RUSSH prides itself on creating unique and authentic content. This policy applies to all editorial employees (full, part time and casual) and contributors (contractors, consultants, freelance photographers, interns and volunteers) of RUSSH Media. We request you adhere to our policy in order to maintain RUSSH’s reputation for independent, unique, accurate and authentic journalism and for our creative and transparent approach to partnerships.
RUSSH Media operates from the following guidelines across print and online journalism:
- Maintaining accuracy
1.1 Take reasonable steps to ensure all editorial is accurate and not misleading.
1.2 As a writer or presenter, you are free to editorialise, campaign and take stances on issues provided you take reasonable steps to fulfil the requirements of 1.3 and 1.4.
1.3 Comment and opinion are acceptable in editorial to provide perspective or explain the significance of an issue, or to allow readers to recognise what our standpoint is on a matter.
1.4 We do not knowingly publish inaccurate or misleading information and will correct significant inaccuracies or misleading material once recognised as mistakes – see section 2.
1.5 Only use credible sources.
1.6 Don’t change direct quotations except to delete offensive language, protect against defamation or make minor changes for clarity.
1.7 Understand the principles of copyright.
1.8 Verify information sourced from social media for accuracy. Editors should be informed of images sourced from social media sites.
- Fix any mistakes
2.1 Subject to legal advice, if published material is significantly inaccurate, promptly correct it or take other adequate remedial action.
- We do notengage in misrepresentation
3.1 Our audience has a right to reliable information and to not be misled.
3.2 Don’t use false names when representing RUSSH Media.
3.3 Do not obtain information, photographs or video by deception.
3.4 Always seek permission either in words or at the beginning of the interview from the other party if you are wanting to tape a conversation / interview / video with them. Seek approval if recording is to be used as audio in any digital capacity.
- 4. Confidential sources
4.1 Confidentiality to a source must be honoured. Requests by police or other authorities for work-related matters must be referred to the Publisher.
- 5. Payment for information
5.1 Our policy is that we pay any professional contributor to write stories when budget allows. However we do not pay a third party for their story.
- Conflicts of interest
6.1 A conflict of interest arises when personal interests or divided loyalties interfere with the ability to make sound, objective business decisions on behalf of the company. Staff may join and participate in lawful political or community organisations or activities but must avoid potential conflicts of interest with our company.
6.2 Any employee wishing to perform paid or unpaid work for another organisation must receive written approval in advance from the Publisher. This forms part of the employee’s contract of employment.
- 7. Travel
7.1 Only the Publisher is authorised to accept offers of free or discounted travel, accommodation etc. for a publication.
7.2 The Publisher has the right to decide whether to accept an offer, who should be assigned and whether a report is published as a consequence. These conditions must be made clear to whoever made the offer.
7.3 Employees must never solicit discount travel or accommodation for themselves; nor misrepresent their role to secure any form of travel discount or accommodation.
7.4 All international travel must be approved in advance by the Publisher.
- 8. Personal gain, gifts
8.1 It is illegal for employees to make personal gain from content published on our platforms. Employees must not request any money, travel, goods, discounts, entertainment or inducements of any kind outside the normal scope of business hospitality.
8.2 Bribes are to be rejected promptly and the Publisher should be informed immediately of any offer or request to pay a bribe, or other inappropriate payments.
8.3 Gifts of cash (any sum) are never acceptable.
9.4 Employees must never solicit or request any gift or benefit for themselves or anyone else in connection with their employment.
8.5 Employees must declare any gifts of a value over $120 by logging this on the gift register available to all employees. The frequency, timing and nature of the gift must be considered.
8.6 All products sent to the employee for review purposes are able to be used by the employee but are not able to be dispersed to anyone outside the addressed role without approval from the Publisher.
8.7 Any products sent to the employee for review purposes are considered company property and may not be sold by the employee for personal gain.
- 9. Confidential Information
9.1 In accordance with your contract you must not disclose confidential information or commercially sensitive information about RUSSH Media, even if you no longer work for us, including (but not limited to):
- Trade secrets
- Pricing information, such as internal cost and pricing rates
- Company data and analytics
- Marketing or strategy plans
- Supply agreements or arrangements
- Commercial and business plans
- Contractual arrangements with third parties
- Tender policies and arrangements
- Financial information
- Sales and training materials
- Technical data
- Schematics, proposals, intentions or designs
- Policies and procedures documents
- Data which is personal information for the purposes of privacy law; and
- All other information obtained from RUSSH Media or obtained in the course of working or providing services to RUSSH.
- 10. Interviews/ requests for information or documentation
10.1 RUSSH Media expects employees to co-operate with authorities in investigations. Requests by police or other authorities for work-related matters must be referred to the Publisher.
10.2 No employee should speak in that capacity to another media organisation or at a public event without permission of the Publisher.
10.3 Any interview requests whereby the employee would appear alongside their title in relation to RUSSH must be approved by the Publisher before granted, and the content is to be pre-approved.
- 11. Harassment
11.1 We do not harass or try to intimidate people when seeking information or photographs.
11.2 Do not photograph or film people on private property without their consent unless it is in the public interest to do so. If asked by the resident to leave private property, please do so promptly.
11.3 Do not persist unreasonably in telephoning, pursuing, questioning or door-stopping someone after an authorised person has asked you to stop.
- 12. Grief and distress
13.1 Always behave with sensitivity and courtesy toward the public. This stems back to our core values.
- 13. Discrimination
13.1 We do not make pejorative reference to a person’s race, nationality, colour, religion, marital status, sex, sexual preferences, or physical or mental illness or disability. No details of a person’s race, nationality, colour, religion, marital status, sex, sexual preferences, or physical or mental illness or disability should be included in a report unless they are relevant.
- 14. Photographic enhancement and manipulation policy
14.1 Enhancement of photographs is acceptable. However, this should be limited to simple procedures to improve reproduction quality.
14.2 Freelance, occasional and on-the-spot contributors must give an undertaking in writing if their images have been altered to change details. Except in special circumstances and on approval of the Publisher.
- 15. Image crediting andfair dealing policy
15.1 Images used by RUSSH Media will always comply with Australian copyright and image licensing laws. Where possible, images should be original or supplied by the owner or original creator.
15.2 Images taken from social media will comply with with Australian copyright and image licensing laws.
15.3 All images featured on RUSSH Media, that are not owned by RUSSH Media, will be sourced and attributed to the owner or creator.
15.4 RUSSH Media reserves the right to use imagery to report news in the public interest in accordance with Australian fair dealing legislation.
- 16. Other Obligations
16.1 Do not bring the reputation of RUSSH Media, your colleagues or masthead into disrepute.
16.2 Respect the confidences and sensitivities of colleagues at all times.
16.3 Familiarise yourself with all of RUSSH Media’s employee conduct policies.
16.4 Employees must protect company assets from theft, carelessness, waste and misuse and respect the property rights of others.
- 17. Breaches of policy
17.1 Complaints involving alleged breaches of this policy will be investigated by the Publisher of the publication concerned, or an executive of equivalent status. Proven breaches will be addressed in accordance with the company’s disciplinary procedures.