Mamamia Editorial Guidelines

Mamamia is a publisher with a purpose - to make the world a better place for women and girls.

As a result, it is important to us that we are fair in our reporting, get things right, and do not cause harm to those affected by our reporting.

Our commitment to editorial independence, integrity and high journalistic standards are outlined in these editorial guidelines, which apply to our editorial staff and freelancers.

If you feel we have not met these guidelines, we would like to know. Feedback and complaints can be directed to [email protected], who will look at your complaints and queries against our editorial guidelines. You can read our complaints policy here

Before contacting The Editor, you should read through these guidelines to establish whether your complaint falls outside Mamamia’s editorial guidelines. The Editor reserves the right not to consider complaints:

  • Lodged by someone who is not personally or directly affected by the matter upon which the complaint is based
  • That are matters of personal opinion 

Below are Mamamia’s editorial guidelines. 

Mamamia adheres to the statement of general journalistic principles, as outlined by the Australian Press Council, below: 

Accuracy and clarity

  1. Ensure that factual material in news reports and elsewhere is accurate and not misleading, and is distinguishable from other material such as opinion.
  2. Provide a correction or other adequate remedial action if published material is significantly inaccurate or misleading (see our complaints procedure for more information).

Fairness and balance

  1. Ensure that factual material is presented with reasonable fairness and balance, and that writers’ expressions of opinion are not based on significantly inaccurate factual material or omission of key facts.
  2. Ensure that where material refers adversely to a person, a fair opportunity is given for subsequent publication of a reply if that is reasonably necessary to address a possible breach of General Principle 3.

Privacy and avoidance of harm

  1. Avoid intruding on a person’s reasonable expectations of privacy, unless doing so is sufficiently in the public interest.
  2. Avoid causing or contributing materially to substantial offence, distress or prejudice, or a substantial risk to health or safety, unless doing so is sufficiently in the public interest.

Integrity and transparency

  1. Avoid publishing material which has been gathered by deceptive or unfair means, unless doing so is sufficiently in the public interest.
  2. Ensure that conflicts of interests are avoided or adequately disclosed, and that they do not influence published material.


Mamamia also adheres to the Australian Press Council’s advisory guidelines in covering issues such as reporting suicide, mental health issues, eating disorders and self-harm. 

Specifically, Mamamia follows the reporting guidelines on suicide and suicide attempts as outlined by the Australian Government funded health body, Mindframe:
http://www.mindframe-media.info/for-media/reporting-suicide

Mamamia’s Editorial Code of Conduct:

Anonymous quotations and bylines

In the range of topics we cover, Mamamia understands that anonymity may be the only way to bring to light stories about certain issues - for legal and personal reasons. 

However, we are also aware that anonymity may not allow a reader to assess the validity of the source’s claims. 

Therefore, Mamamia only use anonymous quotations when the reason for doing so is to protect the identity of a vulnerable person. The decision about whether to use anonymous quotations is made by The Editor. 

Similarly, when assessing anonymous contributions, we consider whether the author’s safety, privacy or livelihood may be compromised by being named. 

In these cases, we include the caveat: 'The author of this story is known to Mamamia, but has chosen to remain anonymous.'

We do not publish contributions from unknown sources. 

Complaints

Mamamia’s complaints policy is outlined here

To make a complaint, email [email protected]. You will receive a response in 2 working days.

Credits

Where quotes or research from other sources are used, writers must credit the original source and hyperlink to the source. 

Bylines appear only on articles where the substantial content of the article is that author’s work. 

Where agency copy is used, that agency will be credited in the first line of the article. 

Where we have republished a story, with permission, from another organisation, the following copy will appear at the end of the article: This post [Link] was originally published on XX [Link], and has been republished with full permission. 

Commissioning

Mamamia’s terms and conditions for contributions can be found here, and our guidelines for how to submit a post can be found here.

Conflicts of interest

Writers and freelancers should be transparent with any conflicts of interest that may impact their ability to tell a story fairly. For example, a personal relationship with a source, a political affiliation, or a personal partnership with a brand. Declarations of interest should always be made clear in a story.

Copy approval

Copy approval is only offered in rare circumstances, where a source’s story may be particularly sensitive. The Editor will approve cases of copy approval. 

Dealing with children

If a writer interviews a child under 16, or if a child under 16 submits a piece of work to be published, consent should be obtained from the child’s parent or guardian. 

‘Don’t diss the ladies’

Mamamia is pro-women and strives to not publish any content that unfairly or unjustly criticises women’s choices. We’re also a body-positive publisher, and do not report on women’s physical appearances (e.g. weight loss or gain), unless it is part of a broader conversation around body image and self worth, and we do not report on social media stoushes targeting women for behaviour or actions that are not substantially in the public interest. 

Errors

Mamamia will correct errors as soon as possible. Where we have corrected an error, a line will appear at the bottom of the article to acknowledge the correction. 

Identifying yourself when working with the public

Any writer working on a story for Mamamia must identify themselves as such. In exceptional circumstances, writers must ask The Editor for approval to not reveal the details of what they are working on to those involved.

Legal

Writers should be familiar with media law, and speak to a senior editor about specific concerns with stories. Writers should be familiar with the legal status of cases they are reporting on.

Non-negotiable stances

Mamamia will often publish opinions from both sides of a debate. However, there are some topics on which our stance is non-negotiable, and we will not give air time to the other side because we believe this breeds misinformation. For this reason Mamamia does not give attention to the topics of anti-vaccination, anti-abortion, climate change denial or hate speech against same-sex marriage, the LGBTQI community, or cultural minorities. 

Right of reply

A subject of significant criticism or allegations or wrongdoing should always be offered a right of reply. Sufficient time should be offered to a person to provide a reply before a story is published. This timeframe is up to the discretion of The Editor. A person should be provided specific information about the allegations or claims made in a story, so they are given a fair opportunity to challenge them. If Mamamia does not receive a reply, or the subject chooses not to respond, we should make this transparent in the story. 

Paid endorsements

Mamamia staff should not knowingly write content about brands and/or products in exchange for freebies. If staff are sent a product and would like to write about it, they should provide full disclosure about how they obtained it. Mamamia will often be paid for content by brands however, this content goes through the commercial team and is clearly marked as “branded” content. 

Paparazzi photos

Mamamia values the personal privacy of celebrities, as well as their children, and for this reason does not participate in the paparazzi economy. Mamamia does publish red carpet photos or photos where the celebrity is in a public place or clearly consenting to having their photograph taken such as smiling or by posing for the photo. 

Privacy

We should avoid invading anyone’s privacy unless doing so is sufficiently a matter of public interest. It should not be a surprise for someone without a public profile to see their photo or a substantial personal social media post on our site - writers should reach out to individuals to gain permission where possible. 

We are careful in the specific information we provide, so as not to intrude on the safety of people we may report on.

Verification

We should always seek to verify the original sources of stories, and ensure that even popular stories circulating in the mainstream media are based on fact.

Weight loss/diet stories

Mamamia does not publish diet advice, particularly surrounding weight loss and/or how to lose weight. This is because Mamamia believes in diversity and that women of all shapes and sizes should be accepted as they are. Mamamia publishes content about fitness, food, etc, from the perspective of health. 

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