Return to About us

Editorial guidelines and complaints

EDITORIAL GUIDELINES

We apply the following General Principles to all our content:

Accuracy and clarity

  • Ensure that factual material in news reports and elsewhere is accurate and not misleading, and is distinguishable from other material such as opinion.
  • Provide a correction or other adequate remedial action if published material is significantly inaccurate or misleading.

Fairness and balance

  • Ensure that factual material is presented with reasonable fairness and balance and that writers’ expressions of opinion are not based on significantly inaccurate factual material or omission of key facts.
  • Ensure that where material refers adversely to a person, a fair opportunity is given for subsequent publication of a reply if that is reasonably necessary to address a possible breach of General Principle 3.

Privacy and avoidance of harm

  • Avoid intruding on a person’s reasonable expectations of privacy, unless doing so is sufficiently in the public interest.
  • Avoid causing or contributing materially to the substantial offence, distress or prejudice, or a substantial risk to health or safety, unless doing so is sufficiently in the public interest.

Integrity and transparency

  • Avoid publishing material which has been gathered by deceptive or unfair means, unless doing so is sufficiently in the public interest.
  • Ensure that conflicts of interests are avoided or adequately disclosed and that they do not influence published material.

CONTRIBUTOR CODE OF ETHICS

All our contributors (includes staff, freelance journalists, writers, photographers) commit themselves to:

  • Honesty
  • Fairness
  • Independence
  • Respect for the rights of others

Our contributors comply with the ethical code set by the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance and apply the following standards

  • Report and interpret honestly, striving for accuracy, fairness, and disclosure of all essential facts. Do not suppress relevant available facts, or give distorting emphasis. Do their utmost to give a fair opportunity for reply.
  • Do not place unnecessary emphasis on personal characteristics, including race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, age, sexual orientation, family relationships, religious belief, or physical or intellectual disability.
  • Aim to attribute information to its source. Where a source seeks anonymity, do not agree without first considering the source’s motives and any alternative attributable source. Where confidences are accepted, respect them in all circumstances.
  • Do not allow personal interest, or any belief, commitment, payment, gift or benefit, to undermine your accuracy, fairness or independence.
  • Disclose conflicts of interest that affect, or could be seen to affect, the accuracy, fairness or independence of your journalism. Do not improperly use a journalistic position for personal gain.
  • Do not allow advertising or other commercial considerations to undermine accuracy, fairness or independence.
  • Do your utmost to ensure disclosure of any direct or indirect payment made for interviews, pictures, information or stories.
  • Use fair, responsible and honest means to obtain material. Identify themselves and their employer before obtaining any interview for publication or broadcast. Never exploit a person’s vulnerability or ignorance of media practice.
  • Present pictures and sound which are true and accurate. Any manipulation likely to mislead should be disclosed.
  • Do not plagiarise.
  • Respect private grief and personal privacy. Journalists have the right to resist the compulsion to intrude.
  • Do their utmost to achieve fair correction of errors.
  • Thoroughly and rigorously fact check
  • Use social media channels with integrity and carefully cite and disclose its use.

If you require further information regarding the above please email us at editorial@countrymag.com.au

COMPLAINTS POLICY

We take your complaints very seriously and would like to resolve them as quickly and as seamlessly as possible. Your complaint may relate to editorial, advertising, distribution or something else.

Editorial Complaints

Complaints may relate to news reports, articles, editorials, letters, cartoons, images and other published material and can be made by any person or business.

Complaints normally should be made within thirty days of the first publication of the relevant material and we do not address complaints older than 12 months.

We cannot address the complaint if it is being dealt with under another law

Advertising Complaints

If you don’t like something advertised by one of our clients or something isn’t quite right you can lodge a complaint by emailing us at editorial@countrymag.com.au

HOW TO COMPLAIN

Step 1:

Email us at editorial@countrymag.com.au with the date and title of the story, image or material that you wish to complain about. Please include whether the content is online or in print and where possible the contributor’s name.

Include why you are complaining and the grounds for complaint and any evidence or inaccuracy, offence, error, defamation or any other misinformation or breach of the journalists’ code of ethics. State if the complaint involves you or relates to someone else (a secondary complaint see below).

Step 2:

An acknowledgment of receipt of the complaint will be provided within 48 hours with a contact person’s details from our office. This person (usually the publisher or editor) will be responsible for investigating the grounds for your complaint.

Step 3:

Your complaint will be discussed in our weekly editorial meetings by our editorial team and, where needed, further information will be gathered from either the source or external contributor. The team leads will determine if one of the following will occur:

  • an informal expression of regret by the publication;
  • publication of balancing material;
  • publication of a correction, clarification, or apology in an agreed form;
  • amendment or removal of material on a website;
  • commitments about future coverage of particular people or issues.

You may be contacted by the editor or publisher to clarify the issues and discuss the outcome

Step 4:

If you are satisfied with the outcome to resolve your complaint, we will close your complaint on the basis that it has been adequately dealt with.

If you are unsatisfied with the outcome to resolve your complaint you may consider approaching other organisations depending on the nature of the complaint or seek legal advice.

You may find more information here:

https://www.oaic.gov.au

https://www.presscouncil.org.au

You may also make a complaint to the Media Entertainment & Arts Alliance. You can download their complaints procedure or find out more information on their website. https://www.meaa.org

%d bloggers like this: