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Editorial Policy

Objectives

The purpose of this policy is to:

  1. Ensure writers understand their obligations
  2. Ensure consistent quality across articles
  3. Ensure sponsors understand their role in relation to editorial

The purpose of editorial is to:

  1. Provide enough information to readers to decide if the subject is relevant to their interests
  2. To raise awareness of the subject among the readership 3.To entertain and engage and educate the readership

Independence

The magazine acknowledges that it is supported by its sponsors, some of whom may be the subject of editorial.

Editorial is factual and balanced.

The content and tone of individual articles is not influenced by the support or non-support of sponsors.

Sponsors do not have veto rights of articles (in whole or part) that mention them.

Sponsors may be offered pre-publication review of articles (in whole or part) that mention them, for the purpose of soliciting feedback for accuracy and comment. Sponsors should not expect this as a regular service. Sponsors’ feedback will be considered but may not result in changes to the article. Sponsors’ feedback will not be published without authorisation from the sponsor.

Obligations to readers

Writers have an obligation to the readership to provide factual and balanced articles. This means:

  • All factual statements must be written from primary sources. This includes the writers’ observations, interviews and materials published by the subject.
  • Statements based on secondary sources that cannot be verified with a primary source must be clearly indicated as such.
  • Matters of opinion (whether they be the writer’s opinion or an interviewee’s opinion) must be clearly indicated as such.

Writers have an obligation to the readership to provide useful and relevant articles. This means:

  • Writers need to understand the readership (ideally be members or close to people who are members)
  • Articles need to address the key needs and concerns of the readership (to be outlined in article guidelines)
  • Writers have an obligation to include both positive and negative aspects of a subject only where those aspects are useful and relevant to the readership.

Obligations to subjects

‘Off the record’

  • Writers must honour any requests by subjects that material provided ‘on background’ or ‘off the record’ is either not published or not attributed.
  • If it is to be published unattributed, writers must have authorisation from the source.
  • The writer’s editor must be notified if an article contains material that is unattributed at the subject’s request.

Quoting

  • All quotes must be attributed and verified
  • Quotes from interviews must be verified by the interviewee. This can be done during the interview or later in writing.
  • Quotes from written material (e.g. websites) must be dated.

And finally, editorial needs to be

  1. Compelling
    1. Irresistible lead (head, first para and pull quote) – Clear and inviting style
    2. High quality and respectable writing
  2. Substantial
    1. Well-researched and factually reliable
    2. Asks unasked questions, dives deeper into issues – Unafraid to go where other publications don’t go
  3. Relevant
    1. Written specifically for our core readership (Melbourne musicians and songwriters)
    2. Exclusively focussed on local Melbourne material
  4. Actionable
    1. Can be applied to the current activities of our core readership
    2. Educates and informs as background and context to the current activities of our readership
    3. Changes minds (otherwise, what’s the point?)

 

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