Terms of Service


We (the Washington News Council) provide this web site, blog, and online community with member profiles, groups, forums, and more, to the people of Washington State and beyond, as an “Outside Ombudsman” or “Better Business Bureau” for the news media in our state.

We cannot do this alone, nor in this era of citizen and community journalism should we even try. All the basic services here and basic membership in the WNC Community are free and we hope you will join us.

We are a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, and you are also invited to support the WNC with a purchase or donation.

See a violation? Have a complaint?

If you believe that a comment, forum post, other item has violated these Terms of Service, or if you believe that a WNC Community member has violated these Terms of Service, please contact us with this form.

Terms of Service

The following terms and conditions govern all use of the WANewsCouncil.org website and all content, services, and products available at or through the website, including, but not limited to, the Washington News Council Blog and the Washington News Council Community, (taken together, the Website).

The Website is owned and operated by the Washington News Council (“WNC”).

The Website is offered subject to your acceptance without modification of all of the terms and conditions contained herein and all other operating rules, policies (including, without limitation, any current or future WNC Privacy Policy) and procedures that may be published from time to time on this Site by WNC (collectively, the “Agreement”).

Please read this Agreement carefully before accessing or using the Website. By accessing or using any part of the web site, you agree to become bound by the terms and conditions of this agreement. If you do not agree to all the terms and conditions of this agreement, then you may not access the Website or use any services. If these terms and conditions are considered an offer by WNC, acceptance is expressly limited to these terms.

The Website is available only to individuals who are at least 13 years old or with the expressed permission and responsibility of their legal guardians.

Your Account and Contributions

If you create an account on the Website, you are responsible for maintaining the security of your account and comments, messages, associations, sites, and blogs (collectively, your “Contributions”), and you are fully responsible for all activities that occur under the account and any other actions taken in connection with it or your Contributions. You must not describe or assign keywords to your Contributions in a misleading or unlawful manner, including in a manner intended to trade on the name or reputation of others, and WNC may change or remove any description or keyword or other part of a Contribution that it considers inappropriate or unlawful, or otherwise likely to cause WNC liability. You must immediately notify WNC of any unauthorized uses of your account, Contributions, or any other breaches of security. WNC will not be liable for any acts or omissions by You, including any damages of any kind incurred as a result of such acts or omissions.

Responsibility of Contributors

If you administer, moderate, comment on, post material including links to, or otherwise make (or allow any third party to make) material available on the Website (any such material, “Content”), You are entirely responsible for the content of, and any harm resulting from, that Content. That is the case regardless of whether the Content in question constitutes text, graphics, an audio file, or any type of data or computer software. By making Content available, you represent and warrant that:

  • the downloading, copying and use of the Content will not infringe the proprietary rights, including but not limited to the copyright, patent, trademark or trade secret rights, of any third party;
  • if your employer has rights to intellectual property you create, you have either (i) received permission from your employer to post or make available the Content, including but not limited to any software, or (ii) secured from your employer a waiver as to all rights in or to the Content;
  • you have fully complied with any third-party licenses relating to the Content, and have done all things necessary to successfully pass through to end users any required terms;
  • the Content does not contain or install any viruses, worms, malware, Trojan horses or other harmful or destructive content; the Content is not spam, is not machine- or randomly-generated, and does not contain unethical or unwanted commercial content designed to drive traffic to third party sites or boost the search engine rankings of third party sites, or to further unlawful acts (such as phishing) or mislead recipients as to the source of the material (such as spoofing);
  • the Content is not pornographic, libelous or defamatory (more info on what that means), does not contain threats or incite violence towards individuals or entities, and does not violate the privacy or publicity rights of any third party;
  • your Contributions are not getting advertised via unwanted electronic messages such as spam links on newsgroups, email lists, other blogs and web sites, and similar unsolicited promotional methods;
  • your Contributions are not named in a manner that misleads your readers into thinking that you are another person or company. For example, your profile URL or name is not the name of a person other than yourself or company other than your own; and
  • you have, in the case of Content that includes computer code, accurately categorized and/or described the type, nature, uses and effects of the materials, whether requested to do so by WNC or otherwise.

By submitting Content to WNC for inclusion on this Website, you grant WNC a world-wide, royalty-free, and non-exclusive license to reproduce, modify, adapt and publish the Content solely for the purpose of displaying, distributing and promoting your Contributions and the Washington News Council. If you delete Content, WNC will use reasonable efforts to remove it from the Website, but you acknowledge that caching or references to the Content may not be made immediately unavailable.

Without limiting any of those representations or warranties, WNC has the right (though not the obligation) to, in WNC’s sole discretion (i) refuse or remove any content that, in WNC’s reasonable opinion, violates any WNC policy or is in any way harmful or objectionable, or (ii) terminate or deny access to and use of the Website to any individual or entity for any reason, in WNC’s sole discretion. WNC will have no obligation to provide a refund of any amounts previously paid.

Fees and Payment

Optional, premium paid services such as access to reports, directories, invitations, making advanced Contributions, and more, are available on the Website. By selecting a premium service you agree to pay WNC the one-time, monthly, or annual subscription fees indicated for that service. Payments will be charged on the day you purchase or sign up for a premium service and may cover the use of that service for a period of time as indicated. Premium service fees are not refundable.

Responsibility of Website Visitors

WNC has not reviewed, and cannot review, all of the material, including computer software, posted to the Website, and cannot therefore be responsible for that material’s content, use, or effects.

By operating the Website, WNC does not represent or imply that it endorses the material here posted, or that it believes such material to be accurate, useful or non-harmful. You are responsible for taking precautions as necessary to protect yourself and your computer systems from viruses, worms, Trojan horses, and other harmful or destructive content.

