Media Code of Conduct
TMAC asserts that the prime responsibility of its media members is to serve the public interest by reporting travel news and information accurately, and offering analysis with objectivity.
TMAC Media members shall:
- Refrain from misrepresenting their credentials for initial membership, renewal, or in order to obtain complimentary or reduced rate travel arrangements from members of the travel industry.
- Assure the integrity of articles written under their byline; materials from other sources incorporated in a story will be credited; the writer’s own views will be clearly distinguished from news reports.
- Maintain a distinction between an opinion piece and an advertorial. However, even though travel-related stories are not an extension of advertising, brand names and specific companies will be used in newsworthy context or for purposes of clarification only.
- Strive to avoid misleading or misrepresenting tourist boards, public relations companies or other agencies about the likelihood of placing an article.
- Show respect for the travel industry or a travel destination in their writing and not compromise this respect in order to write in an entertaining way.
- Disclose the name of the sponsor who paid for the trip on which they are reporting, when possible, especially if the trip has been sponsored through a private concern.
- Remember that their main obligation is to their readers/listeners/viewers. Their obligation to the travel industry sponsors rests in fulfilling the ethical relationship established with a host.
- Provide industry members with as much advance notice as possible when requesting assistance; however, last minute arrangements are sometimes beneficial for both media and industry.
- With respect to online conduct, whether by way of Listserv or other social media, use civility and respect for other TMAC members in any posting. Members shall refrain from using profanity, undue sarcasm or making defamatory statements about other members or the general public.
- The annual Media Marketplace is a forum for exchanging ideas and generating opportunities for media stories. It is not to be used as a means of advancing personal business interests or promoting products and services for financial gain to industry members.
With regard to press trips (including participation in the annual TMAC conference), Media members shall abide by all of the above, plus they shall:
- Abide by all rules and regulations established by the host of the trip.
- Represent TMAC with dignity and professionalism.
- Refrain from making requests that fall outside of the scope of their assignment or press trip.
- Conduct themselves as ambassadors of the association, the travel industry and Canada.
- Respect local customs, history, traditions and laws.
- Attempt an understanding of the socio-economic, religious and political differences in other cultures.
- Respect the environment at all times.
- Display a realistic attitude to the host regarding the likelihood of placing an article and refrain from misrepresentation regarding same.
- Participate in all scheduled activities on hosted trips unless ill, incapacitated or if previous arrangements have been approved by the host.
- Provide the maximum notice possible in the event that trip arrangements need to be modified or cancelled.
- Upon registration for the Conference media members shall be required to sign a statement to this effect: I have read the TMAC Media Code of Conduct and agree to its terms. I understand that if I violate the terms of the Code of Conduct I may be asked to leave the conference.
Industry Code of Conduct
As per the Media Code of Conduct where specifically applicable, plus:
- Treat media requests in a professional manner, bearing in mind that media requests are primarily for information, not promotion.
- Respond in a timely fashion to media requests, whether the response is positive or negative.
With regard to press trips (including participation in the annual TMAC conference), Industry members shall abide by all of the above, plus they shall:
- Inform media members at the time they are invited to participate on a trip exactly what expenses are covered and what are not (including gratuities).
- Provide media members with a detailed itinerary and any waivers to be signed, PRIOR to their commitment to join a trip. This specifically applies to releases guaranteeing the publication of a story, or waiving the legal responsibilities of press trip organizers in case of accidents.
- Refrain from requiring media members to sign inappropriate waivers regarding activities that are not high risk in nature and would not require a waiver from the general public for participation in a similar activity or event.
- Specify to media members the expectations of the industry member prior to their commitment to join the trip.
- Identify freelance writers as such on press trip documents.
If a TMAC member has a dispute with another TMAC member whether during a press trip, at a TMAC function or otherwise, both parties agree to make every effort to resolve the matter between them while observing the rules of civility and respect in so doing. If the matter cannot be resolved in this manner, it shall be brought to the attention of the President by way of written complaint. Unless the matter is an emergency, such as suspected illegal activity in which case the President may take whatever action is necessary to prevent ongoing violation of the Code of Conduct, the President shall then refer the matter to the Governance Committee. The Governance Committee shall investigate the matter and attempt to resolve the matter, if possible at that stage. If resolution is not possible the Governance Committee shall make a recommendation to the Board as to the disposition of the complaint. The Board, at its next meeting shall adopt, amend or reject the proposal from the Governance Committee. The final disposition may include a caution, a reprimand, a suspension or in the most serious cases, expulsion pursuant to by-law.