PEOPLE's Editorial Policy

Our Editorial Policy

If you read it on PEOPLE, you know it is true. In a world of rumors run wild, there are all kinds of stories that take the internet by storm and provoke strong reactions — even from major public figures — before anybody even knows if the information is true. As one of the world's most-read digital publications, we take seriously our responsibility to fight against viral misinformation by having steadfast journalistic standards that guide us in telling true, accurate, and authoritative stories — always.

Every piece of content on PEOPLE is conceived of, created, and communicated to you with these core principles front of mind.

  • PEOPLE tells you what's true: There are plenty of blind items and clickbait headlines out there. But PEOPLE takes its approach to celebrity news and information extremely seriously. The most A-list stars come to us to share their news and personal stories and we are in constant dialogue with all the big players in Hollywood and throughout the entertainment industry who speak to us because they know we value the truth.
  • Reliable information is power: That meme going viral on Instagram? We won't write about it or share it until we can authenticate the who, what, when, where and why. We don't jump on bandwagons till we are confident we know what we're talking about and can deliver an authoritative, accurate and informative account.
  • We're here to serve YOU: Every PEOPLE article is published with the intention of helping you feel more informed about the news—whatever news means to you on any given day: (Hey, sometimes you really do need to know what the newest flavor of Oreos is going to be, and there's no shame in that!) So whether you want to read about Kim Kardashian's relationship, the war in Ukraine or shop for our editors' picks for best new sneakers, we've got you covered.
  • We're transparent. If we ever need to update a story with new information, we'll let you know that we did so through precise time stamps. If we need to make a substantive change to a story if something new comes to light, we'll be honest about why that happened and explain ourselves in a clearly-labeled and dated note.

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Inside the PEOPLE Newsroom

Bringing you the latest news is a big, never-ending production. Our reporters are among the most connected people in the world: on the red carpet, at the White House, in the worlds of tech, sports, style and beauty, food and more.

But we also shine at finding those small, never-before-heard stories of ordinary people doing extraordinary things—in any zip code in this country and beyond. Our news team members have their fingers on the pulse and keep you plugged in to what's happening, minute by minute, no matter the hour of day, and continuously as the story unfolds. And our expert editors are there to give you the best recommendations: what to watch, read, listen to, wear, cook and buy.

Our Values

At PEOPLE, we hold some principles sacred. We will not publish a photograph of a celebrity's child taken against their parents' wishes, barring a serious news value. We believe in a person's right to privacy, so we will not expose a pregnancy or someone's health issues against their wishes, nor will we share identifying details that might betray the location of the home where a public figure resides. We always strive to have an open dialogue with the people we cover and give them an opportunity to tell their stories.

We're a Force for Good

You may notice PEOPLE covers some pretty heavy topics, from themes of drug abuse and sexual assault to child abuse or suicide. At every turn, we're committed to helping you gain insight from these incredibly personal stories or be inspired to help: we will help you find a story subject's GoFundMe, if you're moved to make a donation, or we'll give you helpful resources if you or someone in your life is in a similar situation.

We have stringent guidelines for writing about suicide, and work in partnership with #CrisisTextLine to encourage people to make the call for help if they're struggling with their mental health. And we vet and will share links to legitimate 501c3 charities when we cover major developing news about everything from environmental crises to the war in Ukraine.

Diversity & Inclusion

At its core, PEOPLE is a brand devoted to highlighting diverse stories: The triumphs, tragedies and extraordinary moments in the lives of all people. We have always been committed to representing as many voices as possible and work constantly to seek out and showcase new ones. We seek always to improve the diversity and scope of the talent we profile, stories we cover, people we feature, and platforms we amplify. It is a top priority for PEOPLE to be transparent about the steps we're taking to ensure our content is representative, fair, educational, and inclusive.

At PEOPLE, we strive to be a safe, inclusive, and judgment-free place to consume content. We apply rigorous standards to the language we use around sexual orientation, gender orientation, race, mental and physical health, including body issues and how people become families. PEOPLE is also guided by the Dotdash Meredith Anti-Bias Review Board, which advises on our content to ensure that it is free of bias and as inclusive as possible.

Fact-Checking, Accuracy & Corrections

Accurate information is at the core of every story we publish at PEOPLE. Our writers and editors investigate rumors and claims and verify all information gathered for all we publish. We consult credible, in-the-know sources to ensure we're providing proper context and background. Our work is rigorously evaluated for accuracy, relevance, and timeliness during the editing process.

But if you ever find fault with a story we've published, or have a substantive update or possible correction to share, we want to hear from you. Please email [email protected]

We are committed to telling you if a factual error has been made on a news story at the time of publication. We will correct the error as quickly as possible and append a clearly-labeled note to inform you of the corrected information. When an article is factually correct, but the language is not as clear or detailed as necessary, the story may be updated without an editor's note.

Our editorial teams do their best to update our large library of "evergreen" stories to ensure they continue to be timely, accurate, and relevant. Each article is date-stamped to reflect when they were last updated.

The PEOPLE Health Squad

In the age of COVID and vaccine misinformation, no topic requires expert precision and more intense fact-checking than health coverage. To that end, our health team relies on the PEOPLE Health Squad, a team of doctors with specialties in many different areas we have at the ready, to explain and put into context everything from the latest recommendations on booster shots to that episode of And Just Like That that covered perimenopausal menstruation. We told you we take this stuff seriously.

Sources

Our writers and editors adhere to strict sourcing standards in all our articles. All facts and claims are backed up by at least one reputable source, and we aim to be transparent as to the origin of information in any developing situation.

In our crime coverage, or in the case of a major disaster, where first responders and law enforcement respond to the scene, we rely on the district's Public Information Officer, interviews directly with members of law enforcement and court documents for the facts of the case. We always make every effort to reach out to legal representation for all defendants, or any individuals that are profiled in our coverage.

PEOPLE journalists often receive information from trustworthy confidential sources whose names are withheld from publication. We want you to understand that these sources are not "anonymous" but are known to the PEOPLE team. They are granted confidentiality for publication purposes and the information they provide is verified with other sources. When we grant confidentiality to sources, we aim to provide context to our readers about the reasons they are not named.

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Editorial Independence and Impartiality

At PEOPLE, we never pay for stories or tips, as we believe it can compromise the integrity of our journalism. Likewise, we do not accept monetary compensation in exchange for coverage of products. Our writers and editors are prohibited from giving preferential treatment to any outside resource (company, publication, video, affiliate, website) based on their relationship with the person or company who authors or owns that resource. Each staff member and contributor is held to a high standard of honesty and transparency.

Our goal at PEOPLE is to provide original, unbiased, credible content. We expect all contributors on the network to abide by all applicable laws, standards, and accepted journalistic practices, including:

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Shopping Recommendations

Part of our mission atPEOPLE is to provide you with thorough, unbiased shopping information. We cover everything from the latest celebrity trends, the best sales, as well as our PEOPLE Tested program which covers everything from skincare to kitchen gadgets. In our PEOPLE Tested program, we do the heavy lifting by running products through vigorous testing at one of our three testing labs throughout the country.

Here, we test products against a comprehensive methodology that rates products on various attributes (think performance, durability, ease of use, etc.). No product makes it into our Pet Awards, Beauty Awards, or Food Awards packages without rigorous testing by a panel of editors and experts. Our goal is to provide you with as much information as possible before you decide to buy something. These product recommendations are purely editorial, and we may receive a commission on any purchases that you make.

Learn more about our testing methodology here.