter

Yvonne Rivera

Doug Indrick

Kathy Murphy

Melia Smith

Paula Murphy

Kimi Mehlinger

Kayla Ebron

Lauren Valle

Ayu Tanaka