Our Policies

by Elodie Boal

Theatre Haus recognises that news, editorials, reviews and public affairs services play an important role in keeping the community informed in a free and democratic society. As a media outlet, Theatre Haus has a range of editorial policies to ensure high-quality, independent creative content that serves South-East Queensland and beyond. Theatre Haus is also committed to being responsive to the needs and attitudes of its broad and diverse audiences.

Theatre Haus is a privately owned and managed entity, and has a large community of volunteers who help carry its workload. In the interests of its many key stakeholders, from our writers to our audience, creatives and beyond, this editorial policy will outline the procedures in place to ensure high-quality content and journalistic integrity.

Editorial Policy

Theatre Haus sets out a commitment to ethical practice in the creation and delivery of its reviews, news and editorials. This Editorial Policy applies to all written material in all mediums produced by Theatre Haus contributors.

Editors, contributors and volunteers working for Theatre Haus are required to familiarise themselves with all applicable policies and codes of practice, and use them as ethical guidelines in their work. All Theatre Haus editors, contributors and volunteers, will comply with Australian legal framework, and input from management, if necessary.

Theatre Haus editors, contributors and volunteers follow journalism practices such as MEAA Code of Ethics and Guidelines set by the Austrlian Press Council, and commit themselves to fairness, honesty, independence and respect.

Content
  • Theatre Haus sites are written in a conversational style, employing a range of rhetorical devices, and use the vernacular of their audiences. This is a vital part of its distinctive voice that aims to be like a family member within one’s own home.
  • Theatre Haus’ voice is friendly, authentic and passionate, and represents a broad range of theatre groups and performers, which have accepted the organisation as a partner. It rejects stereotypes, and is against discrimination, harrassment and bullying. Theatre Haus believes the world is better understood when it embraces different perspectives and experiences, and therefore provides a platform for those voices within its community.
  • Reviews: reviews are an individual reviewer’s assessment of a service, product, performance or artistic work. As such they are in their nature a subjective work and opinions may vary from reviewer to reviewer.
  • Reviewers commit to publishing their honest opinion of the work being assessed.
  • Editors will only change factual, spelling or punctuation errors, or edit for clarity. The intent of the reviewer’s assessment will remain as submitted in all cases.
  • Sections that require terminology changes, rephrasing or elaboration are returned to the reviewer for appropriate adjustment before publication.
  • The reviewer’s opinion is their own, and in no way reflects the opinions of Theatre Haus as a whole.
  • The reviewer’s opinion will never be influenced by any member of the Theatre Haus organisation.
  • Reviewers will not allow any belief, commitment, payment, gift or benefit, to undermine accuracy, fairness or independence.
  • It is accepted that reviews are derived from the experience of a single audience member at one performance of a show that may extend over many weekends, and across various locations. This too adds to the subjectivity of reviews, as reviewers recall the skill, talent, and choices made in one instance of the production, and not necessarily the entire run of the show. It is therefore also acknowledged that no two reviewers will reflect on a show in precisely the same manner, nor may the same reviewer hold the same opinion of a creative, their skillset or contribution from one show to the next.
  • If an individual or group finds a comment unfavourable, or wishes to seek further clarification on items discussed in a review, they can email the organisation at hello@theatrehaus.com. This is the main point of contact frequented by staff of Theatre Haus, however normal business hours may apply and responses will not be instantaneous.
  • Should the reviewer of the production in question be obliging, Theatre Haus can facilitate contact between the two parties to begin a discussion about any concerns with the review. However, as the editors, contributors and volunteers maintain their independence, Theatre Haus cannot force a reviewer if they do not wish to open a dialogue.
Conflict of Interest

The performing industry in South-East Queensland is close-knit and it is inevitable that reviewers will occasionally know people associated with a project. Therefore:

  • Theatre Haus is committed to ensuring reviewers sent to assess particular productions are not stakeholders in said production or company, and will not allow those directly involved in said specific production or on the board of a company for that calendar year to review any of their productions.
  • Theatre Haus is committed to disclosing potential conflicts of interest that affect, or could be seen to affect, the accuracy, fairness or independence of journalism.
  • Theatre Haus employees and volunteers agree to never improperly use a reviewing position for personal or financial gain. 
Fairness and Accuracy

