Code of Ethics

We started The Vivid Minds to promote empathy and conscious leadership through stories that we love. Over the course of this journey, we’ve developed certain principles that guide our actions.

We respect our readers, and we aim to deliver content that inspires and empowers them in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds. Our brand of storytelling is central to our mission of creating insight, fostering compassion, and inspiring conscious leadership. When we talk about the coronavirus in our stories, we know that you’ve already read all the breaking news and are perhaps deeply frustrated and worried by the state of things. Although our task is not to report the news, we cannot ignore the crises we face. By engaging with events as they unfold; by conducting interviews with those affected by them; and by sharing new perspectives, we hope to create a space where thought and reflection may converge.

We respect our interviewees and strive to document their statements faithfully. Therefore, it is important that we keep all audio recordings in order to ensure accuracy and to revise transcripts before publication whenever necessary. Since the interviews are published in the first person, interviewees may request to review the piece before publication. Once published, the content will remain unchanged unless there’s a factual error (which is extremely rare, given the fact that recordings are meticulously transcribed). By the same token, we expect our interviewees to respect our time and professionalism, and to refrain from reaching out to editors to make specific changes. We communicate with our readers every day and have logged countless hours of interviewing and editing, so we ask that you trust us with your words.

Even though our content is published in the first person, interviewees should not expect all their statements to be reproduced word for word. For the sake of readability, it’s important that our pieces maintain a cohesive, flowing style. We may edit a speaker’s utterances, but we never alter the factual content of his or her words. As we are well aware, the publication process is a collaboration between the interviewee, the journalist, and the editor.

Although The Vivid Minds is entirely independent, it is now sponsored by Blueberry Storytelling LLC, a communications and event agency. This might seem like a conflict of interest, but let me assure you that it is not. Large publications have fought against paid placements and mentions for years. Many do not allow PR representatives to contribute, yet PR work still makes its way into articles, sometimes in the form of surreptitious monetary compensation to their authors. We believe this is wrong and unethical, a violation of both our principles and our message.

At The Vivid Minds, we pride ourselves on our commitment to ethical practice. Our five-member team puts principles above money, good faith above self-indulgence, and responsible, truthful storytelling over ideology — all in the service of our readers.

If there is a conflict of interest (such as ownership of stock in a company that is featured in a story or a team member’s relationship with a subject), we will disclose it in each story.

We do not chase statistics or headlines. Our main goal is to find stories that will appeal to our readers, and to tell those stories honestly and effectively.

Our first-person narratives are always subject to careful fact-checking. Anything considered a violation of our core values—integrity, inclusivity, compassion, and conscious leadership—is excluded.

We seek authentic human interest stories, providing as much information and details to flesh them out. That means we interview real, living people. But in some cases, we have to conceal the identity of our sources, especially if we know that their safety or well-being could be jeopardized. We love a good story; but above all, we value the individuals who help us tell them.