The Ohio Center for Journalism, “Eye On Ohio,” is a nonpartisan, nonprofit news source. We aim to provide meaningful, in-depth coverage and to investigate our state and its government.
Our mission is to promote the public good by pursuing in-depth, underreported and high-impact journalism which exposes injustice and explores its consequences. Our reporting investigates the truth, holds those in power accountable, and seeks solutions.
Eye on Ohio makes every effort to edit and fact-check all stories before publication. However, we invite any reader feedback if you notice something is wrong, such as this example. Please use this form to notify us. Or call 646-397-7761.
All corrections are reviewed by our executive director, and if needed, changes are noted both on the page and on our corrections page.
Ethics Policy and Editorial Independence
We are committed to using the best practices of other non-profit journalism organizations around the country, seek the advice of experts in this field, collaborate when possible with other media partners, and produce valuable, high-impact stories to serve the public good. Though we will use new technology and modern media platforms, our work will reflect the highest principles and standards of the best in traditional investigative journalism. Eye on Ohio adheres to the Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics.
In particular, SPJ’s standards for objectivity and transparency are things that we strive to accomplish.
We also adhere to the Institute for Nonprofit News’ membership ethics standards, which is why we publicly acknowledge our funders and put all our tax forms online.
We follow the Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics and continually learn from groups such as theInstitute for Nonprofit News and the Local Independent Online News Publishers, of which we are a member, as well as Trusting News, Gather and their members, to assess and refine our editorial practices toward fairness and transparency. We maintain a firewall of editorial independence between news coverage decisions and all sources of revenue.
- Do you use anonymous sources? No. As a small organization, we value our credibility and have decided that any possible big story from an anonymous source is outweighed by the potential loss of trust from our audience.
- Can I pay to put a story on your site? NO. All donations go to funding journalism in the public interest. We do not accept money to publish stories or pay interviewees for stories. Please do not send us your ‘featured guest’ post. This is not a blog; it’s a news outlet.
- Are you liberal or conservative? Neither. No one on staff has ever worked for a political campaign, and we try to make sure stories are unbiased and nonpartisan. We do not endorse any candidates. We do not have any opinion pieces.
At Eye on Ohio, verification is important to us. All stories are not only copy edited, but also fact-checked with multiple sources. We try, whenever possible, to provide links to documentation of reference materials. We will cannot publish a story if the tip cannot be independently verified. And we do not use anonymous sources.
Every single article we publish is checked for accuracy and credibility. Our reporters have primary responsibility for reporting, writing, and fact-checking their stories. In addition, before a story is published, the reporter reviews all facts and sources with an editor.
In our news stories, facts must be traced to a primary source. Journalists are expected to write with fact-checking in mind, and should provide source material to discuss and respond to questions.
We take many steps to ensure accuracy:
- We investigate claims with skepticism; question assumptions; challenge conventional wisdom; confirm information with subject-matter experts; and seek to corroborate what sources tell us by talking with other informed people or consulting documents.
- We verify content, such as technical terms and statistics, against source documents or make clear who is providing the information.
- We provide hyperlinks in the story to facts and any source material that can be found online.
Eye on Ohio stands by the information as accurate, and if it’s not, we will change it as quickly as possible and be transparent with our readers about the magnitude of the error.
Diverse Staffing Report
Over the past five years, we have incorporated 70 different writers, from all walks of life: 54 percent of those journalists identified as female, while 20 percent were people of color.
Eye on Ohio is committed to covering all Ohioans, not just a limited demographic segment. And in 2021 Eye on Ohio won Best Minority Issues Reporting from the Cincinnati Society of Professional Journalists. We are particularly proud of this as it reflects our priority to put our community first.
Unlike a traditional news source that has to think about the number of clicks to power its ad sales, we have the opposite model: what are the information needs of our community? What stories are going untold?
It’s incredibly important to have writers who reflect your community and understand the importance of local issues.
Ohio was once the center of Native American culture, and we strive to better cover Ohio’s vibrant immigrant communities, historic African-American institutions, and a blossoming LGBTQIA+ scene.
We have a commitment to producing journalism that is accurate, fair and complete, which acts with honesty, transparency and independence, including from conflicts of interest. To ensure our freelancer adhere to these policies, they sign contracts acknowledging they have read our guidelines, and an editor fact-checks their work. Also, we list all major donors on our Sponsors Page, and we cite potential conflicts of interest on the same page as the relevant work. We do not allow any funder to make editorial decisions on our behalf.
Read more about our Types of Work.
We want to hear from you- Actionable Feedback Policy
You are absolutely essential to our newsgathering process. Most of Eye on Ohio’s stories come directly from reader, viewer, and listener tips! We believe that news organizations have a responsibility to engage with the public on the values, issues and ideas of the day, and that we have much to gain in return.