Contributors to Theatre Haus will:

  • Use true and accurate pictures, sound and videos.
  • Use true and accurate quotes and paraphrasing.
  • Use fair and honest means to obtain materials.
  • Use quotes within context in which they were said.
  • Report and interpret honestly, striving for accuracy, fairness and disclosure of all essential facts.
  • Confirm information sourced from social media is verified for accuracy and also adheres to the Social Media Policy.
  • Respect individuals and groups and not gratuitously emphasise age, colour, gender, race, ethnic or national origin, disability, religion or sexual preference.
  • Avoid plagiarism.
  • Publish content, reviews and news in a timely fashion to service individuals and groups.
Reviewer Selection
  • Theatre Haus ensures that reviewers who attend various productions have no professional affiliation to said specific production.
  • As Theatre Haus reviewers are comprised of fellow South East Queensland creatives, it is inevitable that occasionally a reviewer will know someone in the show. Reviewers agree before joining Theatre Haus that personal friendships will not affect their ability to accurately analyse the performance and any evidence of bias will not be tolerated by management team and will be dealt with accordingly.
  • Where a conflict of interest may be perceived to exist between a reviewer and a specific production, Theatre Haus will address this in a disclaimer on the specific piece of content.
  • People who are members of the board or production team of a particular theatre company are not permitted to review their shows in the calendar year in which they hold that position.
  • To ensure a diversity of voices is granted to the production companies and organisations, reviewers vary across locations, meaning Theatre Haus avoids sending the same reviewers multiple times to the same place.
  • Theatre Haus commonly has a second pair of eyes attend the event either as a companion to the reviewer or from the leadership of their own accord. This is to ensure a dialogue occurs between the reviewer and their companion, which often softens extreme views of the piece, and assists in providing a balanced perspective.
  • Theatre Haus covers as many shows and events as possible, and therefore the organisation cannot guarantee a preferred reviewer will attend. It is the position of Theatre Haus that the organisation requesting a review cannot select which team member attends.
  • Reviewers are selected via a fair and consistent application process. Every Haus Mate and Haus Sitter (position titles applied to those employed at Theatre Haus) have experience that deems them able to professionally, academically and accurately write a review. The application process requests reviewers submit their resume and writing sample, before being employed by the organisation. All editors, contributors and volunteers of Theatre Haus work on a volunteer basis.
  • Theatre Haus provides equal opportunities to all applicants, contributors, volunteers and partners, without regard to race, appearance, gender, national origin, age, ability, genetics, parental status, political, religious or sexual orientation. Theatre Haus complies with relevant state and local laws governing non-discrimination to ensure equity and social inclusion. 
Intellectual Property
  • Theatre Haus seeks to provide a platform for creative work, reviews, news, editorials, publications and events/auditions listings. Intellectual Property created out of these activities is recognised by the organisation as a valuable asset. All intellectual property obtained during working with Theatre Haus is owned by the organisation.
Corrections

We recognise that in a digital age, errors will sometimes make their way into stories. Theatre Haus is committed to:

  • Do the utmost to achieve fair correction of factual errors promptly.
  • Publishing a note detailing the corrections that were made in the story in circumstances where the error is significant.
  • Ensuring editorial integrity of the reviewer’s original intention is maintained; thus corrections will only be made to factual, spelling or grammatical errors.
  • Refusing takedown requests as a matter of editorial policy. Any requests will be vetted at the top management level, and if a subject claims the story is inaccurate Theatre Haus is  prepared to investigate and will publish a correction if necessary, but will not remove the story unless legally required to do so. 
Pitching content
  • Theatre Haus will endeavour to review all opportunities presented to us, but will not always be able to cover every event.
  • If an individual and/or group wish to send material and submissions, they may contact Theatre Haus via email at hello@theatrehaus.com. Theatre Haus is an organisation run by volunteers, but will endeavour to respond as soon as possible. The organisation may also update this policy at any time. .

Theatre Haus’ Editorial Policy requires that all editorial, news, reviews and public affairs personnel will accord with the recommendations and requirements of the codes of practice and any existing guidelines applicable to the medium in which they operate.

