Business News Australia's Commercial Content policy

Editorial Guidelines


This policy is intended to provide guidance for our organisation’s editorial content and a code of conduct that is designed to provide guidance to our staff on the standard of ethical behaviour and expectations across the group, including all business units and locations.

This policy applies to Business News Australia and its editorial employees.

'Editorial employees' means full-time, part-time, fixed-term and casual employees and also contractors, contributors, consultants, freelance photographers, interns and volunteers.

Where the policy states an ‘authorised nominee’ can approve certain decisions, that person must be officially authorised by the relevant executive/s on whose behalf they are acting.

It provides guidance for shareholders, customers, readers, suppliers and the wider community on our values, standards and expectations, and what it means to work for Business News Australia.

It also raises employees' awareness of acceptable and unacceptable behaviour and provides a means to assist in avoiding any real or perceived misconduct.

We endeavour to perform our duties and conduct business in a manner that is honest and of the highest integrity. We strive to maintain our business relationships in a manner that is consistent with principles of respect for others and fairness. We aim to maintain standards that exceed community expectations.

Accuracy and Reporting

Trust in the authenticity and reliability of our sources is essential. Business News Australia staff should take reasonable steps to ensure reports are accurate and not misleading.

Digital communications and a fast-moving news environment present special challenges for verification, and scepticism should therefore be the starting point for web and email sources.

  • Journalists should rely only on credible sources.
  • Direct quotations should not be changed to alter their context or meaning except to delete offensive language, protect against defamation, or to make minor changes for clarity.
  • We must be tenacious in seeking reliable corroboration and should state the level of substantiation we have been able to achieve.
  • We must not state as fact information about or from someone that we cannot authenticate.
  • Plagiarism is stealing.
  • Information sourced from social media should be verified for accuracy. Editors should be informed of images sourced from social media sites.
  • Comment, conjecture and opinion are acceptable in reports to provide perspective on an issue, or explain the significance of an issue, or to allow readers to recognise Business News Australia’s standpoint on the matter being reported.
  • Business News Australia is free to editorialise, have an opinion and take stances on issues provided reasonable steps are taken to fulfil the requirements above.
  • This does not allow us to knowingly publish inaccurate or misleading information.
  • Business News Australia should correct inaccuracies or misleading material if such has been recognised.
  • We must always try to tell all sides of the story when reporting on disputes and, with such stories, reasonable steps should be taken to contact adversely named parties.
  • Satisfaction with sources is the responsibility of editors and journalists. Editors and sub-editors must seek to evaluate the reliability of information.
  • Business News Australia staff must not bring the reputation of Business News Australia, work colleagues or the masthead into disrepute.

Editorial Concerns

Business News Australia journalists will perform their editorial duties within the ethical framework set down in Business News Australia's Editorial Conduct standards and journalistic professional code of ethics. We will treat all complaints seriously and will act appropriately and promptly. We will investigate your complaint thoroughly and objectively. This may involve speaking to relevant parties, reviewing documentation and evidence, and seeking legal advice if necessary. Click here for more details on how to give us feedback or how to make a complaint.

Company Information

Business News Australia staff must not disclose confidential information or commercially sensitive information about Business News Australia, even after leaving the company, including (but not limited to):

  • Trade secrets
  • Pricing information, such as internal cost and pricing rates
  • Marketing or strategy plans
  • Supply agreements or arrangements
  • Commercial and business plans
  • Contractual arrangements with third parties
  • Tender policies and arrangements
  • Financial information
  • Sales and training materials
  • Technical data
  • Schematics, proposals, intentions or designs
  • Policies and procedures documents
  • Data which is personal information for the purposes of privacy law

This also includes all other information obtained from the Business News Australia companies or obtained in the course of working or providing services to Business News Australia companies that is by its nature confidential.

Business News Australia staff must not use any such information for personal gain.

