Gay Alcorn has a piece in the Melbourne University on-line publication The Citizen:
The union has approached 20 websites it believes have shown signs they are interested in ethics, accuracy and paying contributors once they earn enough to do so. It says that so far, 12 have signed up to the union’s “Charter of Excellence and Ethics”, to be launched mid-year.
It commits publishers to abide by the union’s code of ethics to be “fair, transparent and honest to our audience” and ensure commercial considerations “do not undermine our accuracy, fairness or honesty”.
It also holds them to “treating our employees and contributors fairly and in accordance with the relevant awards and agreements’’. In return, the sites can brand themselves as upholding ethical standards and have access to training through the Walkley Foundation.
The Cat has not been approached by the union (the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance) to sign the code of conduct. Nor will we sign if approached.
Codes of conduct are usually mechanisms that insiders set up to create barriers to entry and restrict competition.