Discrimination, Harrassment and Bullying Policy

While Theatre Haus recognises the need for free speech and opinion, it is committed to providing a platform where all its editors, contributors, volunteers, partners, community, and audience are treated with dignity, courtesy and respect. The organisation also has zero tolerance stance towards bullying.

There are a number of options available to editors, contributors and volunteers to help deal with discrimination, harrassment issues or bullying. These choices range from dealing with the matter individually, making a formal complaint or involving management. Persons who believe they have been discriminated against, harassed or bullied should contact Theatre Haus directly to discuss the range of options available to deal with the matter. Failure of any member of Theatre Haus, whether that be in the team or its community, to comply with this policy may result in disciplinary action or a social account ban/removal.

Social Media Policy

Theatre Haus applies the same standards to all content on whichever platform it is published. The accounts most commonly used include Facebook and Instagram, however, are not limited to these and may extend to Twitter, Youtube and other digital spaces.

Through all online engagement, Theatre Haus will:

  • Behave with respect and courtesy;
  • Deal appropriately with information, recognising that some information may need to remain confidential;
  • Deliver services fairly, effectively, impartially and courteously to the online public;
  • Be sensitive to the diversity of audiences;
  • Take reasonable steps to avoid conflicts of interests;
  • Uphold and act in accordance with the Theatre Haus Code of Conduct at all times.

At Theatre Haus, it is its policy to allow all comments to be posted. The organisation does not endorse these comments, but its audience is free to have and share their opinion. Theatre Haus welcomes constructive and respectful engagement in line with the following guidelines:

  • Content is relevant to the online community or topic;
  • Doesn’t defame, insult, abuse, harass, stalk, threaten or attack anyone;
  • Doesn’t use language that is obscene or offensive;
  • Doesn’t discriminate against any gender, sexual preference, religion or race/ethnicity;
  • Doesn’t advertise or promote commercial interests;
  • Doesn’t promote illegal or unethical activities.

Theatre Haus’s Social Media Policy strictly prohibits comments that include:

  • Hate speech
  • Profanity, obscenity or vulgarity
  • Comments that could be considered prejudicial, racist or inflammatory
  • Nudity or offensive imagery in profile pictures
  • Defamation to a person or people
  • Name calling and/or personal attacks
  • Comments whose main purpose are to sell a product
  • Comments that infringe on copyrights
  • Spam comments from individuals or groups, such as the same comment posted repeatedly on a profile
  • Personal information about you or another individual (including identifying information, email addresses, phone numbers or private addresses)
  • False representation of another individual, organisation, government or entity
  • Promotion of a product, business, company or organisation

Theatre Haus retains the right to remove any content that does not comply with its Comment Policy or that the Theatre Haus social media team deems inappropriate. Repeated violations of the Theatre Haus Comment Policy may cause the author to be blocked from the Theatre Haus social media accounts. 

Engagement

Theatre Haus aims to share relevant information and promote public engagement. This includes providing news, reviews, event listings, media releases, auditions and information provided by industry, members, other affiliated news organisations, theatre groups, partners and neighbours.

By linking to content, sharing or acknowledging an external source, Theatre Haus are not endorsing that content or source. The organisation is simply sharing information it believes may be of interest to people interested in matters relating to the organisations’ objectives and purpose.

If a person sends the organisation a message or question, either publicly, via direct message or online forum, the team managing the accounts will liaise with its advisors and collective to best respond. As a general rule, Theatre Haus will monitor its channels during business hours only.

Contacting Theatre Haus via its social media is not the best way to reach its team. Sending a formal enquiry via email address is instead preferred. If a direct message is received, the person may be redirected to send through their questions as a formal request, comment or enquiry to hello@theatrehaus.com.

If an individual and/or group has feedback for other organisations, including those who Theatre Haus may share content about, they should send their feedback to them directly. Theatre Haus will not routinely contact other organisations to share any comments sent through to the organisation.

Confidentiality

Theatre Haus respects the right of all individuals to confidentiality, privacy and private information. All individuals, including public figures, have a right to privacy. Theatre Haus does not disclose any personal information that may be collected.

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