At Vamers, we firmly believe in being open and honest with our readers regarding all aspects of our business relating to the curation, generation, reporting and publication of content. Earning and maintaining the trust of our audience is the foundation on which all of our content is produced. Hence why we feel so strongly about promoting clear ethical guidelines for our audiences to better understand where our information comes from and why it can be trusted.

As such, we have a strict ‘Ethics Policy‘ governing all content creation in order to provide full disclosure to our readers, and to ensure editorial independence and journalistic integrity.


EDITORIAL INDEPENDENCE

Vamers takes great pride in forming legitimate and long standing relationships with people and companies relevant to our core audience. In doing so, however, we remain critical of any and all those we work with. We are able to do so freely because we are financially self-funded and do not rely on advertising space or sponsorships for income. As a result, every member of the editorial team is free from conflicts of interest or any form of expectation or bias that may arise from legitimate working partnerships and relationships. Further spearheading this point is how all editorial staff are required to follow a strict code of conduct for all produced content.

Core code of conduct guidelines are as follows:

  • We do not accept things of value or ‘in lieu of’ from companies or from their PR firms for reviews.
  • We do not accept any preconditions for coverage, with the only exception being embargo dates and times for reviews.
  • We do not give subjects of our reporting the ability to preview or approve interview questions, nor do we allow them to review any of our content or stories before publication.
  • We do not allow reporters to cover people or companies where they have a personal conflict or investment.

PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT

In addition to ensuring our independence is preserved, Vamers editorial staff are also expected to abide by industry-standard ethical guidelines for reporting and content creation. With this in mind, all staff are required to use the code of ethics provided by both SANEF and the Society of Professional Journalists as a base for all produced content. In essence, this ensures all members of the editorial staff take great care to ‘learn the truth’ and report it accurately, honestly, and with as much unbiased intent as possible.

Going hand-in-hand with professional conduct are the ways in which editorial staff are trained to source information. Every member is given a Vamers Style Guide with the basics of how to source and verify content, as well as ensuring uniformity in how these sources are to be included in all published works requiring them. They also make provision for ensuring the sources are easily accessible and to protect confidentiality when appropriate.


REVIEWS:

  • Vamers may be sent products to use and try for review purposes.
  • Vamers will never agree to produce any form of review content in exchange for product or monetary gain.
  • Vamers does not offer “paid for”/”in lieu of” reviews in any way or form.
  • All of the views expressed on Vamers are the opinions of the authors and are not influenced by monetary gain or free product.
  • Vamers carefully chooses which companies to work with and prefers to accept opportunities with companies sharing similar ethical values.
  • Physical products
    • All reviews of physical products are conducted using either ‘review units’ provided by companies or the products have been purchased at retail and are now owned directly by Vamers.
      • Whether purchased at retail or a review unit, every review discloses where the product was procured from.
    • ‘Review units’ are not owned by Vamers and are always returned to the company once the review process is complete.
      • The nature of receiving review units implies a review will be produced. It is important to note how this exchange is the industry norm and has no bearing on the produced content.
      • There have been rare circumstances whereby Vamers is allowed to keep a physical review item. However, this would occur only after a review has been published and without any prior negotiation. This behaviour is not encouraged, rarely occurs, and is solely at the discretion of the company being worked with. It is important to note how this exchange occurs outside of the review window, and therefore has no bearing on the content produced.

  • Software products
    • All reviews of software products are conducted using either code purchased at physical/digital retail or provided courtesy of the publisher.
    • Whether code is purchased at retail or provided by the publisher, every review discloses where the product was procured from.
    • Unlike physical products, digital only software is often disseminated by means of single use codes. This means:
      • Provided code effectively becomes the property of Vamers.
      • Provided code is, whenever possible, redeemed to a decentralised account not linked to the author conducting the review in order to reduce possible bias.
      • The nature of receiving code implies a review will be produced. It is important to note how this exchange is the industry norm and has no bearing on the produced content.

OTHER CONTENT:

  • Vamers will always provide transparent disclosure within all generated content.
    • If a review features a product we own, we disclose that information. If the product is a review unit that is returned, we disclose as such. If our writers receive anything “in lieu of” and for any reason (a practice we do not encourage), we disclose that information. Vamers will always function with transparency in order to continue to foster a trusting relationships with our readers. We are proud of the content we produce, and we believe in integrity and honesty.

  • Vamers may, from time to time, produce sponsored or “paid for” content.
    • This is content Vamers has been paid to produce.
      • Payment may be monetary based or in lieu of a product or service.
    • All “paid for content” is clearly marked with the word “sponsored”.
      • For written content, “sponsored” appears in a banner within the written post along with a “sponsored” tag.
      • Video content will have a “sponsored” label displayed during the course of the video.
      • Sponsored content on social media will have a “#sponsored” or “#ad” hashtag. 
      • Vamers does not accept any form of payment for review purposes.

  • Vamers run competitions are subject to unbiased winner selection by means of Random.org and Rafflecopter. 
    • All entries into competitions requiring a creative answer and/or subjective selection are narrowed down to three of the “best” entries as deemed by the Vamers crew (put to majority vote by all permanent staff members).
    • For competitions featuring prizes sponsored by third-parties, Vamers will send the aforementioned ‘best entries’ to the relevant sponsor for final winner selection.

CORRECTIONS AND UPDATES

Although the Vamers editorial staff do their utmost to ensure the accuracy of all reporting, there are times when some information may not be accurate. After all, “to err is human”. With that said, if a mistake in a story is discovered, our editors will promptly issue a correction removing the inaccurate information and also add a notice of correction explaining the error. In some cases where the content is not editable, like in a video, we may either remove the original piece of content and replace it with a version in which the error is omitted or we will update the description of said content to make the inaccuracy known.

In certain circumstances where additional information about a published story becomes available, specifically in terms of continuing the narrative or clarifying the original story, but where the new information is not a correction; we may add or change elements of the original story. Should this occur, there will be a clear notice of an ‘update’ having taken place at the top and/or the bottom of the story, indicating the time of the change and a note describing what was changed.

Although incredibly rare, we may remove content if we believe it infringes on the intellectual property rights of a third party, otherwise violates any third-party rights, or breaches any applicable law or regulation.


DISTRIBUTED PLATFORMS

Vamers is a multimedia brand with content distributed across many platforms (e.g: website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc). Even so, our editorial standards apply to them all.


FEEDBACK

Vamers is committed to providing quality content that is unbiased and fair to our readers and staff. If you have any further questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us.


First enacted: 30 May 2016

Last updated: 06 August 2022