QNews Editorial Standards
QNews Editorial Standards applies to all content published by QNews, to all persons providing content and on all QNews media platforms including social media.
Take all reasonable steps to ensure accurate content which is not misleading by way of distortion or misrepresentation or by selective reporting of facts.
Comment, conjecture and opinion are acceptable for providing perspective and context.
However, comment, conjecture and opinion must not be presented as established fact.
Provide facts to substantiate opinions and to illustrate the basis of conjecture.
The content shown to be inaccurate or misleading must be promptly recognised, corrected, and identified in a footnote at the bottom of the article.
All sides of a story should be covered when reporting on disputes.
Do not mislead by the omission of relevant facts. Attempts should be made to contact adversely named parties for comment.
Writers should rely only on credible sources and treat uncorroborated information with scepticism.
Direct quotations shall only be altered to sanitise offensive language, remove defamatory statements, or make minor changes for clarity.
Such alterations must not change the meaning or intent of the original quote.
Plagiarism is never acceptable.
QNews utilises plagiarism checking software.
Information sourced from social media requires extra scrutiny. Facts, quotes and images from social media, all require checking for veracity.
Images sourced from social media must always attribute the person who posted the image and the social media platform where it was posted. Check the person who posted the image had the right to post the image.
Social media users often disregard other people or organisations’ intellectual or copyrighted property.
Images of doubtful provenance should be referred to the managing editor before use.
Editorial employees should not misrepresent themselves or use false names when representing QNews.
Employees should not attempt to obtain information or imagery by deception.
QNews does not conduct covert activities. Therefore, audio and video recordings are only made of subjects with their full knowledge and approval either for the purpose of broadcast or for transcription.
As much as possible, QNews relies on sources willing to be quoted and identified. On the occasion that a writer feels they need to quote a confidential source, they must take steps to verify the credibility of the source. They should both look for and detail corroborating evidence.
Any content quoting a confidential source must be approved by the Managing Editor before publication.
A promise of confidentiality to a source must be honoured. However, any writer quoting an anonymous source should be aware of the possible legal consequences.
QNews never pays for interviews or information.
Conflict of interest
Where content reflects a personal viewpoint or interest of the creator, that must be acknowledged in the content. If a writer provides content about an organisation of which they are a member, for example, they must acknowledge that membership both to the Managing Editor and in the content.
Personal gain, gifts, contra
QNews does not tolerate contra in return for coverage.
Uncritical coverage of any product or service in return for payment or some advantage to either the content creator or to QNews is advertorial and needs to be acknowledged and identified to the readers as [PROMOTION].
Either the Managing Editor or the Publisher is to be immediately alerted to offers of contra.
Content creators must never solicit a discount or any other advantage in return for coverage on our media platforms.
All individuals have a right to privacy. Public figures do sacrifice the right to privacy where public scrutiny is in the public interest.
However, QNews only discloses private information that is legal to publish and serves a defined public interest.
Material of a salacious nature should only be published where there is a public benefit in publishing.
QNews does not regard the fact another news organisation has published private information about an individual as a basis for repeating that information.
Be aware of the potential harm to subjects from the reporting of their private information.
Do not harass or intimidate people in pursuit of information or photographs.
Do not photograph or film people without their consent unless it is in the public interest.
No trespassing or otherwise entering private property without permission.
Grief and distress
Always behave with sensitivity and courtesy toward the public. Do not apply pressure to potential subjects for photographs or interviews.
Do not denigrate any person based on their race, nationality, colour, religion, marital status, sex, sexual preference, sexual identity, or physical or mental illness or disability.
Any such details should only be referred to because they are relevant and inform the content.
Do not reveal graphic details of a suspected suicide, the method or location of a suicide unless the public interest outweighs the risk of causing further suicides.
Be sensitive in reporting such events and your dealings with anyone affected.
Post a call to action at the end of the article with the contact details of organisations where people in distress may seek help.
It is acceptable to alter photographs for the purposed of enhancement.
Image sources must be attributed where possible in captions. The Managing Editor is to be provided with sources of all images.
Images altered for editorial purposes should be identified in the caption as a ‘Digitally Altered Image’ and the source of the original image listed.
Content and Trigger Warnings
Content or Trigger warnings should only be used to indicate strong language or discussion of suicide and similar matters. QNews assumes an adult readership.
The combination of the headline, feature image and social media blurb should always be sufficient to alert the reader to the nature of the accompanying content.
Breaches of Policy
Alleged breaches of the QNews Editorial Policy will be investigated by the Managing Editor.
Proven breaches are dealt with by the Publisher and consultation with the Managing Editor.
QNews Social Media Policy
Employees and contributors may associate themselves with QNews on social media but must take care not to bring QNews into disrepute.
Only the Publisher, Managing Editor and Online Editor may post as QNews on social media.
Social media content posted by QNews is subject to the QNews Editorial Policy.
No person is denigrated based on their race, nationality, colour, religion, marital status, sex, sexual preference, sexual identity, or physical or mental illness or disability.
Social Media moderation
Employees with posting permission on QNews Social Media platforms.
Should immediately hide any comments containing slurs based on;
- marital status,
- sexual preference,
- sexual identity,
- physical illness or disability,
- or mental illness or disability.
The requirement to hide or delete if threatening or suggesting harm.
The discretion exercised over the moderation of strong language, with stricter moderation for posts of an aggressive nature.
QNews encourages lively and frank but respectful discussion on our platforms.
Constant aggressive hectoring or vilification of other posters will result in a ban.
If a user posts content that necessitates blocking from the platform because of illegality, hate speech, threats or constant vilification, screenshot the offending posts before blocking and notify the Managing Editor.