AltMedia Publication Guidelines, Principles and Standards
AltMedia is the publication company and Lawrence Gibbons is the publisher at Unit 10. Level 1,330 Wattle Street Ultimo, NSW, 2007.
The guidelines below are the General Principles by which AltMedia uses for all print and online publication purposes.
If anyone has any doubt about these principles or an issue they are urged to contact their editor or the publisher immediately.
Stories and articles published by AltMedia will at all times strive for:
Accuracy and Clarity
- All writers will ensure that their reporting is factual, accurate and not intended to mislead and differs from comment or opinion.
- If it falls into comment or opinion it must be published as such.
Fairness and balance
- All news stories should seek to be fair and present a balanced point of view and comments.
- If a story is critical of a person or organisation they should be given a chance to comment.
- Do not contact a person out of working hours unless by prearrangement.
- Do not publish a person’s name if they have indicated they do not wish this.
Integrity and transparency
- Only publish material that has been gathered in a fair or just manner.
- Do not engage in a story where there is a conflict of interest unless that is disclosed and does not influence the written material.
- Ensure that any material used, be it image or written, is clear of all copyright, and where copyright does exist, make sure that you have written permission to use the material and give credit where appropriate.
- Keep all records such as note books, tapes, SD cards and transcripts of interviews as a record.
Photography and images
- Ensure that all photos, cartoons and images taken from web pages such as Google Images, Wikimedia Commons and Flickr are free to use and give appropriate credit for the source.
- If engaging a photographer for a particular story make sure that you outline the conditions of that engagement before the shoot.
- Any digital manipulation of an image should be noted in the caption. For AltMedia purposes all images should be 1mb and over in size.
Collection of personal information
- It is appropriate to source personal information from public sources such as Facebook and LinkedIn but discretion should be used about what to use.
- As writers we are not experts in many matters such as health, law and theoretical particle physics and should leave explanations to the experts.
- Personal or anecdotal experiences should be written as such.
Use of religious and ethnic terms in headline or story
- Best to avoid in headlines and be careful writing into the story to make sure that it does not generalise or marginalise.
- The term LGBTQIA covers a very diverse group of people and many may identify as belonging to more than one category.
- If doing a story with members of the LGBTQIA community make sure you ask that the subject how they would like to be represented.
- If doing a story on drugs make sure that you do not identify where they can be sourced, what the lethal dose is and any detailed instruction on how to use. Do not glamourise or demonise the use of drugs.
- If the story is about addiction list at least one organisation that can provide help at the end of the story.
Family or domestic violence
- If using a person’s name in a story on family or domestic violence make sure that there is no court order preventing this and never write the story where an address can be identified (There are more than 40 possible infractions when dealing with domestic violence of family law)
Reporting on suicide
- Be respectful of anyone associated with the victim, including witnesses.
- Do not jump to conclusions as to why or how the person died.
- Do not describe in any detail the method used to cause death.
- If the story is about suicide list at least one organisation that can provide help at the end of the story.
- The same rules that apply to print publication are to be applied to online publication.
- No employee or intern for AltMedia will use social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc to bring AltMedia into disrepute.
- Social media platforms are not to be used to attack any person or persons mentioned in AltMedia publications.
- Complaints such as the spelling of names, titles, or inappropriate placing of quotes are to be dealt with immediately and referred to the managing editor for rectification.