Editorial Policy

Institute of Community Reporters  Editorial Policy - May 2013

Definitions

Institute of Community reporters aggregates content through its a network of Community Reporters and social licensees. Content can be submitted by anyone and, as long as it meets the following guidelines, it will be approved.

Community Reporters (CR's)

Institute of Community Reporters enables people to become CR's through training and on-going support. People are taught how to develop stories, create a blog, upload writen content, pictures, audio and video to the ICR web site. CR's can then work in partnership with each other to develop projects further.

Introduction

People's Voice Media runs the Community Reporters' programme through the Institute of Community Reporters network. It operates on an open-publishing platform

  • (1) for people to create and develop a broad range of content on a wide range of general and local issues.
  • (2) Community reporters and other ad-hoc contributors create their own content and tell their own stories in their own ways, uploading their own material to a blog, group website or to the ICR web site. This content is then aggregated through the Institue of of Community Reporters website where it is maintained and moderated by staff and a network of volunteer content managers.
  • (3) Content that is deemed to be offensive or disrespectful in anyway will be removed by moderators at the earliest opportunity.
  • (4) Arbitration is available for those wishing to challenge the removal of content.

People's Voice Media Website Editorial Policy:

(1) Open-publishing Ethos

The Institue of Community Reporters a is dedicated to the open-publishing ethos. Open-publishing is a process of creating news or other content that is transparent to the readers. They can contribute a story and see it instantly appear. Readers can see editorial decisions being made by others. They can see how to get involved and help make editorial decisions. If they want to redistribute the content from the site they can, preferably on an open publishing site. This approach seeks to treat readers and community members as participants in rather than spectators of the media.

(2) Content: Guidelines and Responsibilities

The nature of the content produced is determined by people's participation and the interests and skills that they bring. We encourage individual expression and seek to promote a wide range of different perspectives. Preserving a space where all positive viewpoints can be heard - and discussion and debate are encouraged - will grow our understanding of our community and the issues impacting upon it, creating greater harmony. Allowing people to post content that is divisive or aggressive will engender dis-harmony. Defining the line between these two positions is a fine balance to maintain and the following guidelines will be regularly updated to ensure that we best serve the needs of our reporters and viewers.

 

The Editorial Board reserves the right to remove content on the following grounds:

  • Content should not contain imagery or other forms of communication that seek to cause offense to others on the grounds of their gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability, age, religion or belief, or any other personal characteristic
  • Content may not be supported if it is overtly religious or political in nature
  • Content that is libellous or misleading will not be supported
  • Articles and/or comments that contain abusive language against other community members or site users will not be supported.
  • Contributions by individuals who habitually publish above mentioned discouraged content will be blocked
  • Content from one person  that seeks to overun the site with its message to the detriment of other users
  • Images that contain violent or upsetting imagery 
  • Copyrighted material (Used without owners permission) 
  • Explicitly advertising goods and services

Comments posted about another person's content may not be approved if they are:

  • belittling the contributor because of their language skill or word choice
  • attacking the contributor because of their beliefs, values or lifestyle
  • insulting or name-calling

The right to reply is central to the ethos of these guidelines and we encourage responsible debate and discussion.

 

(3) Moderation Guidelines

People's Voice Media staff and volunteer content managers are responsible for moderating the Instiitute of Community Reporter site. Moderation is in place to ensure the integrity of the sites. Occasionally we choose to hide postings offending the open-posting guidelines (see above 2). Because of the 'real time' nature of the website, it is not possible to monitor its contents 24 hours a day but we will always endeavour to remove offending material as quickly as possible. We welcome notification from members of the public if they feel content falls outside of our posting guidelines.

(4) Arbitration and Review

An editorial group will be established, consisting of members of the People's Voice Media team, Community Reporters and the People's Voice Media content manager.

This editorial group will undertake a periodic review of the guidelines and implement changes and clarifications as required. They will review policy, and will be the group to whom to raise concerns about the contents of the website.

In cases where there is a dispute in the interpretation of the content guidelines the editorial group will be called. The group will handle the complaint and inform the complainer of the outcome. The group will reply to concerns within 5 days. The decision of the editorial group is final. These issues are not dealt with through the website, and website posts on these topics will be hidden.

 

Concerns or complaints about content editorial guidelines or queries about moderation should be addressed to the People's Voice Media content editorial group.