Digital Publishing Guidelines

Self-publishing

As a general rule, Washington Post news, visuals and text are edited before publication. With the advent of new digital media, our readers expect news and information to be delivered immediately and accurately. In some cases — especially in blogs or tweets filed by Post journalists during live news events — items may therefore be posted without prior editing. The same standards for accuracy and fairness apply to these postings. In situations when our journalists self-publish blog posts, the blog should be back-read by an editor as soon as possible.

However, on any matter involving taste, accuracy or fairness, those who are authorized to publish directly are encouraged to confer with their editor before posting. Likewise, those individuals should confer with their editor before posting anything that could pose legal, reputational or other risk.

Senior editors in each department should determine which staffers may self-publish, and under what circumstances. Authorization to self-publish in a breaking-news situation may not extend to later posts or updates on the same topic. If you are in doubt, ask your editor or a supervising editor.

All other decisions about whether and when to publish must go through an editor. In general, at least two editors read or review our journalism before it goes live. In the course of making decisions about when to publish, Post newsroom editors will be making the call, and in making those decisions, editors should be able to rely most heavily on our own journalists, even when another news organization is reporting something contrary to our own information.