A: RiotACT was established in late 2000 with the purpose of setting up an open journalism project focused on the Australian Capital Territory region and its inhabitants. RiotACT is grass roots news, the opinion of the people and up to date information about the Canberra scene. We’re aiming to expose Canberra to itself. To demonstrate that community consultation can occur, and from the inside it’s a far more vibrant place than it looks from without.

We have one overriding rule when it comes to content – RiotACT is about the Australian Capital Territory region. Having said that anyone can submit a post, anyone can comment. Have something to say? – you can say it. Want right of reply? – its there, you just need to register. For the benefit of others, try to keep it reasonably on topic and coherent. It saves us from scratching our heads wondering what on earth you are on about.

A: RiotACT gets tens of thousands of people reading the site. Of those many have taken the leap to register in order to have their say, be it to comment on someone else’s post or to inform the community about a local issue or event that interests them. With home net usage in the ACT the highest in Australia and as a huge percentage of workplaces in the ACT provide net access it’s no surprise that RiotACT’s readership is vast and varied (and constantly growing).

RiotACT survives on its readership’s willingness to let the rest of the community know what issues and events are important and current, and offering varied and informative points of view.

If you have an interest that isn’t getting the coverage you would like, register, submit a post, and let everyone know!

Please note that just because you submit something for consideration it wont always get a run on the site regardless of your membership status. Some things are just completely unintelligible to us, way off topic or already in active discussion. As a small team we cant always get to everything to give it what you might consider due consideration but with literally thousands of contributions every month we do the best we can to give everyone a fair go.

A. Yes. We welcome comments of all kinds – supportive, dissenting, critical or otherwise. However, we reserve the right to delete or edit comments that:

Are defamatory or abusive
Promote hate of any kind
Attack the writer not the argument
Are blatantly off-topic
Do not contribute to the discussion
Mislead through impersonation
Don’t make sense

Repeat offenders will be blocked from using the comments function on the site.

We ask readers to comment responsibly. If you see a comment that violates our comments policy, and are registered, you can click on a ‘report comment’ flag and a moderator will take a closer look.

A. Yes. All comments submitted currently go into an moderation queue for review and approval before appearing on the site. We do this for a couple of reasons. Firstly we want to encourage reasonably positive contributions & it gives us a chance to catch ‘most’ of the flamebait, off topic and just plain weird stuff that gets submitted. We don’t moderate simply because we disagree with what’s said, its usually offensive or contributes nothing to the story in question. Consistent repeat offenders will get automatically moderated no matter how reasonable their next post might be.

Secondly we want to ensure you’re not saying something stupid or defamatory that will end you, and more likely, us up in court. Lawyers are expensive & we’d rather save you the hassle. If you really want to take things way off topic with your own personal gripes we know a bunch of web developers who will help you get your own site for that & will happily give you a recommendation.

There is one exception to the auto moderation. If you are the post author your comments will automatically be approved. Note that doesn’t stop us from checking up on your behaviour afterwards.

A. You can email us a reply to what has been said; we will run it with equal prominence to the original story. Or you can can contact us through the contact form on the site and ask us to amend it, or take it down and explain why we should. If you make a cogent argument we might agree, but then again we might not.

Frivolous legal threats and will quite likely be published & only demonstrates that you haven’t grasped that PR problems can’t really be solved with legal solutions.

Conventional wisdom states that registering and submit a comment of your own rebutting the original comment might actually win you fans & make the original article/comment look silly. There are two great articles on mashable.com on dealing with haters and negative feedback in social media we recommend reading before you do anything else.

A: Click on the register link at the top of the page. It will prompt you for a username (a persona which you’ll henceforth be known, it can be your real name if you want), an email address and a few other details. The email address is so we can send you a password for the site, or remind you when you’ve forgotten it as well as the awesome State of the Riot newsletter.

A: A post is any news, information or opinion piece submitted to the site for publication. As mentioned above it has to pass our stringent quality control mechanisms before one of the editors or admins before you’ll see it one the site.

Be patient. It may take a bit of time because you’ll have to wait until the duty editor has looked at your story, fiddled with the format, title and checked your hyperlinks and decided to run with it. Maybe the duty editor isn’t available, maybe we want to post some less important pieces first to put yours at the top of the page, we’ll get there.

On the other hand it’s possible that what you’ve submitted isn’t right for publication in this time and place. Usually this is because it’s talking about something that’s ‘out of focus’, i.e. there’s no Canberra angle on the story. We’ve had great submissions on topics as varied as G8 meetings to drug busts at Sydney raves, great stories, just out of focus.

We won’t edit your content, check your grammar, spelling or make sure you aren’t defaming anyone likely to chase you with a big stick. In most instances we’ll publish it just as you submitted it to us. You wrote it, you own it! Consider yourself warned.

To submit, mouse over the black quicklinks drop down on the top of the page. The first option there is submit an article. clicking on that will take you to a page where you can select a title, write your story, add event dates, select suitable tags (great for SEO and making your article findable by people looking for it)

If its ready to be published make sure you click the ‘ready for publication’ option on the right of the screen. We will not publish anything thats still in draft.

A: Searching the site is easy. At the top of the page is the “search” button. Click on that and it takes you to a search engine page where you can look up anything you like on RiotACT.

Don’t know the title of a post you are interested in? No problems. If you are interested in a particular category you can look up all the posts on that topic just by clicking on the one you want in the categories or subcategories in the main menu. Premium members get to select a couple of their favourite categories to customise the home page content. Also worth keeping an eye on active discussions in the recent comments or most popular on the right hand side of the site

Once you get the hang of the site you’ll find numerous ways to find the information you want. Feel free to look around as much as you want! Some of the best discussions are hidden away in the archives.

A: Yes. We can do Sponsorships, Advertising Features (articles), Surveys, Banners (with all sorts of demographic targeting), and space in the State of the Riot Newsletter, or a combination thereof. Contact us to discuss how we can tailor a package to best suit your requirements.

A: A black drop down box titled ‘quicklinks’ on the top right of every page has a link to the contact form. Bear with us, we get lots of mail so may not get back to you immediately.

A: Region Group’s editorial policies state our unwavering commitment to producing accurate, balanced and fair content, as well as the right-of-reply and a formal complaints handling process.

When a complaint is received, Region will seek to deal with it as quickly as possible. We aim to respond within 30 days of receipt of the complaint and to resolve the matters as swiftly as practicable, although some complex matters may take longer to resolve. Response to complaints will be determined by the seriousness of the matter, the likelihood of harm to a person or persons, the potential to mislead, the degree of risk to the public and the genuine risk to reputation.

Region is committed to respecting the confidentiality of complainants.

Complaints may be lodged with Region Group by letter to Unit 5, 27 Napier Close, Deakin ACT 2600 ATTN: Geneveive Jacobs, or via email to gjacobs@region.com.au

For further information on Region Group’s Complaints policy click here

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