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Conflicts of interest

Editorial Guidelines for Potential Conflicts of Interest 

Editorial integrity is at the center of The Block’s newsroom. Gaining the trust of our readers is paramount to being the authoritative source for digital asset news. 

As an information services company, The Block provides customers with data, research and news. This gives our journalists a wealth of resources and context when crafting their stories. It also necessitates a boundary between the editorial and the sales/research teams. Further, it’s critically important to understand when potential conflicts of interest may arise.  

Internal Conflicts 

The Block’s editorial team operates separately and independently from its sales and research teams. In the course of doing business, The Block’s sales and research divisions may obtain proprietary or financial information from its customers. The Block’s journalists are not privy to this information, nor do they gain any additional knowledge about customers because of a relationship with sales or research.  

To facilitate this separation: 

  • editorial, sales and research shall maintain separate digital communication channels on Slack or other shared electronic workflow programs 
  • editorial, sales and research shall have separate physical spaces, to the extent our offices allow 
  • specific requests between sales/research and editorial shall go through a newsroom managing editor or above 

Additionally, The Block’s reporters may not: 

  • take part in commercial sales conversations 
  • share embargoed or non-public information  

The sales and research teams should not: 

  • encourage or discourage news coverage 
  • share with whom they may (or may not) be having commercial discussions  

What collaboration may occur: 

  • journalists and researchers may have discussions about publicly available information
  • journalists and researchers may talk in general terms about their work product 
  • journalists may discuss news product and obtain product feedback from clients 
  • journalists may quote or cite The Block’s research, as they would any other source 
  • journalists may collaborate with the sales team on product development conversations 

 In the event a customer complaint about news coverage is relayed to the sales or research teams, those complaints should be directed to the appropriate editorial managing editor or above. 

Sponsored Content 

From time to time the editorial department may assist in the development of sponsored content commissioned or sold by The Block’s sales or revenue teams. For the purposes of this section, “Sponsored Content” shall be defined as content that is commissioned and paid for by the sponsor. To the extent that The Block’s editorial team participates in Sponsored Content, the work product shall not be explicitly or implicitly influenced by the sponsor. Further, The Block’s editorial team shall not produce custom content when a sponsor has influence over resulting work product. 

For webinars that have an editorial component, the sponsor may work with The Block’s sales team to frame a topic, but the resulting webinar must be independent and without interference from the sponsor.  

Sponsored webinars shall: 

  • be clearly marked as sponsored content  
  • be clearly distinguishable from editorial content 
  • feature no more than one representative of the sponsor 

 

It’s understood that: 

  • sponsors shall not dictate the specific nature of webinar content 
  • sponsors will not have access to, or the ability to dictate specific questions ahead of the event 
  • sponsors may only be involved in topic framing, and that framing must be approved by the editor-in-chief  
  • sponsors will not have influence over the webinar’s end work product 
  • editorial will not be privy to the financial details of the sponsorship or included in any planning correspondence that discloses financial information 

 

 

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