Content Policy

Our Mission

To provide a news service to drill down into local news stories from a community perspective and to provide a vehicle to lobby on behalf of the issues that matter to Victor Harbor’s people.  As well it will provide the opportunity for local community and sporting organisations to promote their activities and recognise the work of their members and supporters.

How we will do this:

To achieve our mission the following are our policies with regards to content:

Story leads from the public:

Recognising that we have limited resources we will make every effort to follow-up story leads provided by the public.  We will aim to keep our story lead tipsters informed of progress.  We will maintain the confidentiality of sources if requested.  Off the record contact will also be treated with the same confidentiality.

We will not generally act on anonymous tip-offs.

We will not publish information unless it has been verified by us.

Photo requests:

Recognising that we have limited resources we will make every effort to attend to take photographs but encourage people involved in events to submit photographs for publication.

Dealing with news stories:

A priority is to provide an independent news service without bias, except to be parochial in ensuring we champion the cause of the Victor Harbor community.

In writing a news story we will always give consideration to reporting the implication to our local community of the decision that has been made or incident that has occurred.

We will always aim to reflect all points of view with our reporting.

Our writing style will be simple and, at times conversational, to appeal to a wide range of consumers.

We will not publish any news that does not have direct relevance to the Victor Harbor community.

Where possible our stories will directly reflect the human element.

Council:

We will aim to attend all public meetings of the City of Victor Harbor.  In the event we are unable to attend a meeting we will undertake to follow-up on outcomes we consider of significance to the community.

We will aim to go beyond the council decisions to find out how they will impact our community.

We will be mindful to ensure we do not become a political mouthpiece for one or several factions within the council or those seeking to be represented on council.

Court:

We will only report on court issues of major interest to the local community.

Police:

While maintaining close contact with emergency services, our aim is not to become “ambulance chasing media”.  We will report on criminal matters as they affect the community generally.

Where local people are victims of crime or accident we will be empathetic in our approach to their privacy and welfare.  Where a member of our local community is killed in a crime or accident we will do everything we can to ensure appropriate tributes are published to them and will work with the family to make this happen.

We will never report incidents directly from the emergency services scanner.

We may at times report current incidents from social media feeds where they are to impact our followers eg vehicle crashes impacting road routes, fires threatening property/people or causing community concern and similar incidents where we believe it is in the public’s interest to be informed at the time of the incident.

Political matters:

All levels of government – local, state and federal – will receive coverage in Victor Harbor News only where their activities impact on the people of Victor Harbor.  We won’t report politicians simply because they are politicians.  As with all our news stories we will be seeking to drill down into announcements to see the impact on our local community.  We will aim to cut through and effectively cut out the political rhetoric.

During election campaigns candidates will be given the opportunity on an equal basis to submit comment on specific local issues.  We will aim for balance at all times.  Announcements from all candidates will be put to the fellow candidates for a timely response so the public is fully informed of candidate policies on local issues.

Our public comment areas will not be able to be used for submissions by candidates during any formal election campaign, however, they may choose to make comment in direct response to a letter from the general public.

Content submissions:

Although we prefer submissions from the public to come electronically through email, social media message or SMS, we understand some of our supporters and followers may not have access or be able to operate in such a technological manner.  We will therefore make other options available where possible within our limited resource base.

Opinion:

We will undertake to publish a Victor Harbor News opinion piece each week.  We admit that at times the opinions may be controversial.  We acknowledge that opinion pieces in media sources are often a method by which to act as a catalyst for communities to get involved and animated on issues which warrant community outcry or action.  At all times our Opinion pieces will be clearly marked as opinion.

We will also encourage the public to make comment on our news and on local issues of interest.  At all times the names and contact information are to be provided to Victor Harbor News, although screen names can be used for publication purposes.  Victor Harbor News reserves the right to edit or, at times, to not publish some submissions from the public, including comments, if in our view there are legal reasons for not publishing, the comment represents a personal attack or we have serious concerns about the motivation for the comment.  We will undertake to contact the person submitting the comment to advise of our decision.

Features:

Victor Harbor News will include a number of features that may include, but are not limited to, pieces on matters of House & Garden, Business, Health, Real Estate, Technology, Food and Local Produce.  Some of these pieces may be provided by or focus on our advertisers.  To ensure transparency in our publishing and independence we will always include at the bottom the words: “The above feature item has been provided and/or supported by paid advertising.”

What’s On:

Our What’s On section will include information about free and paid events.  We will encourage local people to attend local events and will also help promote local events to the broader community outside Victor Harbor.

We also have a diary of events.  Events will be uploaded to this diary on a weekly basis (generally over the weekend), so we encourage anyone with an event to ensure it is sent to us before Friday 10am.  Ideally the event should be sent to us as early as possible as this is a perpetual calendar … not just one week of events.  Let us know too if the event is regular (eg second Tuesday of the month) so it can be loaded in bulk.

To ensure transparency in our publishing and independence we will always include at the bottom the words: “The above feature item has been provided and/or supported by paid advertising.”

External links:

Recognising that we are an online news service, we may rely on external links to provide additional data to support our services.  These links are provided in good faith having been checked by the Victor Harbor News team when first posted, however we cannot be held responsible if the content of these links changes.  Users need to be mindful of this when clicking on links to external sources.

Weekly news summary:

A weekly news summary will be sent to subscribers via email on a Wednesday.  This may not include ALL stories and pieces of information that have been posted to the website during the week.  Click HERE to sign up to receive the newsletter.

Social media:

As news stories are loaded to the website relevant social media posts will also be made to promote them and notify followers of activity on the site.  The posts themselves will not include the full content of the articles, but will have links to the website where the full story will be displayed to the public and will be available FREE of charge.