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Editorial Policy

Statement of Values

Formulation and Functioning

The membership of the Messenger review and agree this Statement of Values at six monthly meetings. All publications, in any media, produced by the Messenger must adhere to this statement. It is the responsibility of the Management Committee to establish and maintain an editorial policy consistent with this statement and to ensure that all publications adhere to it.

Inclusion

The Burngreave Messengers primary aim is to facilitate communication within Burngreave. This aim reflects the belief that open, balanced, equitable and inclusive communications within a community forms a central part of that community’s development and functioning. To this end the Messenger will not discriminate against, or exclude, any opinion, group or individual except where not to do so would lead to infringement of any law, or in exceptional circumstances, where the responsible subgroup judge that not to do so would lead directly to an adverse effect on any part of the Burngreave community.

Balance

Every effort will be made to provide balanced coverage of any issues raised. When dealing with areas of potentially conflicting opinion, any publication will aim to contribute to resolution.

Editorial Policy

Formulation and Functioning

All publications, in any media, produced by The Messenger are bound by this editorial policy. The management committee of The Burngreave Messenger has responsibility for maintaining this policy and reviewing all items prior to publication to ensure they adhere to it, and that it is consistent with the ‘Statement of Values’.

All items published by the Messenger will be produced under the supervision of a named subgroup, who have responsibility to ensure the publication adheres to this policy during its production.

When material is published by the Messenger on behalf of another organisation, as is the case with design jobs and leaflets for collation into the Messenger, the origin of the material must be clear. The management committee nor any subgroup are responsible for the content, but the content must not be in breach of the editorial policy.

The management committee may make any necessary and appropriate changes to this policy. All feedback and comment regarding editorial policy will be made welcome, including guidelines from any partnership organisations.

Material originating from the broader community

To facilitate communications the Messenger will publish items from a wide range of sources. Any items originating from outside the Messenger will have clearly identified contributors. In presenting this kind of material efforts will be made to provide balanced coverage of any issues raised, with other independent material or with material generated by the editorial team if necessary. When dealing with areas of potentially conflicting opinion, any publication will aim to contribute to resolution.

Material originating from within the Messenger

Wherever possible all items originating from within the editorial team should be identified by contributor, but it is acknowledged that this it is not always appropriate. If an item is not to be identified by contributor, it should be clear that it originates from within the editorial team.

Encouraging engagement and participation

Wherever appropriate all material should include clear mechanisms for readers to engage further with any issues raised within the material.

Respecting Individuals

Respect for individuals, particularly those active and living within the community must be maintained. The difficulties facing those striving to improve the community are enormous and the Messenger, when covering controversial issues, will make every practicable effort to seek out balancing views and seek to give equal right of reply, while avoiding the personalisation of wider issues.

Where a reply is not or cannot be sought for the same issue, space will be prioritised in the following issue for a response.

Sources

Volunteers and employees have a responsibility to check the facts of articles are correct. Ideally facts should have more than one source. The editorial team should be made aware of sources of information, unless a request has been made to be keep this confidential. In this case at least two members of the editorial team should be aware of the source and a recommendation can be made to the rest of the group as to whether the information should be accepted.

Website

The editorial team reserves the right to embargo any articles from the website before the distribution.

Proof reading

After final proof reading no changes should be made to the text included in the Messenger, if this is unavoidable every effort should be made to contact all those present at the final proof reading meeting.

Editing

The editorial team should maintain commitment to readability and not be afraid to offend people by editing articles. The suggested word limit for contributions is 250, the editorial team can commission longer articles

Advertising

There is no limit to the space given to advertising local businesses overall. Individual adverts over a quarter of a page should be considered by the editorial team. If we agree to sell space then that space is guaranteed, the editorial team can give free advertising space to organisations without publicity budgets at its discretion, this space is not guaranteed.

Letters

We do not print anonymous letters. Names and addresses should be supplied, we will not print addresses and we can withhold names on request. We will not give names and addresses out to anyone, under any circumstances, without the permission of the writer.

Child protection

The Messenger will only publicise activities for children and young people if the groups and organisations organising these demonstrate that they have undertaken Criminal Record Bureau checks for their staff, that they have an appropriate Child Protection Policy and that they have undertaken appropriate Child Protection Training. See Child Protection Policy for more details.

Obituaries

Articles written to commemorate the life of a resident who has recently died must be checked with a family member of the deceased to ensure accuracy and in recognition of the sensitivity of the article for those in mourning.

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