Code Of Ethics Breaches - How To Complain
What Do You Do?
This page sets out how you can complain if you believe a journalist has acted contrary to the Code of Ethics. If you believe a journalist has breached the Code of Ethics in any way, you should lodge a written complaint stating:
- the name of the journalist;
- the action that you believe is unethical;
- the point or points of the Code that you believe have been breached.
Once the Branch Secretary receives your letter she/he will refer it to the Judiciary Committee. The Judiciary Committee is made up of experienced journalists who are elected to the Committee every two years by members of the Journalists section of Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance in each State. The Judiciary Committees will meet to consider your complaint. They have a number of options including:
- dismiss the complaint without hearing further evidence;
- uphold the complaint without hearing further evidence;
- ask you to provide further evidence in writing;
- hold hearings on the complaint.
If the Committee asks you to appear it is also required to ask the journalist you have complained against to appear. The Committee does not operate under law but does follow the rules of natural justice. In the event the complaint goes to a hearing the parties are not entitled to legal representation. If the Committee finds the complaint proven it is empowered to impose a range of penalties including:
- censure or rebuke the journalist;
- fine the journalist up to $1000 for each offence;
- expel the journalist from membership of the Alliance. Information regarding complaints about journalists is published and distributed to journalists members on a yearly basis.
In the event you or the journalist is dissatisfied with the outcome of the investigation of a complaint you have a right to appeal within 28 days to the Appeals Committee in each State. These Committees are made up of three senior journalists elected every four years. If you or the journalist is still dissatisfied, an appeal may be lodged within 28 days to the National Appeals Committee made up of five senior journalists appointed nationally.
Where To Send Your Complaint
MEDIA ENTERTAINMENT AND ARTS ALLIANCE
Federal Secretary: Christopher Warren
PO Box 723
STRAWBERRY HILLS NSW 2012
Ph: 1300 656512 Fax: 1300 730 543
OTHER OUTLETS FOR COMPLAINTS
FEDERATION OF AUSTRALIAN RADIO BROADCASTERS
10/82 Pacific Highway
ST LEONARDS NSW 2065
Ph: 02 9906 5944 Fax: 02 9906 5128
FREE TV AUSTRALIA
44 Avenue Road
MOSMAN NSW 2088
Ph: 02 9960 7100
Fax: 02 9969 3520
AUSTRALIAN PRESS COUNCIL
149 Castlereagh Street
SYDNEY NSW 2000
Ph: 02 9261 1930 Fax: 02 9267 6826
AUSTRALIAN COMMUNICATIONS AND MEDIA AUTHORITY
PO Box 78, Belconnen ACT 2616
Tel: 02 6219 5555
Fax: 02 6219 5200