Scope: Guidelines found publicly on our website apply to all members of our company.
Purpose: All staff members are expected to read, understand and adhere to these rules which are fundamental to protect the impartiality and neutrality of unCrazed to ensure the integrity of our news stories.
Compliance: We take the conduct of this code extremely seriously and all staff, contractors, volunteers and contributors are required to read this code and abide by this during their term with us. As this policy changes in order to adapt to company growth and changes, an annual read of this policy is mandatory.
If a member of our team disobeys this policy, disciplinary will take place and could involve immediate and indefinite dismissal. Human errors occur and in a fast-paced industry that requires journalists to have their metaphorical finger on the pulse, mistakes can be discovered shortly after publishing a live piece of information to millions of readers. In such instances where violation of this code by an individual takes place, a line manager must be notified immediately and action will be taken to rectify the breach both internally and externally to uphold transparency and maintain public confidence in the content they read. A team member that discovers a breach, conflict or possible violation of this code should report it to a team leader immediately. If the report transpires a violation hasn’t taken place, a team member that made the report in good faith will not tolerate any retaliation.
Conflicts of Interest
Promotion: Anyone working under the instruction of unCrazed must not accept cash, or any value, in exchange for promoting content, including, but not limited to, links, information, products, gifts or join a sponsorship scheme without the sole, written permission from the Chief Executive Officer, or an elected member at unCrazed.
Voting and Campaigns: Staff are encouraged to participate in civil, charitable, religious, social, public and selected company events, providing that it does not violate this code, for example, you mustn’t share on social media or any public platform your political views. If you are involved in any existing and/or forthcoming political campaigns, a team leader must be alerted to this to cover the basis of any views you may hold and whether it could conflict with our company policies.
The goal of these guidelines is to ensure fair reporting and full transparency for our readers.
- Employees may accept gifts/freebies valued at less than £100 as long as: (a) it’s a de minimis promotional item or tchotchke (i.e. coffee mug, T-shirt, or umbrella) or (b) has been received as a one-off “thank-you” or other expression of appreciation (i.e. a bunch of flowers or a moderately priced bottle of wine) and not as a quid pro quo. The acceptance of the gifts/freebies should in no way compromise or guarantee editorial coverage of the product/service or use of a vendor / service provider.
- Any item with a value of over £100 must be specially approved by your manager. Items not approved must be returned or donated.
- In general, we cannot accept meals/transportation/services except as specified below for certain shoots. However, use your best discretion: if you are getting a drink with a PR person, and they insist on paying, that’s a judgment call. Dinner at Per Se, on the other hand, is out of the question.
Product Reviews / Shoots:
- Return products when we can or ask for test items, otherwise products should be donated. In the event that donation is not reasonably possible, products can be kept if approved by your manager.
- Employees cannot accept any gifts/freebies/gift certificates after publishing a story. Donate them or offer to send them back if you see them pop up in the mail.
- Employees may not resell gifted items.
- Employees cannot accept compensation in exchange for endorsing any companies or products on social media or anywhere, regardless of whether the account is the company account or a personal account.
- Employees cannot accept discounts on products in return for any type of endorsement.
- Endorsements should be based on your honest opinion.
Social media guidelines
Introduction: The attached lays out our policy in detail, but here is a brief overview. The guidelines are simple:
- Use good judgment.
- Remember that almost nothing you post is truly private.
- Remember that you are a professional.
If you want to remember only one thing about social media, it’s this:
When you publish on Twitter, Facebook, or other platforms, you are not sharing something with a few “friends” or “followers.” You are stepping up to a microphone and making public statements that will be recorded forever and potentially broadcast to everyone on earth.
Most people won’t be listening when you first make your remarks or share your pictures or videos. But some will. And if you should ever happen to say or post something particularly provocative or newsworthy or offensive or shocking, millions of others will immediately tune in.
Importantly, it doesn’t matter what you meant or what you were thinking when you hit “publish.” What matters is what people think you meant. Perception is reality. So use good judgment.
Understand Social Media: In the rapidly expanding world of electronic communication, social media can mean many things. Social media includes all means of communicating or posting information or content of any sort on the Internet, including to your own or someone else’s web log or blog, journal or diary, personal website, social networking or affinity website (e.g., Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube and wikis), web bulletin board or a chat room, whether or not associated or affiliated with the Company, as well as any other form of electronic communication.
Know and respect Company policies: Please make sure that you are familiar and comply with this policy and all of the policies in the Employee Handbook, to ensure that your postings are consistent with these policies. Inappropriate postings that may include discriminatory remarks, harassment, and threats of violence or similar inappropriate or unlawful content will not be tolerated and may subject you to disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment.
Be careful what you post: You are personally responsible for what you post. Remember that anything you post may be public for a long time, even if you try to modify or remove it later. The Company disclaims any responsibility or liability for any errors, omissions, loss, or damages claimed or incurred due to any of your electronic communications.
Speak for yourself, not the Company: Your postings should reflect your personal point of view, not that of the Company. If, however, you post about the Company or any of its business contacts, you must clearly identify yourself as a Company employee and be sure to include a prominent disclaimer stating that the views being expressed are your own, not those of the Company.
Be respectful and professional: Always be fair and courteous. If you decide to post complaints or criticisms, avoid using statements that reasonably could be viewed as malicious, obscene, threatening or intimidating, that disparage your co-workers or business contacts or that might constitute harassment or bullying. Examples of such conduct include offensive posts meant to intentionally harm someone’s reputation or posts that could contribute to a hostile work environment on the basis of any characteristic protected by law or Company policy. Please be professional and respectful of others in your communications, show consideration for others’ privacy and refrain from posting statements, photographs, video or audio that are false, misleading, obscene, defamatory, threatening, harassing, fraudulent, discriminatory, or invasive of the privacy of others. Note, however, that this policy is not intended to preclude or dissuade employees from engaging in activities protected by state or federal law, including the National Labour Relations Act such as discussing wages, benefits or terms and conditions of employment, including discussions regarding forming, joining or supporting labour unions, raising complaints about working conditions or other legally protected activities.
Be honest and accurate: Make sure you are always honest and accurate when posting information or news, and if you make a mistake, correct it quickly. Be open about any previous posts you have altered.
Respect laws and confidentiality: Respect copyright, trademark, privacy, financial disclosure, regulatory and all other laws. Do not disclose confidential or sensitive information about the Company, other individuals or business contacts that may have been obtained through your position with the Company, unless you have the right to do so and are taking into account intellectual property and privacy concerns. For example, ask permission before posting someone’s photograph, article, or music in a social network or publishing in a blog a conversation that was meant to be private. In accessing or using a social media site, comply with the legal terms or code of conduct governing such site.
Report your concerns: If you feel that an employee of the Company has engaged in conduct that may violate this policy, please discuss your concerns with Human Resources. The Company prohibits retaliation against any employee for reporting concerns under this policy or for cooperating in an investigation.
At unCrazed, as at most journalistic organisations, we have a strong policy against plagiarism.
Reporters must seek both sides of the story by providing an opportunity for those subject to negative accusations with an opportunity to respond. Reporters seek to convey accusations in detail and allow a fulsome response.