APC Update | Issue 14

 

 
APC UPDATE | 3 October 2012
 
COMPLAINTS-HANDLING

In recent weeks the Council has been introducing new processes for receiving and responding to complaints, and for publishing its adjudications.

Complaints-handling processes

In order to assist both the complainant and the publisher address the key issues in a complaint, the Council now prepares a Summary of Issues which is approved by the complainant and then sent to the publisher for comment. In a similar way, a Summary of Response from the publisher is prepared by the staff and provided to the complainant. The new system involves more work by Council staff at the initial stages but helps the complainant and publisher by clarifying which aspects of a complaint are being considered by the Council. Recent complainants are being advised of the delays which may occur in handling their complaints while the new system is being bedded down.

Publication of adjudications

New arrangements for the publication of adjudications have been introduced, following the adoption earlier this year of legally-binding obligations on publishers to publish adjudications in accordance with Council requirements. The Council now provides the publisher with a set of Publication Requirements concerning content and placement of the particular adjudication, both in print and online (where applicable), along with a note to be placed on the archived online version of the article. The arrangements are discussed with the publisher, with the opportunity for proposing alternative arrangements provided the Council considers they meet the requirements of due prominence. Reports on compliance with these requirements will be submitted to each Council meeting.

STANDARDS

Two Round Table consultations have been arranged for October:

→ A consultation with digital editors has been arranged to help the Council consider issues relating to online publication. Key issues include the principles relating to publication of "breaking news" and of readers' contributions, as well as responsibility for links to other sites and correction of errors and the archiving of successive versions of published material.

→ A consultation with medical practitioners, administrators and media representatives will be conducted to help the Council finalise Specific Standards about contact with patients in hospitals, nursing homes and similar facilities. Issues include the level of authorisation required from the hospital or other facility, and the ways in which the patient's informed consent may be obtained.

Both Round Tables will be held in Melbourne.

COUNCIL MEMBERS AND STAFF

Three new publisher representatives have been appointed as members of the Council:

→ Garry Linnell (Editorial Director, Metro Media, Fairfax Media);

→ Tony Gillies (Editor-in-Chief, AAP); and

→ Hal Crawford (Editor-in-Chief, ninemsn).

Colin Neave AM resigned as Vice Chair of the Council on 14 September in order to take up his appointment as Commonwealth Ombudsman. The Council has congratulated Colin on his appointment and thanked him for his great contribution to the Council. Appointment of a new Vice Chair will be considered at the Council meeting in October.

Dr Derek Wilding has been appointed as Executive Director from 1 October. He replaces Linda Matthews who resigned last month having helped to start to restructure the secretariat and strengthen its processes in her brief period in the position. Derek was formerly the Council's Director of Standards and before that a Manager at the ACMA. His appointment has been made for six months so the Council can assess whether any longer-term changes in staff structure need to be made in light of the Government’s impending announcements on media regulation.

Australian Press Council
Address: Suite 10.02, 117 York Street, Sydney 2000   Phone: (02) 9261 1930 or 1800 025 712   Fax: (02) 9267 6826
Email: [email protected]    Web: http://www.jxdcao.live
 
 
 
 
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