Conflict of interest

Business News Australia employees should avoid taking a specific financial interest, or participating in financial activities and arrangements, that could conflict with their obligations of fairness and integrity to the company or its stakeholders, or that could be perceived to do so.

Editorial staff will maintain an up-to-date file of their interest in any securities and will disclose this in accordance with corporations’ legislation and relevant editorial conduct policies.

A conflict of interest arises when personal interests or divided loyalties interfere with the ability to make sound, objective business decisions on behalf of the company. Staff may join and participate in lawful political or community organisations or activities but must avoid potential conflicts of interest with their employment. Employees as defined by this policy must report as soon as possible potential personal conflicts of interest to the managing editor. Failure to notify them may result in dismissal.

Any employee wishing to perform paid or unpaid work for a rival media outlet must receive approval in advance from the managing editor.


Journalists should not use content from non-authorised third-party sources - whether pictures, text, or other media - without obtaining the necessary permissions.

Copy approval
The general rule is that no one should be given the right to approve copy. In certain circumstances we may allow people to see copy or quotes but we are not required to alter copy. We should avoid offering copy approval as a method of securing interviews or co-operation.


We do not make pejorative reference to a person’s race, nationality, colour, religion, marital status, sex, sexual preferences, or physical or mental illness or disability. No details of a person’s race, nationality, colour, religion, marital status, sex, sexual preferences, or physical or mental illness or disability should be included in a report unless they are relevant.

Financial Reporting

It is illegal for employees to make personal gain from financial information received in advance of general publication. It is illegal to pass this information to others.

Editorial employees must not report about shares, securities or companies in which they, their family or close friends have a financial interest without disclosing before publication that interest to the managing editor.

Editorial employees should declare an interest to the managing editor (or their authorised nominee) if they have traded or intend to trade, directly or indirectly, in shares or securities about which they have reported recently or intend to report on soon.

Editorial employees should not write about prospectuses before their lodgement without confirming relevant regulations including those of a stock exchange are not breached.


Business News Australia is committed to fostering an environment where concerns can be reported without fear of punishment.

Editorial employees should always behave with sensitivity and courtesy toward the public.

No one should be put under pressure to be photographed, filmed or interviewed.

We do not harass or try to intimidate people when seeking information or photographs.

We do not persist unreasonably in telephoning, pursuing, questioning or door-stopping someone after an authorised person has asked you to stop.


We use swear words only when absolutely necessary to the facts of a piece, or to portray a character in an article. We avoid using swear words in headlines, pull quotes and stand firsts.


A correction or other adequate remedial action should be provided promptly if published material is inaccurate.

Wherever possible, staff will be adequately equipped to respond to complaints, including being given appropriate authority, training and supervision.


Business News Australia employees should not try to obtain information, photographs or video by deception or use false names when representing Business News Australia.

Payment for information

Business News Australia does not pay for interviews or information.

Photographic enhancement and manipulation policy

Enhancement of photographs is acceptable. However, this should be limited to simple procedures to improve reproduction quality, i.e. auto enhancement.

Freelance, occasional and on-the-spot contributors must give an undertaking in writing that their images have not been altered and on approval of the managing editor (or their authorised nominee). The source should be credited.

Images by Business News Australia photographers may be altered to achieve special effects or for artistic purpose.

Privacy & Confidentiality

Business News Australia staff know they are placed in a position of trust and are regularly privy to sensitive information. As such, we strive to operate in accordance with the relevant privacy legislation and industry guidelines.

We undertake to handle such information in a confidential and sensitive manner and not use this information for personal gain, or to share this information either during or after our employment with Business News Australia unless required as part our normal work.

We will under no circumstances discuss or disclose any confidential company information. This information includes marketing or strategic plans, pricing, policy, costs and stories. If we are unsure that a particular piece of information is confidential, we will check with the source.

Sometimes it is necessary to undertake to editorial sources that their identity will remain confidential. We are committed to protecting these sources. We will strike a balance between the right of the public to information and the right of individuals to privacy.

