Editorial principles and complaints process

The following editorial principles and complaints process apply to Hunter & Coastal Lifestyle Magazine and digital publishing channels of HSR Publishing Pty Ltd

While we are not a classic news organisation, we do publish stories of local interest and we strive to inform and educate our readers about current developments in the region that might affect their own lives. We tell stories of success and stories of change. As such, we strive to adhere to the same editorial principles as set out by the Press Council as far as they apply to our work.

We publish facts, and we express opinions. In doing so, we are taking all reasonable steps to ensure accuracy and clarity, not to publish anything that might be misleading and to clearly differentiate between facts and opinions.

Fairness and balance are equally important to us; hence we make sure that we not focus on a single opinion to the detriment of others, or omit important facts. If we refer adversely to someone, we give a fair opportunity to reply. We are a part of the local community and strive to avoid terminology and styles that a significant subset of the community might find offensive.

We do not intrude on a person’s reasonable expectations of privacy unless there are superseding considerations of public interest at stake. A copy of our privacy policy can be found at https://hunterlifestyle.com.au/privacy-policy/(opens in a new tab)

We are not distributing material that might cause or contribute to causing substantial offence, distress or prejudice. Our means of gathering information for publishing material are never unfair or deceptive. If there are conflicts of interest that might impact our reporting, we will declare a conflict of interest.

Complaints process

Any member of the public who has reason to believe that we have breached our above stated editorial principles is entitled to file a complaint by sending an email to editorial@hunterandcoastal.com.au

Please include the following information:

  • A copy of the relevant article and/or its URL address
  • The nature of your complaint and which part of our editorial policy it is violating.
  • Alternatively, if an article has not been published yet, any pre-publication action you deem in breach of our editorial principles.

Upon receipt of your complaint, we are committed to the following course of action:

You will receive a reply acknowledging receipt of your complaint within two working days. If your complaint requires further investigation, we aim to give you an in-depth response within 14 days of receiving all necessary information we require to investigate. We will follow up and ask for such information with the complainant or other relevant parties without any undue delay, typically within two working days of of becoming aware of such information being required.

If there are circumstances beyond our control that make it impossible for us to provide such an in-depth reply within 14 days, we will notify the complainant before the end of the 14 days and will give as concise a deadline as possible for providing the results of our investigation.

If there are multiple complaints about the same issue we may respond with the same information to all of them.

We aim to handle all complaints respectfully and courteously and expect the same from complainants. We reserve the right to not consider complaints that are being brought forward in an abusive manner or that are gratuitously offensive. If we come to the conclusion that a breach of our Editorial Policy has occurred, the editor will suggest an appropriate remedy. Corrections and clarifications will appear on our website.

If we do not hear back from a complainant within 14 days of contacting them, we will consider the complaint closed and satisfied.

We reserve the right to NOT consider complaints

  • If you are not personally and directly affected by the subject matter of the complaint.
  • That are trivial, insignificant or vexatious
  • That are attempts to argue a particular point of view or to lobby, hence are without justification

How we will manage a complaint

We aim to minimise errors through conscientious checking and re-checking of all facts and figures prior to publication, if possible and within reason, we will have team members check each other’s work. We will act as quickly as reasonably possible to correct any mistakes.

The editor will take multiple factors into account when assessing a complaint, including available evidence, public interest, and the relevance to our audience before suggesting a remedy and whether or not to publish differing views.

If we decide to retract or remove an article as a result of a complaint:

  • we will correct the article online and acknowledge the error.
  • We will outline the reasons why we have taken this particular course of action.

We reserve the right not to take action if our investigation concludes that there has not been an error, a defamation or otherwise a breach of our editorial principles.

We reserve the right to amend this policy as required. The current policy is available on our website. Your complaint will be considered against the published policy on the date of receipt of your complaint.

If you are unhappy with our final response to your complaint you may complain to Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance www.meaa.org provided the article in question has been written by an MEAA member journalist. We will confirm in writing that you have exhausted our internal complaints procedure.