TRM aims to inspire useful discussion and historic action for a more compassionate, collaborative Iowa and Illinois that does better for everyone, especially marginalized groups like women; BIPOC communities (Black, Indigenous and People of Color); LGBTQ people; seniors and elders; people of different belief systems; gig workers; independent artists; and people with conditions or diseases or who are disabled.

TRM is founded on the principles of The Four-Way Test, which is a central part of the nonprofit service organization Rotary Club International:


To learn more about the Four-Way Test, read the excerpt below:

About The Four-Way Test

Any ethical system that calls
for living the truth
and measuring actions
on the basis
of benefits to others
is demanding.

Such a test can stir
bitter conflict
for those who try to balance
integrity and ambition.
Sizzling debates have been held
in various parts of the world
on its practicality
as a way of living.

There are always some skeptics
and negative thinkers
who view The Four-Way Test
as a simplistic philosophy
of dubious worth,
contradictory meaning,
and unrealistic aims.

The Test calls
for thoughtful examination
of one’s motives and goals.
This emphasis on truth, fairness
and consideration
provide a moral diet so rich
that it gives some people
“ethical indigestion.” …

The Four-Way Test
is international,
transcending national boundaries
and language barriers.
It knows no politics,
dogma or creed.
More than a code of ethics,
it has all the ingredients
for a successful life
in every way.

It can and will work
in today’s society.

Few things are needed more
in our society 
than moral integrity.
The Four-Way Test
will guide those who dare
to use it for worthy objectives:
• choosing, winning,
and keeping friends
• getting along well with others
• ensuring a happy home life
• developing high ethical
and moral standards
• becoming successful
in a chosen business or profession
• and becoming a better citizen
and better example
for the next generation.

Eloquently simple,
stunning in its power,
undeniable in its results,
The Four-Way Test offers
a fresh and positive vision
in the midst of a world
full of tension,
confusion and uncertainty. 

-- Author Unknown

The Real MainStream also strives to conduct advocacy journalism within the broad ethical structure of the Code of Journalism Ethics, prepared by the Society of Professional Journalists: to seek truth and report it; minimize harm; act independently; and be accountable and transparent.