To make a formal complaint or correction an email needs to be sent to [email protected].
An email can be sent from an anonymous account and will still be taken seriously. This account will be checked by the team at least once every 72 hours. Once you have contacted us, we will undertake the following procedure to seek resolution:
In order to help us address the issues raised in the most appropriate manner, we ask that you provide as much detail as possible with regards to the specific nature of your complaint and a link to the piece of content in question.
For guidance, here’s a list of headings you may wish to use to help us identify the nature of the issue being raised:
- Reporting violence, harassment, abuse or sexual assault
- Reporting other crimes
- Right of reply
- Intrusion into grief or shock
- Editorial code of conduct
- Confidential sources
Complaints are not limited to the above categories.
1. INTERNAL CONSULTATION.
After emailing [email protected], you will immediately receive an automated response. We aim to respond fully within 7 working days.
The editorial team will be informed of the issues outlined in the email. If any one member agrees with the nature of the complaint, or considers an issue actionable, the whole team will work together towards a resolution. We will suggest possible routes to resolve the issue, and ask the complainant what path they feel would best fit their needs and the specific demands of the situation. This includes, but is not limited to: investigation of content, amendment, withdrawal of content, cutting links with individuals and organisations, referring complainants on to third party justice/mediation organisations (see point 3).
In deciding what path to take, respecting the safety and privacy of contributors, our audience and others is of the highest priority. This suggestion will be communicated to the complainant as soon as possible. If the complainant is satisfied with the proposed solution, the solution will then be actioned. If the complainant disagrees with the suggested course of action, the team will communicate further with the complainant to reach a resolution and amend the course of action.
If the complainant does not agree with the suggested resolution and subsequent amendments to it, then the complaint moves on to stage 2.
If no members of the team consider this complaint to be reasonable, or the team cannot reach a consensus on a course of action, then the complaint moves on to stage 3.
What criteria do we use to assess whether an issue is actionable?
- Is it something to which Novara Media can provide a concrete solution?
- Are we the best organisation to provide the complainant with the support/answers they need? (If not, the action is then taken to stage 3.)
We assume that all complaints are made in good faith. We also have certain criteria to ensure that:
- Our contributors, team and the wider Novara Media community are protected from harassment.
- We uphold our commitment to building a pluralist platform.
To this end, we will assess the following:
- Is the complaint abusive or part of a campaign of individualised harassment?
- Is the complaint based on something known to be verifiably false information?
- Is the complaint explicitly about political disagreement with any of our content?
2. EXTERNAL CONSULTATION.
If the Novara Media team cannot internally resolve the complaint then it will move to an external review board. At this point if the complaint regards a specific piece of content, that content will be temporarily taken offline until the complaint is resolved.
The external review board are a group of 5 people selected by Novara Media with a diverse range of backgrounds, politics and opinions. They will consider the complaint, and if they deem that it needs resolution they will inform the editorial team.
The external review board will make suggestions on how to resolve the complaint. The editorial team must then resolve the issue according to the suggestions of the board. The board has to conclude that the resolution is satisfactory.
Those who are on the board will be independent from Novara Media, i.e. not content producers, nor close personal friends of the editorial team. They will also have experience in conflict resolution.
We will release information about the composition of the external board in a month.
Sometimes we may need to refer complainants to third parties who may be able to provide them with further support or resolution, either as part of or as an alternative to action taken by the Novara Media team.
If it is determined either that another organisation would be better placed to deliver a solution, or that external help is needed, the Novara Media team will work with the complainant and the organisation in question.
We will work with a network of organisations, and will be compiling a list of such organisations to publish in a month.
Documentation and Transparency
Each year Novara Media will publish a report on the complaints made in that last year.
The report will detail the number of complaints and what stage each complaint reached, whether complaints were deemed actionable, and what resolutions were put into place.
The report will not include personal details of the complaints or the complainants. If a complainant asks us not to make any details of their complaint public, their case will be redacted from the report.
Novara Media reserves the right not to comment on individual cases in order to protect the safety and privacy of complainants, contributors, and members of the team.