Editorial Guidelines: 

The South Coast Beagle Pty Ltd abides by:
 
MEAA Journalist Code of Ethics

Australian Press Council’s Statements of Principles


Facebook News Feed Publisher Guidelines


and acts in accordance with the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance Code of Ethics for journalists and/or the Australian Press Council’s Standards of Practice and Advisory Guidelines.​


We endeavor to provide:

  • an ongoing commitment to factual accuracy, balance and ethical reporting;

  • adherence of accountability of contributors and journalists when sourced;

  • transparency of, and means to adequately address, any claims of bias in reporting;

  • a means to address conflicts of interest held by publishers, journalists and advertising sales staff

  • a robust and transparent process for dealing with complaints about the content we publish



If you wish to complain about editorial content please follow the steps below.
 

Please note this policy only applies to complaints about editorial content in our publications and the digital services that we control. For complaints regarding media releases we will direct you to those parties. 
 

Please write or email us with details of your complaint. The address for written complaints is PO Box 3029, Tuross Head, NSW 2537. Our email is beagleweeklynews@gmail.com
 

Complaints must include a link to the relevant webpage, if the complaint is about online material or the publication title, date, page and headline and any other documents that will help us assess your complaint.
 

We aim to acknowledge your complaint within five working days of receipt.

We will respond to all complaints within 28 days of receiving all the necessary information to allow us to investigate.

 

If we accept that your complaint is valid, we will seek to remedy the breach as quickly as possible, in the next printed edition or immediate if it is an online complaint, with a correction or apology.
 

When handling your complaint you will be treated fairly, courteously and with respect. We may decline to consider any complaint that is abusive or gratuitously offensive.
 

If at any stage of your complaint we do not hear back from you within 14 days, we will consider your complaint satisfied and closed.
 

If you are unhappy with our final response to your complaint you may complain to Australian Press Council. www.presscouncil.org.au 

 

AS at February 8th 2022 comments are no longer accepted on articles.

The fact of the decision is that each and every comment MUST be moderated by myself before it is published.  That process requires that I read every single comment and then either Approve or Refuse. If I Approve the comment I become the publisher of that comment and, as such, become liable for that comment. It will be me who is sued for your defamatory remark. 

Rather than pore over every comment and make the decision to publish or not I feel it is safer for me to no longer provide the outlet. This is a shame because there are excellent commentators here who abide by the rules but alas, they are outnumbered by the continued stream of keyboard warriors who wish to express themselves outside of the rules of publishing. 

On 8 September 2021, the High Court ruled that media outlets are legally responsible for defamatory comments made by the public on posts published on an organisation's Facebook pages. The decision has consequences for all media organisations who run social media pages or have commenting features on their websites. If the default setting enabling comments on a post is not changed, this is considered to be an invitation or encouragement to comment. If someone posts a defamatory comment - the media organisation who owns the page is legally considered a "publisher" of the comments and can be sued. 

Due to the risks associated with comments from unidentified contributors that expose The Beagle to possible legal actions under the NSW Defamation Act 2005 No 77 comments are NO LONGER available. 

PS. Feel free to email us via our normal or encrypted email accounts. Letters to the Editor are encouraged. 

Please note that if you are looking for a previous comment that is no longer visible please contact us.

And before you consider any proceedings of defamation: 
 

DEFAMATION ACT 2005 - SECT 25

Defence of justification

25 Defence of justification

It is a defence to the publication of defamatory matter if the defendant proves that the defamatory imputations carried by the matter of which the plaintiff complains are substantially true.

 

DEFAMATION ACT 2005 - SECT 31

Defences of honest opinion

31 Defences of honest opinion

 

(1) It is a defence to the publication of defamatory matter if the defendant proves that--
(a) the matter was an expression of opinion of the defendant rather than a statement of fact, and
(b) the opinion related to a matter of public interest, and
(c) the opinion is based on proper material.
(2) It is a defence to the publication of defamatory matter if the defendant proves that--
(a) the matter was an expression of opinion of an employee or agent of the defendant rather than a statement of fact, and
(b) the opinion related to a matter of public interest, and
(c) the opinion is based on proper material.
(3) It is a defence to the publication of defamatory matter if the defendant proves that--
(a) the matter was an expression of opinion of a person (the
"commentator" ), other than the defendant or an employee or agent of the defendant, rather than a statement of fact, and
(b) the opinion related to a matter of public interest, and
(c) the opinion is based on proper material.
(4) A defence established under this section is defeated if, and only if, the plaintiff proves that--
(a) in the case of a defence under subsection (1)--the opinion was not honestly held by the defendant at the time the defamatory matter was published, or
(b) in the case of a defence under subsection (2)--the defendant did not believe that the opinion was honestly held by the employee or agent at the time the defamatory matter was published, or
(c) in the case of a defence under subsection (3)--the defendant had reasonable grounds to believe that the opinion was not honestly held by the commentator at the time the defamatory matter was published.
(5) For the purposes of this section, an opinion is
"based on proper material" if--
(a) the material on which it is based is--
(i) set out in specific or general terms in the published matter, or
(ii) notorious, or
(iii) accessible from a reference, link or other access point included in the matter (for example, a hyperlink on a webpage), or
(iv) otherwise apparent from the context in which the matter is published, and
(b) the material--
(i) is substantially true, or
(ii) was published on an occasion of absolute or qualified privilege (whether under this Act or at general law), or
(iii) was published on an occasion that attracted the protection of a defence under this section or section 28 or 29.
(6) An opinion does not cease to be based on proper material only because some of the material on which it is based is not proper material if the opinion might reasonably be based on such of the material as is proper material.

Further reading