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Code of ethics

The Tell’s fundamental principles are a commitment to the truth, integrity, fairness, independence, respect for the rights of others and the public interest. We pursue the facts and their context with ethics and rigour, responsibility and accountability.

Our investigators apply the following standards:

    1. Report and interpret honestly, accurately, fairly, and disclose all essential facts.
    2. Do not allow commercial considerations to undermine objectivity, accuracy, fairness or independence of an investigation.
    3. Disclose conflicts of interest that affect, or could be seen to affect, the accuracy or fairness of your investigation.
    4. Do not allow personal interest, or any belief, commitment, payment, gift or benefit, to undermine your accuracy, fairness or independence.
    5. Use fair, responsible and honest means to obtain material. Never exploit a person’s vulnerability or ignorance of investigative practice.
    6. Present images, video and audio which are true and accurate.
    7. Disclose any direct or indirect payment made for interviews, pictures, information or stories.
    8. Aim to attribute information to its source. Where a source seeks anonymity, do not agree without first considering the source’s motives and any alternative attributable source. Where confidences are accepted, respect them in all circumstances.
    9. Do not plagiarise.
    10. Respect personal privacy.

Guidance clause: Standards can sometimes come into conflict. Ethical investigations require conscientious decision-making in context. Only substantial advancement of the public interest or risk of substantial harm to people allows any standard to be overridden, such as through the use of methods such as covert surveillance or undercover investigative work.

The Tell’s code of ethics is a modified version of the MEAA’s Journalist Code of Ethics. Tell founder Gina McColl is a member of MEAA’s CommsPro division.