Many readers will be aware that the Press Council is preparing to offer bloggers the opportunity to join their distinguished organisation.
Members of the Press Council are required to adhere to certain standards or reporting and publication, and to provide redress where standards are not met.
While I have decided at this time not to become a member of the Press Council, I do want to ensure all readers that as a responsible and reputable blogger, I take very seriously the need to operate this site with fairness and integrity.
I have accordingly established my own blogging code of conduct, which I have set out below.
There are eleven main principles underpinning my blogging code of conduct.
1. Accuracy, Fairness and Balance
Life is not fair, so why should I be?
I will strive to be as accurate as I can, except where it suits me to publish outright lies. Those occasions will normally be instances where I have an axe to grind, or where someone is paying me to lie.
This blog may well be outrageously partisan, but I like to think that all things balance out in the end. Someone else is probably being just as partisan on the other side of the political spectrum. So, yeah, balance and all that.
I am absolutely committed to respecting the privacy of people whose privacy I respect. Unfortunately, that probably doesn’t include you. Has someone been rummaging through your rubbish bin? Do you suspect someone has been rifling through your important personal papers? Yeah, that was probably me.
3. Children and Young People
Many bloggers behave at times like angry adolescents, so why shouldn’t I? I will abuse everyone and anyone I can, and then when someone calls me out I will object to being treated harshly, and complain loudly about how unfair the world is. I am channelling my inner 14-year-old.
4. Comment and Fact
This is the blogosphere. There are no facts here.
5. Headlines and Captions
Headlines, sub-headings and captions should accurately convey the lies I am spreading.
6. Discrimination and Diversity
Discrimination? Yes, more please! Diversity? I’m prepared to discriminate against a diverse range of people whose lifestyles or opinions I disapprove of.
Ha ha ha ha ha! Ha ha ha ha ha!
The use of deceit and subterfuge can only be condoned in cases when there’s a risk that the general public will find out who is paying me for my posts.
9. Conflicts of Interest
I take very seriously the obligation to disclose to my readers any interests I may happen to have in anything I write about.
That’s why I have decided to go above and beyond in fulfilling this requirement.
Disclosure will take place on an annual basis, at a time and on a date to be published some time in the future in the public notices section of the Wairarapa News. The actual disclosure will take the form of a series of cryptic word puzzles, each of which will contain clues to help readers locate the next puzzle to be solved. I will probably also throw in a treasure hunt, just to keep things interesting.
Oh, and I’m probably a member of some sort of political party. ACT, or the Greens, or Labour, or Shining Path or something. I forget.
10. Photographs and Graphics
I have pictures of you doing that thing with that thing. Who knew it was even possible? Did it leave stains? Next time you ought to shut the curtains.
Your reading these words will be deemed consent by you to my publication of those pictures. If you don’t consent to publication, then you must not read the previous sentence. Aha! Too late! Gotcha!
That’s a government department, isn’t it?
If you believe I have failed to adhere to the principles established under my blogging code of conduct, you have the right to complain.
You may lodge a complaint by following the procedure outlined below. Complaints that do not adhere to this procedure in every respect will not be processed.
- All complaints must be typewritten and submitted on A2-sized paper.
- Helvetica font must be used, size 146 font please.
- Please ensure that your submission is formatted for at least three columns, and no more than two, with ample margins (at least five centimetres of space on each side of each column). Single line spacing must be used, except for alternate columns, where double line spacing is to be applied.
- Complaints printed on non-recycled paper, or written using non-crayon products, will be rejected.
- Use headings for each section of your complaint. All headings must be palindromes.
- Complaints must be submitted by post. Email submissions will not be accepted. Please post your complaint to:
His Holiness Pope Francis
Vatican City State, 00120
Please ensure you have included the complaint fee with your complaint. The complaint fee schedule is below:
- For a single issue complaint: $299.00 plus GST
- For each additional issue complained about: $59.00 plus GST
- Additional complaint correspondences entered into with you following receipt of your initial complaint will incur a fee of $110.00 plus GST per correspondence.
This schedule of fees may change at any time, and without any prior notice being given. You agree to pay any necessary top-up fees in the event I randomly decide to increase fees for a complaint after you have already submitted it.
All complaint fees are payable in advance. Additionally, if I determine that a particular complaint may result in additional correspondences, I may require payment of additional complaint fees in advance before entering into those correspondences with you.
I accept cash, cheques, gold, and the blood of virgins.
Additional information about complaints
Please note that all complaints will be ignored.
Alternative forms of redress for readers
As an alternative to issuing a formal complaint, you may have legal remedies against me.
If you believe you have been defamed by me, you can go and talk to a lawyer, who will charge you hundreds of dollars, at the end of which he or she will conclude that you may or may not have an arguable case against me. You will then have to weigh up whether or not to spend even more money in having your lawyer threaten me with defamation proceedings. Is your reputation really that precious to you? Are you Colin Craig?
If you are Colin Craig then I really am very, very sorry for what I wrote.