January 27, 2021

The news service people turn to for quality information and opinion.

Editorial Standards of Practice

The purpose of these guidelines is, above all, to protect and foster the bond of trust between DouglasNews.Network and its readers, and therefore protect the integrity of DouglasNews.Network and its journalism whether published on its website or social media channels.


General Principles

Douglas News.Network (DNN) has adopted the Australian Press Council’s Principles and the MEAA Journalist Code of Ethics.


1. Accuracy and clarity

a. DNN will ensure that factual material in news reports and elsewhere is accurate and not misleading and is distinguishable from other material such as opinion.

b. DNN will provide a correction or other adequate remedial action if published material is significantly inaccurate or misleading.

2. Fairness and balance

a. DNN will 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.

b. DNN will 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.

3. Privacy and avoidance of harm

a. DNN will avoid intruding on a person’s reasonable expectations of privacy, unless doing so is sufficiently in the public interest.

b. DNN will avoid causing or contributing materially to substantial offence, distress or prejudice, or a substantial risk to health or safety, unless doing so is sufficiently in the public interest.

4. Integrity and transparency

a. DNN will avoid publishing material which has been gathered by deceptive or unfair means, unless doing so is sufficiently in the public interest.

b. DNN will ensure that conflicts of interests are avoided or adequately disclosed, and that they do not influence published material.


Code of Ethics

DNN journalists will educate themselves about ethics 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 your 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 yourself and your 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 compulsion to intrude.
  • Do your utmost to achieve fair correction of errors.

GUIDANCE CLAUSE

Basic values often need interpretation and sometimes come into conflict. Ethical journalism requires conscientious decision-making in context. Only substantial advancement of the public interest or risk of substantial harm to people allows any standard to be overridden.

REPORT OFFENSIVE OR ABUSIVE MATERIAL

DouglasNews.Network invites readers to report content they find offensive or inconsistent with DNN General Principles and Code of Ethics by email to douglasnewsnetwork@gmail.com.