Notes to Readers | Connecticut Public Radio
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Notes to Readers

June 30, 2020

Our newsroom works hard each day to be thoughtful about the news and how we cover it. Here, and throughout public media, we take pride in being non-partisan, accurate, impartial, and independent. In pursuit of those aims, we also hold ourselves accountable.

Harriet Jones has been a trusted voice at Connecticut Public Radio for years. She is currently managing editor -- which means she runs our daily news operation. On June 25, 2020, her husband, Bob Statchen, began active campaigning as the Democratic candidate for the 18th state senatorial district in the 2020 election.

In an effort to avoid real and perceived conflicts of interest, and after earlier consultation with NPR, we are taking the following steps:

  • Jones will not report on, or edit reports on, Connecticut’s 2020 statehouse races.
  • She will not participate in her husband’s campaign.
  • She will not cover or edit political issues of concern in her husband’s race.

I'll be responsible for the newsroom duties from which Harriet is recusing herself. 

This follows our practice from 2018, when we developed similar plans after careful consideration internally and with guidance and advice of NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices and the NPR ombudsman.

Transparency is an essential part of our work. That’s why we’re sharing this with you now. We’ll obviously revisit this issue as the campaign season progresses, and we welcome your feedback.

Jeff Cohen
News Director
Connecticut Public Radio
jcohen@ctpublic.org