The Institute of Community Reporters (ICR) gathers stories from across its network of Community Reporters as part of structured training programmes, project delivery and ad-hoc activity catalysed by the Community Reporters. It is overseen at an organisational level by People’s Voice Media.
In order to ensure that we have a degree of consistency within our practice of Community Reporting, techniques and discussions around responsible storytelling are embedded into all of our programmes. This core module explores the ethics and values of Community Reporting, the type of content that people’s stories should and shouldn’t include, an exploration of permissions and consent, and how people can keep both themselves and others safe in online and offline environments. Every Community Reporter and individual who is given user access to this website most complete training on responsible storytelling.
Following the delivery of a group activity that provides opportunities for people to think about the aforementioned topics, our ICR Trainers facilitate a reflective discussion with the Community Reporter group. During this reflective discussion, a Community Reporting Best Practice Guide is produced that outlines a ‘code of conduct’ for that specific group of Community Reporters.
This Best Practice Guide will have the core principles and values of Community Reporting within it, but it will also be nuanced enough to be inclusive and accommodating for the local context in which the Community Reporters will operate. In essence, each new group of Community Reporters produce their own Best Practice Guide that takes into consideration cultural factors (i.e. what is respectful within their communities), the legalities of their country (i.e. issues of consent) and who they are and how they will be using Community Reporting (i.e. what is ‘safe’ to them). The Best Practice Guide acts as the Community Reporters’ editorial policy – i.e. what should and should not be published on this website. Content posted on the website that is not in-line with the Best Practice Guide will be subject to moderation and/or removal.
The ICR is dedicated to the open-publishing ethos. Open-publishing is a process of creating content that is transparent to the readers. Our Community Reporters can contribute a story and see it instantly appear. Other users of the website such as Readers and Commenters can see this in action, as well as moderation decisions. They can also get involved in moderation decision by flagging up content that they don’t feel is in-line with the Community Reporting ethos. This approach seeks to treat our storytelling community members as participants in rather than spectators of the media.
Moderation of stories and content posted the website is done post-publishing in-line with our open-publishing ethos. People's Voice Media core staff team are responsible for moderating this site. Moderation is in place to ensure the integrity of the sites and Community Reporting movement. Occasionally we choose to hide or remove posts that contravene our responsible storytelling parameters, or ask our Community Reporters to amend posts so that they are in-line with this and the Best Practice Guide of their group. 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 posts that contravene our responsible storytelling parameters and movement’s ethos as quickly as possible.
We welcome notification from members of the public if they feel content falls outside of our posting guidelines. Such types of content include:
- 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 that is party political
- Content that is libellous, slanderous or misleading will not be supported
- Content from one user that seeks to over run the site with their message to the detriment of other users
- Visuals of violence and/or illegal activities
- Copyrighted material (used without owner’s permission)
- Explicitly advertising goods and services
- comments that belittle or attack a contributor to our site
(4) Arbitration and Review
In instances in which the People’s Voice Media team feel that content goes against our storytelling movement’s ethos and responsible storytelling parameter they will:
- remove content or;
- ask the user who has posted it to make amendments
The right to reply is central to the ethos of these guidelines and we encourage responsible debate and discussion. In cases where there is a dispute in the interpretation of the ethos of the Community Reporting storytelling movement and responsible storytelling parameters, a dialogue will be established between the person/user involved in the dispute and an experienced member of the People’s Voice Media team that seeks to resolve this. Other concerns or complaints about our approach or queries about moderation should be addressed to the People's Voice Media on firstname.lastname@example.org