The Defrag explores the intersection of technology, business, politics, and science. Our mission is to ask hard questions, challenge ideas, and help bring order to the news.
The Defrag is produced by Lawson Media Pty Ltd and our editorial guidelines provide a clear framework for staff to produce the high-quality journalism that audiences expect. We believe that quality, independent reporting makes society better, and our policies are designed to empower staff to produce their best work.
EDITORIAL ETHICS & VALUES
Our editorial staff have complete independence from outside influence over the content they produce. At all times, our editorial team will endeavour to deliver the truth, above all else, in a way that is fair and accessible to audiences around the globe.
The core guidelines we stand for are as follows:
- We always strive to produce the most accurate and honest version of history at the time of publication without fear of retribution.
- In our reporting, we will always work to verify information, protect sources, minimise harm, and provide the depth required to explore an issue fairly.
- We understand that there can be multiple sides to a story, and where possible we will endeavour to examine an issue from all angles. Our team also recognises the need to report accurate information, so our team has the flexibility to use their best judgement so we don't compromise the integrity of our content.
- The subjects of our reporting will never be allowed to preview or approve interview questions, and will not be allowed to review what is published ahead of publication. The only exception to this rule is in the case of complex technical information which we might ask an expert to review for accuracy.
- Staff must disclose all conflicts of interest, and will not be allowed to cover stories where those conflicts could undermine the integrity of our coverage.
- We will never pay subjects for their story or participation in our editorial content.
- At times it might be necessary to offer sources anonymity when reporting on particular issues. The reasons for anonymity can vary and will only be offered when there is a real risk to the safety of a source. In all instances, our team will do their best to protect the identity of these sources to minimise the potential for harm.
- All communication with our editorial team should be considered ‘on the record’ unless agreed otherwise.
- Embargoes must be agreed with our editorial team prior to providing information to our staff. If an email is received and marked as 'under embargo' - but no agreement or understanding is in place - we will treat this material as on the record.
In addition to our own guidelines, we also use the MEAA’s Journalist Code of Ethics (https://www.meaa.org/meaa-media/code-of-ethics/) as a template for the behaviour of our journalists.
ADVERTISING & BRANDED PARTNERSHIPS
Lawson Media Pty Ltd helps fund The Defrag through the sale and provision of advertising and branded content services. This advertising may be displayed alongside our written editorial content, or embedded into our podcast or video content. At no time will our advertisers have any input into the editorial direction of our stories, or which stories we cover.
At no point will Lawson Media accept advertising or branded content campaigns from the following industry sectors, where the content could be harmful to society at large:
- Betting and gambling companies,
- Drugs & pharmaceuticals.
Lawson Media will, at times, accept campaigns from non-profit companies working to help individuals deal with addiction in the above areas, i.e anti-smoking or anti-gambling providers.
We will also refuse campaigns from financial services providers, oil, & mining companies, and other associated providers, where the content itself would go against our editorial values, or could pose a significant risk to audiences.
All branded content & podcast campaigns will be clearly marked as ‘sponsored’ or ‘advertising’ content, or published under the advertisers own brand. Where content is published under the advertisers brand, Lawson Media acts only as the production house for that content.
CORRECTIONS, UPDATES, & COMPLAINTS
Lawson Media makes every effort to produce and publish accurate content. If a reader has an issue with any content that we publish, they can contact us directly through the information provided on our publication websites. You can also submit a complaint in writing by email to complaints [at] lawson [dot] media.
Our team will review all complaints within 30 days to determine if a further investigation or correction is required. If a further investigation is required, we will complete this within 60 days.
If a correction is warranted, our team will act to correct the content immediately, and an editorial note alerting audiences to the prior error.
On rare occasions, such as if there is a serious inaccuracy in our content, or a breach of our editorial standards, it may even be necessary to remove the content entirely. In these instances, the original story would be removed, an apology issued, and a corrected replacement published if appropriate.