The Website may contain content that is offensive, indecent, or otherwise objectionable, as well as content containing technical inaccuracies, typographical mistakes, and other errors. The Website may also contain material that violates the privacy or publicity rights, or infringes the intellectual property and other proprietary rights, of third parties, or the downloading, copying or use of which is subject to additional terms and conditions, stated or unstated. WNC disclaims any responsibility for any harm resulting from the use by visitors of the Website, or from any downloading by those visitors of content here posted.

Content Posted on Other Websites

We have not reviewed, and cannot review, all of the material, including computer software, made available through the websites and webpages to which this Website links, and that link to this Website. WNC does not have any control over those non-WNC websites and webpages, and is not responsible for their contents or their use. By linking to a non-WNC website or webpage, WNC does not represent or imply that it endorses such website or webpage. You are responsible for taking precautions as necessary to protect yourself and your computer systems from viruses, worms, Trojan horses, and other harmful or destructive content. WNC disclaims any responsibility for any harm resulting from your use of non-WNC websites and webpages.

Copyright Infringement

As WNC asks others to respect its intellectual property rights, it respects the intellectual property rights of others. If you believe that material located on or linked to by this Website violates your copyright, you are encouraged to notify WNC. WNC will respond to all such notices, including as required or appropriate by removing the infringing material or disabling all links to the infringing material. In the case of a visitor who may infringe or repeatedly infringes the copyrights or other intellectual property rights of WNC or others, WNC may, in its discretion, terminate or deny access to and use of the Website. In the case of such termination, WNC will have no obligation to provide a refund of any amounts previously paid to WNC.

Intellectual Property

This Agreement does not transfer from WNC to you any WNC or third party intellectual property, and all right, title, and interest in and to such property will remain (as between the parties) solely with WNC. WNC, Washington News Council, the TAO of Journalism, the WNC and TAO of Journalism logos, and all other trademarks, service marks, graphics, and logos used in connection with WNC or this Website are trademarks or registered trademarks of WNC or WNC’s licensors. Other trademarks, service marks, graphics, and logos used in connection with the Website may be the trademarks of other third parties. Your use of the Website grants you no right or license to reproduce or otherwise use any WNC or third-party trademarks.


WNC reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to modify or replace any part of this Agreement. It is your responsibility to check this Agreement periodically for changes. Your continued use of or access to the Website following the posting of any changes to this Agreement constitutes acceptance of those changes. WNC may also, in the future, offer new services and/or features through the Website including the release of new tools and resources. Such new features and/or services shall be subject to the terms and conditions of this Agreement.


WNC may terminate your access to all or any part of the Website at any time, with or without cause, with or without notice, effective immediately. If you wish to terminate this Agreement or your WNC account (if you have one), you may simply discontinue using the Website. WNC can terminate the Website immediately as part of a general shut down of our service. All provisions of this Agreement which by their nature should survive termination shall survive termination, including, without limitation, ownership provisions, warranty disclaimers, indemnity, and limitations of liability.

Disclaimer of Warranties

The Website is provided “as is”. WNC and its suppliers and licensors hereby disclaim all warranties of any kind, express or implied, including, without limitation, the warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose and non-infringement. Neither WNC nor its suppliers and licensors make any warranty that the Website will be error free or that access thereto will be continuous or uninterrupted. You understand that you download from, or otherwise obtain content or services through, the Website at your own discretion and risk.

Limitation of Liability

In no event will WNC, or its suppliers or licensors, be liable with respect to any subject matter of this Agreement under any contract, negligence, strict liability or other legal or equitable theory for: (i) any special, incidental, or consequential damages; (ii) the cost of procurement or substitute products or services; (iii) for interruption of use or loss or corruption of data; or (iv) for any amounts that exceed the fees paid by you to WNC under this Agreement during the twelve (12) month period prior to the cause of action. WNC shall have no liability for any failure or delay due to matters beyond their reasonable control. The foregoing shall not apply to the extent prohibited by applicable law.

General Representation and Warranty

You represent and warrant that (i) your use of the Website will be in strict accordance with this Agreement and with all applicable laws and regulations (including without limitation any local laws or regulations in your country, state, city, or other governmental area, regarding online conduct and acceptable content, and including all applicable laws regarding the transmission of technical data exported from the United States or the country in which you reside) and (ii) your use of the Website will not infringe or misappropriate the intellectual property rights of any third party.


You agree to indemnify and hold harmless WNC, its contractors, and its licensors, and their respective directors, officers, employees, and agents from and against any and all claims and expenses, including attorneys’ fees, arising out of your use of the Website, including but not limited to your violation of this Agreement.


This Agreement constitutes the entire agreement between WNC and you concerning the subject matter hereof, and they may only be modified by a written amendment signed by an authorized executive of WNC, or by the posting by WNC of a revised version. Except to the extent applicable law, if any, provides otherwise, this Agreement, any access to or use of the Website will be governed by the laws of the state of Washington, U.S.A., excluding its conflict of law provisions, and the proper venue for any disputes arising out of or relating to any of the same will be the state and federal courts located in King County, Washington. If any part of this Agreement is held invalid or unenforceable, that part will be construed to reflect the parties’ original intent, and the remaining portions will remain in full force and effect. A waiver by either party of any term or condition of this Agreement or any breach thereof, in any one instance, will not waive such term or condition or any subsequent breach thereof. You may assign your rights under this Agreement to any party that consents to, and agrees to be bound by, its terms and conditions; WNC may assign its rights under this Agreement without condition. This Agreement will be binding upon and will inure to the benefit of the parties, their successors and permitted assigns.

Attribution and License for our Terms of Service

These Terms were customized for WNC by Brian Glanz of the Open Science Federation, based on their shared Terms and those shared by Automattic Inc., in both cases with a Creative Commons Sharealike license.