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General complaints process

Tortoise is committed to journalism of the highest standards: that requires a commitment to accuracy and fairness in all its publications, broadcasts and events. Our broad principles are aligned with the IPSO Editors’ Code of Practice.

If you have a complaint or clarification please email memberhelp@tortoisemedia.com

In the first instance, complaints or requests for clarification or correction will be reviewed by our membership team and where necessary referred to the relevant editors for their consideration. Complaints from outside our membership, for example from someone who has been the subject of one of our pieces, will be referred directly to the managing editor. In all cases a response will be sent within 48 hours of receipt unless it has arrived on a Friday, in which case the response will be sent by the close of business on the following Tuesday.

More serious complaints, including all legal complaints, will be automatically and invariably referred to the managing editor and the members’ editor and acknowledged within 24 hours. The managing editor will then consider the complaint in the light of our code of practice before taking appropriate action if deemed necessary.

If the managing editor decides there are grounds for complaint, she or he will notify the Editor of Tortoise that the matter is being referred to the Tortoise Complaints Board for further consideration.

The board will have four members: the members’ editor, a nominated Tortoise member chosen on an annual basis, a Tortoise editor not party to the complaint, and an independent member, chosen by Tortoise but with no direct connection to it. The managing editor will serve as ex officio secretary to the board. Independent members of the board receive a fee for their services.

The board will be convened by the managing editor and will meet within six weeks of the original complaint, either in person or by conference call. If it is deemed necessary by the board, the editors or contributors concerned will be required to attend or make written submissions. The board’s decision and any sanctions required will be final and binding on the Editor of Tortoise.

Sanctions may include the publication by Tortoise of appropriate corrections or apologies, amendment or withdrawal of relevant material, and, in very serious cases, the ability to recommend disciplinary action.