Draft Editorial Policy

ASinA Website Editorial Policy – draft

The Editorial Policy sets out the key areas where the ASinA seeks to meet their obligations to provide informed and comprehensive services of a high standard its Australian and international audiences.

The policy is the primary tool for content-makers to ensure that the ASinA’s reputation is maintained to a high standard.

The policy upholds the fundamental journalistic principles of accuracy and impartiality, to protect the ASinA’s authority and integrity.

The policy recognises that ASinA content must be created in a way that is respectful towards audiences and mindful of community standards in areas such as harm and offence.

By holding to the principles and standards contained in the Editorial Policy, the ASinA seeks to be accountable to the Australian members who fund it.

These principles and standards are:

1. Independence, integrity, and responsibility

The trust and respect of the online community depends on the ASinA’s editorial independence and integrity. Independence and responsibility are inseparable. The website editor has the editorial power and responsibility.

1.1  Maintain the independence and integrity of the ASinA.

1.2  Exercise ASinA editorial control over the content the ASinA broadcasts or publishes.

1.3  Ensure that editorial decisions are not improperly influenced by political, commercial or personal interests.

1.4  Exercise editorial independence as authorised and accept responsibility for it. When in doubt about an editorial matter, refer it up to the website sub-cimmittee for advice or decision.

1.5  When any editorial matter is likely to cause controversy, refer it up to the management committee of the ASinA for advice or decision.

2. Accuracy

The ASinA requires that reasonable efforts must be made to ensure accuracy in all fact-based content. The ASinA accuracy standard applies to assertions of fact, not to expressions of opinion. An opinion, being a value judgement or conclusion, cannot be found to be accurate or inaccurate in the way facts can.

The accuracy standard requires that opinions be conveyed accurately, in the sense that quotes should be accurate, and any editing should not distort the meaning of the opinion expressed.

2.1  Make reasonable efforts to ensure that material facts are accurate and presented in context.

2.2  Do not present factual content in a way that will materially mislead the audience. In some cases, this may require appropriate labels or other explanatory information.

2.3 Present opinions such as are found in the Latest News or General Secretary reports accurately and any editing should not change the meaning of the opinion expressed.

2.4 Make reasonable efforts to ensure all in-text quotes are accurately cited and sourced.

2.5 Acknowledge and correct or clarify, in an appropriate manner as soon as reasonably practicable.

3. Impartiality and diversity of perspectives

The ASinA has a statutory duty to ensure that the gathering and presentation of news and information is impartial according to the recognised standards of objective journalism.

3.1  Gather and present news and information with due impartiality.

3.2  Present a diversity of perspectives from members so that, over time, no significant strand of thought or belief within the community is knowingly excluded or disproportionately represented.

3.3  Do not state or imply that any perspective is the opinion of the website editor. The editor takes no editorial stance other than its commitment to fundamental principles of impartiality, accuracy and authenticity.

4. Member access and participation

The ASinA provides opportunities for individuals and organisations to engage with the ASinA, its audiences consistent with the ASinA’s  purposes to inform, educate and encourage and promote the activities and initiatives of members and member institutions.

4.1  Free publication space may be provided to enable individuals or organisations to communicate directly with the audiences of the ASinA website, provided that:

a. the content is provided by a member of the ASinA;

b. the content is relevant and suitable in the context in which it appears;

c. the ASinA website editor maintains editorial control;

4.2  Clearly distinguish content generated and submitted to the ASinA website from content produced or acquired by the website editor by providing an author and contact details for the author with the content.

5. Announcements about ASinA programs, events, initiative and activities

5.1  Ensure promotions and announcements about events and activities are produced, scheduled and published in a style consistent with the tone and approach of the surrounding content and appropriately take into consideration the likely composition of the audience.

5.2. Ensure promotions and announcements about events and activities are consistent with the content and approach of the contributor/s wishing to advertise their events.

5.3 Ensure promotions and announcements about events and activities are from members of the ASinA and not a public noticeboard for associated initiatives or non-members who may have associated interests but are not members of any ASinA branch or the ASinA society itself.

6. Complaints concerning published articles

Our approach to complaints should be proportionate, respectful and timely, and focused on resolving matters where possible.

The ASinA makes a distinction between editorial and non-editorial complaints. An editorial complaint is a written complaint alleging that one or more specific items of ASinA website content has not met the standards set out in this Editorial Policy.

A complaint is not editorial if it:

  • is anonymous, or the complainant has not provided sufficient contact details to allow a response to be sent;
  • if it is a complaint that a particular item or author published under the Latest News is biased
  • if it relates to a personal preference rather than the editorial standards

6.1 Acknowledge and correct or clarify, in an appropriate manner as soon as reasonably practicable:

  1. a. significant material errors that are readily apparent or have been demonstrated; or
  2. b. information that is likely to significantly and materially mislead.

6.2 Any complaint will be handled under the Society’s Complaints Management Process. The first ‘point of contact’ will be with the Website Editor. If no resolution is achieved then the complaint and subsequent correspondence will be handled by the Chairperson of the Management Committee