A promise of confidentiality to a source must be honoured. However, editorial employees should be aware of the possible consequences. For example, a judge may order the source to be identified. Defiance of this order could lead to conviction for contempt of court, with the consequence of being imprisoned or being sanctioned with a heavy fine.

All individuals, including public figures, have a right to privacy. But public figures necessarily sacrifice their right to privacy, where public scrutiny is in the public interest.

Publication of sensitive personal information — such as taxation details, Family Court records and health and welfare matters — may be prohibited by law.

Business News Australia Privacy Policy also applies to the collection and use of personal information. If needed, Business News Australia will seek legal advice as to how the law applies for the purposes of conducting journalism.


Special care should be taken when dealing with children under the age of 16, and children should not be interviewed without the permission of a parent or school authority.

Travel and Accommodation

Employees must never solicit discount travel or accommodation for themselves; nor misrepresent their role within the company to secure any form of travel discount or accommodation.

Approval is required by the managing editor (or their authorised nominee) to be able to accept offers of free or discounted travel or accommodation.

The managing editor will decide who should be assigned and whether an article is published as a consequence. These conditions must be made clear to whomever made the offer.

Gifts and favoured treatment

We will not accept gifts or inducements which could impair our judgement or be perceived to be a conflict of interest, bribe or inappropriate gift.

We will not offer bribes or inappropriate payments for the purpose of acquiring, retaining, directing business, or receiving any kind of special or favoured treatment for the company.

  • Business News Australia employees will not abuse any benefit or advantage that is not a company sanctioned benefit. Such advantages include discounts, priority bookings, access to venues, retail or wholesale sales, restaurant bookings, real estate queues and upgrading of goods or services.
  • Bribes are to be rejected promptly and the managing editor should be informed immediately of any offer or request to pay a bribe or other inappropriate payments.
  • Gifts of cash are never acceptable.
  • Employees must never solicit or request any gift or benefit for themselves or anyone else in connection with their employment.
  • Employees must never use their employment with Business News Australia as a means of gaining any form of entitlement or benefit from a commercial organisation.
  • Employees must not accept gifts above a nominal value of $100. If a gift has a value above $100, it may only be accepted after approval of the managing editor or other authorised person.
  • The Business News Australia policy applies to all issues involving personal gain.

Co-operate with authorities

Business News Australia expects employees to co-operate with authorities in investigations. But requests by police or other authorities for work-related interviews must be referred to the managing editor (or their authorised nominee).

Public appearance and representation

No employee should speak in that capacity to another media organisation or at a public event without permission of the managing editor (or their authorised nominee).

If faced with a situation not specifically addressed in this code, we will ask ourselves the following questions to assist us in determining an appropriate course of action:

  • Is it consistent with Business News Australia’s values, principles and policies?
  • Is it the right thing to do?
  • What will the consequences be for my colleagues, Business News Australia, other parties, and me?
  • Is it legal?
  • Are my actions transparent? Is there anyone else who I should make aware of my actions?
  • What would be the reaction of my family and friends if they were to find out?
  • What would happen if my conduct was reported in a rival publication?
  • What would be the impact if rumours started that Business News Australia was engaged in this practice?
  • Would I be proud of what I have done?
  • Do my actions put anyone's health and safety at risk?

Breaches of policy

We acknowledge that non-compliance may lead to disciplinary action. Examples of relevant disciplinary action include verbal or written warnings, counselling on misconduct, suspension (with or without pay) and dismissal.

Complaints involving alleged breaches of this policy will be investigated by the managing editor. In the first instance all queries and complaints are to be directed to [email protected] and we will endeavour to respond to all valid emails for corrections within two working days.

Business News Australia’s Editorial Code of Conduct Policy March 2023.

Business News Australia
PO Box 228, Isle of Capri, QLD 4217

Brisbane: Ph: 07 3608 2068
Gold Coast: Ph: 07 5575 7400
Sydney: Ph: 02 8002 7710