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KPBS News: Source Tracking Policy


KPBS upholds the fundamental responsibility to reflect the diverse voices and perspectives of the communities we serve. Tracking the sources in our news coverage shows our commitment to ethical and inclusive journalism. Who we talk to greatly impacts how we tell stories and influences public discourse. By tracking source demographic information KPBS strives to be transparent, accountable and fair in our coverage.

Why track sources?

1. Reflecting Community Diversity: When our reporting mirrors the diverse communities covered, we ensure a more comprehensive and accurate portrayal of the issues affecting our region by capturing varied perspectives and experiences that add depth and authenticity of our reporting. It also allows members of diverse communities to see themselves in our reporting.

2. Accountability and Improvement: Source tracking allows us to evaluate our coverage, identify disparities, set benchmarks for improvement, and measure progress over time.

3. Transparency and Trust: We are committed to fostering trust by providing transparent insights into our sourcing practices, thus enabling our audiences to hold us accountable.


KPBS began its source tracking initiatives in 2019, using spreadsheets to manually record sources along with few demographic details. However, in 2023 KPBS joined a nationwide program to use a new tracking tool, Source Matters, that aims to make source tracking and conducting in-depth data analysis more efficient.

Here's how KPBS' source tracking process works. Reporters ask interview subjects to fill out a form that includes questions about their identity and background. When the form is submitted, the collected data is cross-referenced with stories. This approach aids in comprehensively understanding our sources' makeup and their presence in our reporting.

What's next?

1. How will the information collected about sources be utilized?

The data collected will be used to assess our sourcing practices, identify potential gaps in representation, set goals for improvement and report transparently on our progress.

2. How does source tracking benefit the public?

Source tracking helps us reinforce our commitment to accurate, representative and inclusive journalism that reflects the communities we serve.

3. Will individual sources' information be made public?

We prioritize privacy and confidentiality. Data collected will be used solely for internal evaluation purposes to improve our reporting practices.

3. Will you share this database with internal KPBS fundraisers who will then solicit donations from me?

No. Contact information is not requested in the form.