Boston's stories of justice, hope and resilience

The Scope

Boston's stories of justice, hope and resilience

The Scope

Boston's stories of justice, hope and resilience

The Scope


TLDR: The Scope is a digital magazine. We tell stories of justice, hope and resilience in Greater Boston. We are editorially independent and operated by Northeastern University’s School of Journalism. We practice journalism as an act of service, working to connect communities, inform civic life and amplify voices that are often overlooked or mischaracterized by traditional media. We do this by striving to be transparent, fair and accurate in our reporting. Our work is available for free on a variety of digital platforms and is intended to supplement, not compete with, the city’s existing news outlets. 

Below is a longer explanation of our reporting process, ethical policies and how to republish our work. In the spirit of transparency, we may revisit this page from time-to-time and make amendments as the news and media landscape continues to evolve. All of our work adheres to these standards, unless otherwise stated and in which case we will be as upfront about our decisions as possible. 

Where does the Scope’s reporting come from?

All reporting is original and conducted by staff writers and Northeastern University students, unless otherwise stated. Content that is quoted or summarized from another publication is cited inline and embedded with a hyperlink. Any material from outside publications, unless it is being refuted by the Scope, is sourced from publications with comparable editorial and ethical standards. On occasion, the Scope may choose to republish, with permission, articles from other publications. In those cases, attribution and links back to original work are posted at the top of the article.

Is it accurate?

We work hard to get the facts straight. All information from credible sources is verified by the reporter, the student editor and the full-time editor. It is also generally reviewed by a faculty advisor. Apart from pieces published under opinion categories (opinion, community voices and, to a lesser degree, analysis), the Scope publishes statements of fact, not opinion.

We avoid misleading the public by providing information out of or with limited context. We strive for objective and fair reporting in service of our mission, to provide greater context around justice issues and to better inform the public.

Articles published under either the opinion or analysis categories are only accepted or commissioned by those who are experts in their field. This may include academics, policymakers and advocates. This may also include people who have had a personal, intimate experience with the subject or event they are writing about. Both the student editor and faculty advisor will verify facts within these pieces that are not considered common knowledge.

Pieces published under the community voices category undergo factchecking the same as any other article, and will appear with the reporter’s byline with an “as told to” qualifier — e.g., “by John Doe as told to Jame Smith.”

Question and Answer (Q&A) articles are edited by the reporter, a student editor and the editor-in-chief for length and clarity and will be labelled as such. Information and quotations within Q&A pieces, and all pieces for that matter, are not edited or taken out of context so as to maintain their meaning and intention.

Does the Scope use anonymous sources?

Our readers deserve to know where the information that informs our work comes from. Any information and quotations derived from our sources will be properly attributed, to uphold and maintain the confidence of our readers. 

The Scope only uses unnamed sources if the source is taking a demonstrated economic or personal risk by becoming a source. A source that wishes to stay anonymous will be shared with the one or more members of the editorial student staff and/or the faculty advisor. Anonymous sources will only be used if the source is stating fact, not opinion; is reliable, and in position to be stating factual information; and is the only source available to provide the information. Reporters verify the information provided by anonymous sources with secondary sources and find sources who can state the information on the record.

Do you make corrections?

There may be times when the Scope will make mistakes. Minor errors are fixed within the original post and are referenced in a correction at the bottom of the page. More serious corrections are explained in an editor’s note at the top of the original post. In the dire and rare circumstance that a piece published on the Scope proves to be considerably problematic, the post is deleted and a letter from the editorial student staff explaining the missteps behind the errors is published forthwith. 

Does the Scope share content with partners?

Everything on our site is free for you to use and re-publish, but please let us know that you wish to use it by emailing [email protected]. Please also add a line at the bottom of the piece explaining that you got it from our site and link back to our original post. The Scope does partner with publications to co-publish work but we only work with publications that have comparable editorial and ethical standards.