Policies

Disclaimer

The brands 'Media8' and 'Podfire' are owned by 'Virtech.com.au Pty Ltd' and as such any mention of the name 'Virtech' in the below policies directly relates to 'Podfire' and 'Media8'.

 

Complaints Handling Process

Virtech service delivery adopts its standard and approved support processes covering incident management and resolution. For consistency and assurance of end-to-end management, Virtech would address any customer complaints through the same process, first validating the complaint in terms of severity (see Incident Severity Table) and then addressing the complaint as a priority event. Like service incidents, customer complaints need to be assessed, understood and then addressed in full in the most appropriate timeframe.

Incident and problem management support is provided by Virtech using the ITIL framework and standard. Virtech utilises the Service Now (SNOW) service management tool. The primary goal of our Incident Management process is to restore normal service operation as quickly as possible while learning and sharing to ensure the incident can either be identified earlier or its targeted for permanent fix to ensure there is no recurrence.

Response and restoration timeframes and prioritisation matrixes are agreed with each customer to ensure expectations can be met. Previous customers have negotiated targets and service performance levels dependant on their individual requirements. Standard resolution targets are shown in the table below.

When an Incident occurs, it is classified in line with the below Incident Severity table.

Routine

Serious

Severe

Service levels not threatened but the client has a genuine complaint e.g., unacceptable delay in responding to a service request etc. Reported in the monthly report.

Service levels are likely to be threatened if prompt action not taken, e.g. important business service requests not being handled in accordance with the client contract. Reported either in the monthly report or directly to the client representative.

Service levels are threatened immediately, e.g. critical business requests not being handled in accordance with this contract. Reported directly to client’s representative.

The Severity informs the priority level of attention and response time needed. The below table (Priority and Response table) provides the priority type and response commitments – this is an illustration of the standard commitments we offer our customers.

Priority Type

Low Priority

Medium Priority (default)

High Priority

Urgent Priority

Response

Resolution Target

Examples

2 Working Days

5 Working Days

  • General question such as “how–to” or syntax questions

  • Issue with little or no impact

  • Documentation issues

  • Issue is essentially resolved but remains open for customer confirmation

8 Business Hours

16 Business Hours

  • Issue affects customer’s ability to meet near–term deadlines

  • Component returning error or not responding

  • Degraded performance is negatively impacting business operations

  • Acceptable workaround may exist

  • Issue is specific to one or a few users

4 Business Hours

8 Business Hours

  • Non–production system data with a valid support contract is inaccessible, cannot be archived or restored

  • Critical component returning error or not responding

  • Degraded application performance is having a serious negative impact on business

  • Root cause analysis is required on a previous Priority 1 issue

2 Business Hours

4 Business Hours

  • A production server has failed

  • Multiple users cannot access the production servers

  • Performance of the servers has degraded to an unusable level

  • Data is unrecoverable, corrupt, or lost

The Incident management process followed is then engaged:

  • A trouble-ticket within the service management system (SNOW) is opened for traceability, data capture and time-tracking;

  • The issue is directed through the helpdesk agent to an engineer, or appropriate technician based on the issue;

  • All escalations are brought to the attention of the customer and Account Manager;

  • The issue is worked by the technician, with updates placed into the system regularly based on severity / priority;

  • If the customer contract authority agrees that the incident is or may become a severe or serious-rated incident (high or urgent priority), the Account Manager and the customer contract authority will attempt to resolve the issue and develop a solution;

  • If the issue cannot be resolved within the KPI timeframe, the customer is contacted with an update and a proposed workaround – or if a definitive solution can be applied, the time expectation for this is set and agreed;

  • Business continuity plans may need to be actioned, depending on the nature / severity and impact of the issue;

  • A regular update schedule is administered for feedback to all key stakeholders;

  • The Incident Investigation procedure may be invoked to capture the details, for thorough review and incorporation of a permanent fix to prevent recurrence;

  • The ticket is closed, subject to customer agreement;

  • Issue reporting is conducted;

  • Investigation and follow-up is enacted.

