Wednesday 6 December, 2006 

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Our Editorial Policy

Online Catholics is a lay led body with a specific brief to provide an avenue for discussion on matters of interest to Australian Catholics through an electronic journal of record. Online Catholics has no connection with any official or unofficial Catholic body and is directed exclusively by what it deems to be in the public interest and for the common good. It is a non profit company limited by guarantee, with a Board and an editor, who is engaged as a consultant.

The following principles constitute the editorial policy of Online Catholics in respect of its electronic magazine.

Online Catholics will endeavour to maintain the highest professional standards of journalism. It will "strive to seek the truth, enhance the dignity of the individual, and work for the common good", after the instruction of Archbishop John Foley, President of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications (Zenit March 28, 2004). It will do so by commissioning appropriately qualified or experienced people to write for the magazine and by exercising proper editorial control.

Online Catholics will endeavour to eliminate distortion, censorship and the suppression of news. It will always defend press freedom and the public's right to know.

Online Catholics will strive to ensure that all information is fair and accurate, and will avoid comment as well as conjecture being represented as fact. It will endeavour to avoid falsification by distortion, selection or misrepresentation. It will seek to ensure that no individual is defamed.

Online Catholics will rectify promptly any harmful inaccuracies, ensure that correction and apologies receive due prominence. It will afford the right of reply to persons directly criticised when the issue is of sufficient importance or where a named person believes that he or she has been defamed. Such rights of reply shall be subject to strict word limits.

Online Catholics shall obtain information, photographs and illustrations only by straightforward means. The use of other means can be justified only by over-riding considerations of the public interest. It will use its best endeavours to ensure that it does not breach any third person's copyright or other intellectual property rights.

Online Catholics will protect confidential sources of information.

Online Catholics will not accept bribes nor other inducements to influence the course of a story. The publication may carry sponsorships or endorsements.

Online Catholics will not suppress or distort the truth due to pressure from authorities or interest groups.

Online Catholics shall only mention a person's race, colour, creed, illegitimacy, marital status (or lack of it), gender or sexual orientation if this information is strictly relevant. It shall neither originate nor process material which encourages discrimination, ridicule, prejudice, intolerance or hatred on any of the above-mentioned grounds.

Online Catholics may choose to report a refusal to comment or a lack of comment, in circumstances where a comment has been sought and adequate time has been allowed for such comment to be received.



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