Young Voices fiercely defends our independence as an organization from outside influence and actively facilitates open dialogue — and even disagreement — among our writers about pressing issues of the day. To this end, we have encoded a number of policies in our bylaws and contributor handbook over the past five years to preserve the integrity of our organization and our writers.
Code of Ethics
Young Voices’ Board of Directors approved the following code to clarify and enhance our ethical practices on September 21, 2017:
- Young Voices is a nonprofit organization that aims to promote the perspectives of libertarian writers under 35 in the media.
- The individual opinions of our writers (whom we call “contributors”) as expressed in print and broadcast interviews do not necessarily reflect an official position of Young Voices as an organization.
- Young Voices is independent and nonpartisan. We are not a subsidiary of or loyal to any political party, company, or nonprofit organization.
- Young Voices does not accept government funding. We are supported solely by the generosity of private individuals, foundations, and partner organizations.
- Young Voices does not publicly disclose the name of our donors nor the amount of their gifts per standard nonprofit practice. We do, however, disclose basic financial information in our annual reports to be transparent to our supporters.
- Young Voices maintains a strict independent editorial policy. Our op-eds are not seen by, sent to, or edited by supporters before they are released. Our partners see our content and outputs at the same time as the general public.
- Maintaining these standards helps keep Young Voices free of outside influence and ultimately accountable to our contributors and supporters.
Young Voices’ staff added the following section to our Contributor Handbook to define the boundaries of intellectual debate within our organization on January 28, 2021:
As an organization, Young Voices take a big-tent approach to coalition building. We welcome writers from a diversity of political and ideological backgrounds, united in the belief that markets and individual rights are the best path to policymaking. We understand that contributors may disagree on political questions of the day, and we welcome that debate. We encourage you to disagree —even openly in a public forum! But, at all times you should maintain a cordial, collegial attitude toward your fellow contributors.
In terms of content, Young Voices aims to promote the opinions of our contributors as much as we can so long as they are broadly in favor of policy solutions that respect markets and individual rights. However, there are three basic guardrails of policies that we will not touch because they conflict with our mission as an organization empowering future thought leaders for liberty:
- Any calls for the government to own the means of production or significantly expand regulation on any industry.
- Any calls for the United States to engage in a land war or regime change in foreign affairs.
- Any call to remove protections currently afforded by the Bill of Rights (e.g. free speech, separation of church and state, equal protection) by any regime, real or imagined.
- Any commentary on abortion rights, for or against.
- Any call for mass deportation of undocumented migrants.
Dialogue in Practice
To demonstrate the intellectual diversity and editorial independence of our organization in practice, we would like to highlight the following published works written by Young Voices contributors with disagreeing takes on the same issue:
- Universal basic income
- Big Tech
- Government funding of arts
- Paris Climate Accord
- Businesses going cashless
- Scottish independence