Virtech has profiled its incident management and resolution processes, that it will deploy for customer management, including the management of any customer complaints.

Any incident which presents a concern with the contract (for example, an issue which affects a breach to a service level, or the “missing” of a KPI target) is automatically classified as an Urgent Priority issue, and is addressed, utilising the full resources at Virtech’s disposal.

All contractual issues will have the visibility of the CEO, Brett McCallum, and will be monitored by the operations team, as standard practice.

Escalation Level

Senior Executive Level

Time to Resolve or Escalate

Position Title & Name of Officer

Officer's Contact Details (e.g. Email & Phone No.)

Not Applicable

Brett McCallum,

Chief Executive Officer

Senior Management Level

Five (5) Business Days

Mark Henderson,

Chief Operating Officer

mark@virtech.com.au

0406 495 027

Contract Management Level

Three (3) Business Days

Vicki Blackwell,

Sales Director

Operational Management Level

One (1) Business Day

Stuart Norris,

Head of Talent

Escalation Matrix

Editorial Guidelines

Accuracy and clarity

Accuracy is fundamental to credibility for a media organisation. It is also relevant for other important editorial standards, such as impartiality and fair dealing. That’s because an important part of treating people fairly and presenting content impartially involves getting the facts right. Generally speaking, the more material facts are to a piece of content and the more serious the implications of those facts, the greater the efforts need to be to ensure its accuracy.

Podfire are committed to…

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.

Fairness, balance & impartiality

Impartiality is one of the most fundamental elements of content-making at Podfire. It begins with our statutory obligation to ensure that we both gather and present news and information impartially. This duty is central to our public service purpose to inform our audiences and fundamental to our reputation as a credible and trustworthy journalist. Audiences come to the  for fair and unbiased information which will help them to gain a reasonable understanding of an issue and to make up their own minds.

Podfire commit to...

3. 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.
4. 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 item 3.

Privacy and avoidance of harm

This guidance discusses the risk of causing ‘harm’ and the risk of causing ‘offence’. The two risks tend to be considered together for the most part, but there can be important differences between them.

To offend someone is to “irritate in mind or feelings” or to “cause resentful displeasure” (Macquarie Dictionary). Causing harm, on the other hand, can go much further than that, and the consequences of more substantial harm can be greater. Serious attacks on named individuals can also cause harm to reputation that carries legal risks. All of this means that the threshold for causing substantial harm can be higher than simply causing offence. 

Privacy is necessary to human dignity and every person reasonably expects that his or her privacy will be respected. But privacy is not absolute. Podfire seeks to balance the public interest in respect for privacy with the public interest in disclosure of information and freedom of expression.

Podfire commit to...

5. Avoid intruding on a person’s reasonable expectations of privacy, unless doing so is sufficiently in the public interest.
6. 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

Integrity is defined as the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; while transparency is defined in a business or governance context, is honesty and openness.

Podfire commit to...

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

 
 

Podfire Indigenous Content Guidelines

This Guidance Note provides advice and information on working with Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, culture and heritage in Podfire content production.

Indigenous Australians place great importance on observing cultural protocols, but there are many different practices and protocols across Indigenous Australia.

This guidance covers significant cultural practices that apply most frequently to Podfires’ Indigenous content and points to further information and detail that may be relevant to individual projects, providing a range of suitable contacts for that purpose.

KEY EDITORIAL STANDARDS

The Podfire Editorial Policies apply to all Podfire content with the following standards especially relevant to Indigenous content on Podfire services.

Fair And Honest Dealing

Participants in Podfire content should normally be informed of the general nature of their participation.

Harm And Offence

Where content is likely to cause harm or offence, having regard to the context, make reasonable efforts to provide information about the nature of the content through the use of classification labels or other warnings or advice.

The reporting or depiction of violence, tragedy or trauma must be handled with extreme sensitivity. Avoid causing undue distress to victims, witnesses or bereaved relatives. Be sensitive to significant cultural practices when depicting or reporting on recently deceased persons.

