Associated Press offices and staffers are often sent or offered gifts or other items -- some of them substantial, some of them modest, some of them perishable -- by sources, public relations agencies, corporations and others.
Sometimes these are designed to encourage or influence AP news coverage or business, sometimes they are just "perks" for journalists covering a particular event. Whatever the intent, we cannot accept such items; an exception is made for trinkets like caps or mugs that have nominal value, approximately $25 or less. Otherwise, gifts should be politely refused and returned, or if that is impracticable, they should be given to charity.
Books, CDs, DVDs, and other items received for review may be kept for staffers’ professional reference or donated to charities, but may not be sold for personal gain. In cases where restrictions forbid transfer to third parties, these items, usually CDs and DVDs should be recycled. Items of more than nominal value that are provided for testing, such as computer gear, must be returned.
AP and its employees may accept discounts from companies only if those discounts are standard and offered to other customers.
We do not accept unsolicited contest awards from any organization that has a partisan or financial interest in our coverage; nor do we enter such contests.
The aim in all dealings should be to underscore the AP's reputation for objectivity.