Ethical Storytelling Pledge

Our Commitment to Ethical Storytelling

We are all storytellers. Stories are how we make meaning of the world. Stories help us make sense of our experiences. Help us find place and belonging. They help us build communities and movements for social change. They help us raise funds so we can sustain our commitment to providing primary, mental, and community health services in Manitoba.

At Klinic, we aim to cultivate communities and services rooted in social justice for all. We want the stories we tell to support the growth of individual and community capacity. We are committed to a contributor[1] first, donor second form of storytelling. In this spirit, we pledge the following:

  • Tell others’ stories the way we want our story told.
  • Always put people first.
  • Explain to contributors the purpose of the story, where it will be used and answer any questions they might have before photographing, filming, or recording.
  • Find an able translator if we speak different languages.
  • Ask the contributor if they wish to be named or identified and act according to their wishes. Use all images and messages with the full understanding, participation and permission of the contributor or the contributor’s legal guardian.
  • Uphold the dignity of our contributors through empowering imagery and messages that motivate engagement and inspire hope.
  • Truthfully represent a situation or story to educate our audiences of the realities, complexities and nuances of the issues we advocate for.
  • Not use images, footage or words that sensationalize or stereotype a person or a situation.
  • Ask for feedback from our contributors and incorporate this feedback into the final story.
  • Listen to our contributors’ voices and respect their decisions, story, and journey.
  • Hold a posture of humility and learning, recognizing that failures can be our biggest educators.
  • Uphold processes to manage and protect content in line with existing guidance and laws such as FIPPA and PHIA.
  • Seek advice if we question whether a particular story, message or image is not in alignment with ethical storytelling practices.
  • Not tell the story, despite the resources invested, when the story cannot be told with the integrity of this pledge.
  • Take ownership of our responsibility to uphold integrity in our storytelling and messaging.
  • As a community of nonprofit practitioners and storytellers we commit to learning from the past and integrating a new standard of storytelling as we journey together into the future.

This pledge was adapted from the work of Ethical Storytelling™ To learn more about Ethical Storytelling™ and its principles, please visit:

Do you have a story about Klinic you want to share? Contact us by email at

[1] Our Ethical Storytelling Pledge uses the term ‘contributors’ to generally refer to the people in stories (film, photograph, narrative, interview, etc.). This term highlights a more active role than what is implied by terms like “subject,” “beneficiary,” or “constituent.”