Avoid the unjustified use of stereotypes or discriminatory content that could reasonably be interpreted as condoning or encouraging prejudice.

Introduction

Podfire recognises Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history, people and culture as integral to Australia’s history and heritage and believes it has a special role to play in facilitating the ability of Indigenous Australians to protect, promote and develop their diverse cultures, languages and local heritage.

Podfire, as an independent multimedia content provider, maintains full editorial control over all its content. We have set ourselves the highest editorial standards to apply to all our content and to ensure that we remain independent in all that we do. It is within this context that we respect Indigenous cultural protocols and practices, including, wherever possible Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property Rights. At all times, in accordance with our editorial standards, we will approach content in a fair and reasonable manner and with cultural sensitivity.

Accessing Indigenous People And Communities

Podfire is committed to establishing relationships with Indigenous Australians, communities and organisations to build awareness and understanding of cultural practices. Building trust will enable Podfire to access Indigenous expertise and perspectives, not just on Indigenous issues, but on broader issues of relevance to all Australians.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities are diverse and varied and individual approaches may be needed. There may be clear differences between urban, regional and remote communities, but there might also be subtle and nuanced difference between communities in the same region.

Podfire Team Tips

  • Research the community you’re going into—the country, the people and appropriate protocols.

  • If you don’t have a relationship with a community yourself, try to find someone who does have a connection and can help introduce you.

  • Don’t expect communities will just come out and tell you all you need to know. Make time for this, it may take several visits.

  • Approach community leaders and all others with respect. Put time aside to get to know people and let them know you.

  • Communicate honestly and clearly about the content you want, how it will be gathered, and how and where it will be distributed.

  • Explain clearly to participants their proposed role or the proposed role of their material in the content you are making. You should do your best to minimise ambiguity and make sure everyone is clear on the implications of their participation.

  • Permission is often required to access Indigenous lands and communities and to record and capture images of sacred sites, cultural objects and ceremonies.

  • When obtaining permissions to access locations and communities, wherever it is possible and appropriate, ensure Elders and other community leaders have been properly introduced to you and know why you are there.

  • Establishing relationships with Indigenous Australians, communities and organisations is a practical step towards building awareness and understanding of cultural practices.

Language, Naming and References

Consider the use of language and terminology when referring to Indigenous people.

Some words and phrases, both written and spoken, may offend Indigenous Australians. For example, advice should be sought before using regional terms such as Koori (New South Wales), Nunga (South Australia), Yolngu (Northern Territory) and Murri (Queensland) and on the use of the word ‘black’ in various contexts.

Whenever possible, identify Indigenous Australians in as specific a manner as they are comfortable with—i.e. by people/nation or language group, in preference to more general terms. However, generalised terms, such as ‘Aboriginal’, should be used if an individual does not wish to be identified in a more specific manner. The term used should be selected on the basis of self-identification by individuals and their immediate families. While the opportunity to be identified using a more local term should be offered, when an individual identifies using a general term, use that term.

‘Aboriginal’ is the most accepted general term when reporting to a national audience. However, the use of the word ‘Indigenous’ in a national sense, can be used for ‘Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander’, or either group singularly.

‘Aboriginal Australian’ should be used as the noun and ‘Aboriginal’ as the adjective. Do not use the word ‘Aborigine’, as it offends many Indigenous Australians.

When written, Aboriginal and Indigenous should always be dignified with a capital ‘A’ and ‘I’. Aboriginal should never be abbreviated. Torres Strait Islander should be used in full and not shortened to ‘TSI’.

When reporting and discussing Indigenous issues, careful consideration should be given to avoiding language and images which reinforce or perpetuate negative stereotypes of Indigenous Australians and their culture.

Bereavement Practices

Bereavement practices of Indigenous Australians vary in different communities and regions. There is often sensitivity to seeing and hearing the name, image or voice of Indigenous people who have died. The naming and depiction of recently deceased people is often prohibited under customary law and the mourning period may last for weeks, months or years. There may also be a preferred way of referring to the deceased person.

