Digital Transparency: Frequently Asked Questions

This article covers some frequently asked questions we’ve seen about our editorial process.

Have any further questions? You can email

How do we decide what to cover?

Every morning Monday through Friday, we have an editorial meeting with all of our reporters, producers and management.

In this meeting, our reporters will pitch their stories — and those ideas could be anything. From a follow-up to a story we’ve already covered, a new business in your town or city, or even something that was brought to our attention by you, the viewers.

From there, producers and management decide what show that story will live in and how it will be told. Reporters then have the whole day to go out and get video, do interviews and bring your story to life on air and online.

If you have a story idea, please email us at

How do we cover national and worldwide stories?

Like many other news stations across the country, we have affiliations with national networks that make covering events outside of our area possible.

Our station is affiliated with NBC News. This means that we’re able to use their content, and vice versa. This affiliation also determines our on-air programming schedule. We’re also affiliated with CNN for on-air content.

WSLS also pays for a wire service from the Associated Press. You’ll find these stories in our newscasts and on our website.

What happens to news tips once they’re submitted?

When you submit a news tip to us, there are a few different things that can happen.

Depending on your request, one of us may be able to assist you. But sometimes, your tip requires a little extra digging. That’s when we’ll send the tip out to the newsroom and a reporter will claim it. It’s then pitched in our morning editorial meeting we previously mentioned.

What is Solutions Journalism?

You’re sick of all the doom and gloom that hits the news cycle. And to be honest, so are we.

As a response to that, our parent company launched a digital show that focuses on the people and organizations working towards solutions to the problems in our neighborhoods.

The show is called ‘Solutionaries’.

We know that it sounds like a fake word, but we actually didn’t make it up!

A Solutionary is someone who recognizes a problem or injustice in society and comes up with creative and innovative ways to tackle those inequities, thus making the world a better place, one step at a time.

It’s hard work that often goes unrecognized, which is exactly why the ‘Solutionaries’ show was born.

To learn more, click here.

What is Trust Index?

Trust Index is Graham Media Group’s initiative to combat misinformation and provide viewers and readers fact-checked information to share with others.

The Trust Index team sets aside any agenda or biases and rely on primary source information, expert interviews and our previous reporting to evaluate claims. All sources are disclosed in a Trust Index story on our website. In order to maintain transparency and trust in our process, readers will be able to recreate fact checks with reported information.

Each Trust Index story receives one of three labels:

Trust Index badges include: “It’s True,” “Be Careful,” and “Not True.”

Trust Index (Graham Media Group 2021)

The designated label is assigned after a claim of information is reviewed through the Trust Index process established in our newsrooms.

To learn more about Trust Index, click here.

What is our DEI policy?

DEI stands for diversity, equity and inclusion, practices that we strive to cultivate and preserve not only in our work culture but in our news coverage as well.

Each day, we’re working for you to ensure that we provide you with news that is all-inclusive and covers the Southwest Virginia community from a unique, new angle. Not only that, but it’s important to our news station that we have news that is truly representative of the unique individuals that make up Central and Southwest Virginia.

Ultimately, our main objective is to understand how marginalized people and communities are portrayed in our newscasts and determine whether we might be able to start a discussion about how we can ensure fair representations that accurately reflect the lives, the experiences and rich diversity of the entire community we serve.

To work toward this goal of better journalism, in 2020, we created three DEI committees: editorial, crime and mug shots. Those committees, which are led by senior members in the newsroom, set aside time to take a deeper look at our coverage and come up with a plan that’ll help our station as a whole improve.

After much discussion amongst team members, the recommended changes are then presented to managers in the newsroom. In Feb. 2022, we looked at where we were and implemented those new guidelines to ensure that our station stands out from the rest by being intentional with what we report.

Over time, we sincerely believe an ongoing conversation will keep diversity and inclusion initiatives top of mind, leading to improved news content and community engagement.

Who are we owned by?

WSLS is owned by Graham Media Group, which is comprised of seven local media hubs, Graham Digital and Social News Desk — we are the authentic, local voice passionately informing and celebrating our communities.

GMG is based in Detroit and operates in five states: KPRC–Houston, WDIV–Detroit and WSLS–Roanoke (NBC); KSAT–San Antonio (ABC); WKMG–Orlando (CBS); WJXT–Jacksonville (fully local), and WCWJ–Jacksonville (CW). Based in Detroit, Graham Digital is a digital media and technology development group widely recognized as a leading industry innovator. Social News Desk, headquartered in Atlanta, provides its 2500+ worldwide newsroom-customers with a single dashboard to publish, measure, curate and monetize local news content on social platforms.

About the Authors:

Samantha Smith joined WSLS 10’s award-winning digital team as a content producer in July 2018.

Jazmine Otey joined the 10 News team in February 2021.