Editorial Independence Policy, sponsorship standards, and other disclaimers for Jatan’s Space
Dear reader, I’d like to request your attention for 5 minutes, especially if you regularly consume my work. What follows below are formal disclaimers regarding the ethical standards of my space writings at large. The web version of the same will be updated over time.
Hi, I’m Jatan Mehta, the sole author, editor and owner of Jatan’s Space, an independent blog, newsletter and publication covering the exploration of space and our Moon. While I broadly adhere to the ethical standards proposed by the Institute for Nonprofit News, something widely adopted by a variety of media publications around the globe, I’d like to take this space to be transparent to my readers on the specific ways in which I ensure editorial independence of my writings and the exact way I run sponsorships.
I never display any ads anywhere on Jatan’s Space. This policy extends to my auxiliary web presence in the form of social media and other things.
All of my writings are absolutely free to access by everyone, and always will be.
Sponsorships are the key mechanism by which I sustain my flagship Moon Monday newsletter as well as the newly launched Indian Space Progress reports. Sponsors help fund said works monetarily and get acknowledged for the same in return. They also get a few non-promotional perks, all of which are listed below on this page. Sponsors, by design, DO NOT get any editorial leverage over my writings or any purely promotional perks such as sponsored messaging or ads. Which is especially why I’m grateful to my sponsors who support my work primarily just because they want to.
Accepting monetary support does not necessarily imply I endorse the products, services or opinions of my sponsors. At the same time, sponsors DO NOT bear the weight of being seen as a supporter of opinions I express in my writings or any editorial decision I make.
Sponsors have the ability to receive the following perks at large in return for their monetary support. In every case, I manage the final wording of all information.
Sponsors get a logo on Jatan’s Space’s About page, linked to their website
Sponsors get their acknowledgement credit in respective newsletter editions
Sponsors get a yearly brief welcome message to introduce them to my readers
Sponsors can list some factual dispatches in newsletter editions, such as job listings and event or product announcements. These will never contain use of adjectives or any such ad-like messaging. This perk is newly introduced with the Indian Space Progress newsletter, one I’ll be carrying forward to Moon Monday as well from April 2023.
Sponsors can separately ask me to write an article on a theme of their choice but specifically not on their product in any way. Such an article is written without their editorial involvement. For a piece that best demonstrates such an example, see “Past mistakes to avoid in our grand return to the Moon this decade”. This perk of sponsoring an article is available to individuals as well, at a lower cost than to organizations.
I accept sponsorships only from organizations that are pro-science, pro-space, and pro-Moon, and are doing a legitimate business or activity. I do not accept sponsorships from organizations purely in the defense sector, or from dedicated subsidiaries to that effect. Alas, space technology is dual-use and political by its very nature, and so I don’t think attaining a complete refrain of affiliation from any defense-related organization at all is possible in principle. In any case, I only cover civil space.
Sponsors don’t get access to email addresses of any subscribers, or any such related personal stats for that matter. What I do and will share with potential sponsors are several bulk stats, such as the total number of subscribers of my newsletters and their overall open rates, none of which is individually identifying information in any way. Nevertheless, I offer all readers an option to subscribe to my blog via RSS so you don’t need to take my word for it.
I accept individual reader donations too. Not that I get a lot of it but the kind of people who do personally support my work is gratifying. If that includes you, I extend a heartfelt thank you.
Other than an obvious difference in the supported amounts, readers donations and sponsors are distinct from each other by design: I accept sponsorships for specific works of mine, such as the Moon Monday newsletter, whereas reader donations support my independent space writings as a whole. Moreover, Moon Monday and Indian Space Progress each have their own sponsors so as to reduce dependence on individual organizations. This intentional separation means an organization wanting to get visibility on both newsletters will have to pay twice, which obviously no one would be inclined to do.
I disclose the name of every sponsor that donates to me at least $1000 in a year. In an unlikely event that a circumstance causes me to consider otherwise, I’ll say that someone or some organization has donated an amount X and share the reason for granting them anonymity. There hasn’t been such a case so far.
Readers and sponsors supporting my work get to join my little community of kind space enthusiasts by gaining the ability to publicly comment on all my posts.
Jatan’s Space contains all space articles I’ve ever written, for the convenience of my readers to follow, browse and search all my work as well as for the purposes of archival and redundancy. This includes syndicated versions of articles I’ve written for publications. In every such case, I honor the publication-required hold period before republishing my work on here. The typical hold period demanded by media publications is 24 or 48 hours, and sometimes more.
I do not own shares of any space companies, primarily to keep my writing unbiased. If the former state changes, I will declare the same here.
If I formally consult for a space company, I’ll disclose it in a relevant new article, newsletter or post I publish as soon as possible, after having seeked and received due permissions in the agreement.
If at any point you find a discrepancy in my work with regards to the ethical standards I’ve laid out above, or if you want to make me aware of a major element I haven’t considered, please reach out to me.
Thank you for your time, care, and curiosity.