It’s important for content makers to verify and, where appropriate, observe local practices in content about recently deceased Indigenous people.

The most reliable source for advice on local practice and how to refer to the deceased person is the family of the deceased, or the elders of the deceased’s Indigenous community.

Following the appropriate cultural practice can be most challenging in the fast-paced news environment of reporting and discussing the recent death of an Indigenous identity. In many cases, notification of the death may come from the person’s family in a statement which includes advice to media on how to refer to the deceased person.

If the appropriate local practice cannot be ascertained through appropriate channels within content deadlines, it’s best to adopt a conservative approach and not use the first name, image or voice of the deceased. A possible alternative is to refer to them by way of their work or achievement, for example, ‘the lead singer of Yothu Yindi’ or ‘head of the X Lands Council’.

Audience Advice / Warnings

Warnings alert Indigenous Australians to material that may contain the image, voice or name of an Indigenous Australian who has died and enable them to choose whether or not they access the material.

Where footage, images or sound recordings of deceased Indigenous Australians are used, suitable warnings must be given at the beginning of the content.

Advice must also be provided to audiences at the beginning or in the introduction of content if:

  • the name or images of the deceased are not being used in order to meet local cultural practices; or

  • permission has been granted by the appropriate source to use the name, image or other depiction of a deceased person.

Standard wording should be used across Podfire services when warning Indigenous audiences of the content to follow. Two versions are provided below to cover the majority of situations. The wording is suitable for audio, visual or text and requires only slight modification to suit relevant distribution platforms.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander [viewers, listeners, readers] are advised that the following program may contain images and voices of people who have died.

This warning should be used when it cannot be clearly established that an Indigenous Australian featured in the content is living.

It should also be used when archival material containing names, images, songs, voices or recordings of Indigenous Australians is featured in the content.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander [viewers, listeners, readers] are advised that the following program contains images and voices of people who have died.

This warning should be used when content is known to feature a deceased Indigenous Australian.

Other variations should not be used unless there are special circumstances, for example advice tailored to a specific community’s needs/request.

Online Content

Many Indigenous Australians will appear online in content published during their lifetime. The persistent nature of the online medium presents particular problems when honouring bereavement practices that require the removal of the image, voice and first name of the deceased.

When notified by a community of the passing of an individual, Podfire should make all reasonable efforts to attach the second warning (listed in the previous section) to published pages referring to that individual. Should online content published during the lifetime of an Indigenous Australian be drawn upon for stories following their death, the second warning above should be used for any new content.

Other Cultural Practices

There are other cultural practices which, while they should not necessarily inhibit reporting, should be handled with appropriate care. For example, when reporting on events such as initiations, sorry business and ceremonies, it is important to consult with relevant communities.

It is important to be aware that many ceremonial events, including initiations, will have custodians who are responsible for the knowledge and traditions bound up in those events. When reporting on such ceremonies, it is important to identify and approach the relevant custodians, as others may not be permitted to comment on the matter.

Podfire Content makers and editorial managers should assess the risk of causing offence and harm when a male staff member is required to report on women’s cultural practices/business or a female staff member is required to report on men’s culture practices/business.

It may also be appropriate to provide suitable warnings at the beginning of the content.

Permissions will usually be required to access Indigenous lands, communities and sacred sites and to record or film in these locations. Advice on how to go about researching, interviewing, writing, publishing and recording/filming Indigenous persons, places and material with respect for Indigenous cultural and intellectual property can be found via the list of useful resources below.

DEFINITIONS

An Indigenous Australian refers to the Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islanders of Australia.

An Indigenous Australian is defined as a person who is a descendant of an Indigenous inhabitant of Australia, identifies as an Aboriginal person or a Torres Strait Islander and is recognised as such by the community in which the person lives.

There should be no assumptions that people are Indigenous because of their appearance or because of the nature of their work or their support for an Indigenous cause.