Mission & ethics


Sightlines is an independent non-profit online magazine of arts, culture, news and ideas. It is based in Austin, Texas. We believe that an on-going public conversation about culture is what sustains a cultural community.

Sightlines launched in response to the void left by legacy media outlets as they continue to eliminate professional, dedicated arts and cultural journalism.

Austin remains one of the nation’s fastest growing cities, widely celebrated for its creative, smart and independently-mind population. Sightlines believes in that astute and curious population. We see that they want — and deserve — insightful, well-written and timely journalism about the broad, cross-disciplinary arts and culture landscape in Austin and beyond.

Arts journalism creates an ongoing conversation. That conversation is necessary fuel for any creative ecosystem. And it’s a conversation that’s a necessity of civic life.

As an online platform, Sightlines celebrates the internet’s capacity, uses its tools and enjoys its flexibility. But we won’t confuse thoughtful cultural journalism with SEO-driven content, a never-ending stream of listicles or click-bait videos.

Likewise while the internet is filled with plenty of independent cultural writing, often that discussion is narrowed down to a single arts discipline and/or caters to an insider audience.

People today are omnivores of cultural experience. So is Sightlines. We want to engage the curious general reader as well as the experienced culture monger. A democratic voice not only expands an audience for all culture, but unites it.

The 21st century cultural community doesn’t stop at the Austin city limits. Sightlines takes the long view of global culture, open to voices, ideas and developments outside geographic limits.

Sightlines came to be because we love the arts, culture and ideas. We believe that freedom of creative expression is an inalienable right.


Ethics statement

Cultural journalism enlists the public trust. Cultural journalism must be ethical journalism.

Sightlines strives to provide news and criticism that is bold and independent. And Sightlines will, to the best of its ability, maintain fairness and transparency in its own editorial practices. We follow the principles set forth in the Society of Professional Journalists’ Code of Ethics.

Sightlines is not a mouthpiece for the sources it covers nor for its donors. We adamantly maintain the editorial control of what we publish and we reject requests from sources to influence or approve our stories.

Mostly importantly, Sightlines trusts that its readers demand — and deserve — ethical journalism.

Jeanne Claire van Ryzin
Founder and editor-in-chief