August 14, 2020
Sojourners is clarifying our editorial and organizational structure by making transparent existing and new policies that protect the genuine editorial independence of the publication.
Our mission is to articulate the biblical call to social justice, inspiring hope and building a movement to transform individuals, communities, the church, and the world. We affirm two independent yet integral ways that we seek to accomplish that mission: 1) through advocacy, earned media, mobilizing, convening, and movement building, and 2) our publication, which includes our advocacy journalism in Sojourners magazine and all editorial content on sojo.net.
Effective immediately the President of the organization will no longer serve as Editor-in-Chief, nor carry that title. Effective immediately the current President of the organization has invited the current Executive Editor to become Editor-in-Chief and she has accepted. She will have editorial independence as she oversees Sojourners magazine and sojo.net. The new Editor-in-Chief will continue to be part of the senior leadership team of the Sojourners organization. The Editor-in-Chief reports to the Chief Executive Officer, who reports to the President.
Sojourners commits that we will never again remove a published article from our website, and resolve any conflicts with our advocacy mission in other ways. Any errors or concerns found post-publication will be handled according to the proper editorial processes of issuing correction(s) and/or offering any needed editor’s note, engaging our audience in thoughtful public debate or offering space for rebuttal.
Sojourners already has a longstanding practice — and now an official policy — of never allowing donors or advertisers to influence our editorial work. We are now explicitly adding to that list coalition partners — meaning that no advocacy, mobilizing, or partner work will be allowed to provide pressure of any kind to our editors.
We will continue to work as one integrated organization, with governance and policies established by the Board to foster and serve the mission of Sojourners, and a President with overall responsibility to lead the staff in service to that mission.
The Editor-in-Chief, in conjunction with the editorial staff, is reviewing a forthcoming editorial independence policy and a statement of editorial ethics. These will be posted to sojo.net the week of Aug. 17, 2020.