In line with this, we are committed to providing greater transparency about how news is produced and offering regular points of contact and interaction. We believe that news organizations have a responsibility to engage with the public on the values, issues and ideas of the day, and that we have much to gain in return.
As a local newsroom, we strive to have an active and ongoing relationship with our audience. If you have a comment or question, please contact us through our form or call us at (646) 397-7761.
Note: because of the overwhelming number of inquiries we get, we do not have time to respond or investigate them all. But we do allow comments on our stories, and we encourage reader feedback in our comments section
History and Funding Policy
We are proud to say we are one of the few websites that are 100% foundation and donation funded! Our news outlet isn’t owned by any individual or company, we are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.
We have a commitment to producing journalism that is accurate, fair and complete, which acts with honesty, transparency and independence, including from conflicts of interest. To ensure our freelancer adhere to these policies, they sign contracts acknowledging they have read our guidelines, and an editor fact-checks their work.
Also, we list all major donors on our Sponsors Page, and we cite potential conflicts of interest on the same page as the relevant work. We do not allow any funder to make editorial decisions on our behalf.
Read more about our Types of Work.
Eye on Ohio was incorporated in the state of Ohio in August 2012 to advance the practice of non-profit investigative journalism. We received our status as an independent 501c3 organization in April 2014. We started regularly publishing in January 2018.
As has been well-documented, investigative journalism has been under siege for many years. Traditional for-profit newspapers and broadcast media, facing increasing competition from digital news outlets and pressure to boost profit margins, have been reducing reporting staff and resources spent on in-depth stories.
Because in-depth and investigative stories are expensive – they require time, experienced reporters, resources such as data-base subscriptions, mileage, costs associated with records searches, legal expenses, etc. – far too often they are on the chopping block when media companies look to trim budgets.
These are precisely the stories that are most important to our democratic society; they serve to expose wrongdoing by government, businesses or other institutions, shed light on issues vital to communities and human lives, and can lead to changes in policy, practices and legislation.
Read more about our board here.
Non-profit news dates back more than three decades, with the establishment of the national Center for Investigating Reporting in Berkeley, California in the late 1970s; and the Center for Public Integrity, founded in 1989; both remain major sources of in-depth news and information. Statewide and local non-profit news organizations proliferated in the 2000s. There are dozens in New York, Wisconsin, Iowa, California, Maine, Massachusetts, Missouri, Kentucky, Pennsylvania and many more states.
As these centers – operating on-line but often in conjunction with other media partners – have grown, so too has a support network to ensure their sustainability. The Investigative News Network, a trade association and technical support group, was founded in 2009 to provide resources and information to start-up centers. Eye on Ohio was accepted into the INN family in January 2013.
Lucia Walinchus, Esq., Executive Director
Lucia Walinchus is an award-winning journalist, attorney and ice hockey addict. She is currently the Executive Director at Eye on Ohio, the Ohio Center for Journalism. Walinchus has written more than 500 articles for various publications throughout her career and was named a 2016 Fulbright Berlin Capital Program Scholar. She has been featured as a guest speaker on CNN and is a contracted freelancer for the New York Times. Her work has previously been recognized as the Best Investigative Reporting in Ohio, the Best Data Journalism in Ohio, and the Best Public Service Journalism. By investigating police practices throughout Oklahoma, she was able to write an exposé detailing how infrequently Oklahoma police fingerprint evidence, especially in rural areas, even if possession is an issue. For another story, she analyzed thousands of records to determine that Oklahoma City Landlords win 95 percent of contested cases. In 2019, she teamed up with the Pulitzer Center to show how a tax loophole raises property tax rates for small business owners, and spearheaded a major investigation with the Cincinnati Enquirer that showed African American neighborhoods have far more stops than white ones. In 2021, her project using AI to look at public records showed that land banks favor some areas over others. Walinchus has a degree in Journalism from American University and a Juris Doctorate from California Western School of Law.
Duane Pohlman, Board of Trustees President
Duane Pohlman is widely considered one of the premier television investigative reporters and respected anchors in the country. Over the past 20 years, his award-winning investigations at television stations around the country have uncovered the resurgence of the Ku Klux Klan, government corruption, nuclear security cover-ups, slaughterhouse violations, treated wood poisonings, injustices at coffee plantations, stolen babies in Guatemala and list goes on. Many of his investigations have triggered major changes, including Congressional investigations and local prosecutions. Duane has won more than 100 national, regional and state awards – including Emmys, Murrows, SPJ and AP awards, had he has been named Reporter of the Year six times in three states. He is also a leader, having served as a board member, treasurer and vice president on the board of Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE) and a board member for NATAS (Emmy) Lower Great Lakes Chapter. Duane is currently an investigative reporter at WKRC in Cincinnati, Ohio and is recommitting his strong journalistic background and storytelling abilities to reinventing as a leader in the emerging new media landscape and non-profit news world.
Please see our “about us’ page to learn about the many people who make Eye on Ohio possible.