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Halifax Media Co-op Policy!

Blog posts reflect the views of their authors.

Below you will find draft policies that have been developed by several people involved in the Halifax Media Co-op. Please share any thoughts you might have on the below draft. Also, what other policies would you like to see? Some ideas have been a hiring policy (for when the HMC hires staff like summer students) and policy about the Tide.  

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Membership in the Co-op.

Members of the Dominion Newspaper Cooperative who live in the Halifax region are members of the Halifax Media Co-op.

Contributor Members:

Any person who has contributes four editor-reviewed posts to the Halifax Media Co-op is a contributor member of the Halifax Media Co-op.

Editorial Collective:

Employees of the Halifax Media Co-op automatically become members of the Editorial Collective.

Other people may join the editorial.

The Editorial Collective should have no more than eight (8) people. Some members of the editorial collective may be members on a rotating basis, based on their ability to participate.

To apply to be part of the Editorial Collective, a member must be an existing contributor member of the Co-op. At least five (5) members of the collective should have some experience with journalism.

Duties of the Editorial Collective

The Editorial Collective is responsible for reviewing and featuring content, reviewing pitches for monthly paid features, engaging in an active editorial process with contributors, generating story ideas, promotion, fundraising, recruiting and coaching contributors.

Contributors are encouraged to send contributions to editors before publishing when practical (i.e. not time sensitive), but then to post the edited articles themselves.

Editors and contributors are strongly encouraged to send a link to their story to people or groups that may be interested, in order to raise the profile of the Media Co-op.

The Editorial Collective will strive for consensus when making decisions.

Annual General Meeting

The Halifax Media Co-op will hold at least one general meeting per year. The Editorial Collective will set the date for a general meeting, with input from active members.

A minimum of four (4) weeks notice of a general meeting will be given. Notice of the meeting must include the time, date, and location of the meeting.

General meeting will have a facilitator, who may or may not be a member of the Halifax Media Co-op. The meeting will strive to reach consensus on all matters. In the event that consensus cannot be reached, a decision can be made by a two thirds majority of members present.

All members present at a general meeting can participate in decision-making.

The following shall be addressed at general meetings:

i)               Report on recent Halifax Media Co-op activities, including:

a)     report on financial standing,

b)    report on the activities of the Halifax Media Co-op, such as articles produced, readership, outreach;

c)     report on staffing of the Co-op;

ii)             Approval of the following year’s budget;

iii)            Discussion of short- and long-term goals for the Halifax Media Co-op;

iv)            Approval of previous general meeting minutes;

v)             Other business as it arises.

Any member may submit a motion for consideration by the membership at a general meeting. Motions must be submitted in writing to the editorial collective at least 2 weeks prior to the general meeting.

Decisions about budgeting and policies of the Halifax Media Co-op will happen at general meetings.

Featuring

The Halifax Media Co-op is an open-publishing website; however the editorial collective decides when a post is to be featured, giving them more prominence on the site.

For an article to be featured, it should have been reviewed by at least one editor. In order for an article to be featured it should fulfill the following guidelines:

1. Have a local (HRM or at least Nova Scotia) focus

2. Privilege grassroots perspectives on an issue

3. Be well-written and contain no glaring spelling, grammatical, or structural errors

4. Focus on an unreported or underreported issue, or look at an issue from an unreported or underreported perspective

5. Be original content (under most circumstances)

6. have an accompanying image

Under some circumstances, a story that does not quite meet all of these circumstances could still be featured, at the editorial collective’s discretion.

Removing Content from the HMC Website

There are a few circumstances under which a post may be removed from the HMC site:

1. The post promotes racism, sexism, homophobia, ableism, transphobia, or other forms of hate.

2. The post is slanderous, libellous, or inaccurate.

3. The post threatens or insinuates violence against an individual or group of people.

The Halifax Media Co-op does not support political parties. Posts explicitly endorsing a political party may be removed.

Donation and Advertising Policy

The Halifax Media Co-op accepts advertising and donations from organisations that have one of the following characteristics:

a) Democratically governed;

b) Committed to social justice as a primary goal;

c) Have fewer than 20 full-time employees.


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787 words

Comments

Thanks for posting

Been meaning to comment here for a while...

I had a couple other things to suggest, tear these things apart if they don't make sense:

- As already mentioned in the intro I think the HMC should nail down a policy on hiring employees. Who does the hiring, and how do they decide on someone? I think this is a decision that can be left up to the editorial collective, or a hiring committee made up of editorial collective members.

- How does someone join the editorial collective? Do they need to be elected, or can they try to join any time? If election is necessary then maybe this could be done at the AGM. And to avoid the editorial collective getting too small / heavy workload on small number of people, I would suggest the remaining members of the editorial collective could appoint other people to the collective in between elections, to replace anyone who may drop out, move away etc. I think this would be a similar policy to how it usually works with board of directors at non-profit associations - however, some may see this as too much vertical decision-making.

- How does the HMC decide what stories will get put forward for inclusion in special issues, such as the upcoming Climate Justice special issue? I would suggest this could be another decision for the editorial collective members to make.

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