Code of Ethics

AJAC GUIDELINES and ETHICS DOCUMENT

 

INTRODUCTION

 

To promote, encourage, support and facilitate professionalism in Canadian automotive journalism and to ensure factual and ethical reporting about the automobile and automotive issues.

 

AJAC MEMBERSHIP

 

By accepting membership in AJAC, journalists agree to support and promote the association and its goals.

 

PROFESSIONAL STANDARDS

 

AJAC members strive to provide honest, informed, accurate and original perspective of the vehicles they review and the subjects that they cover.

 

AJAC members who review vehicles base their opinions on first-hand experience behind the wheel, which may be supplemented by data produced independently by AJAC at its annual Canadian Car of the Year program, information supplied by the manufacturer as well as other credible sources.

 

CONFLICT OF INTEREST

 

AJAC journalist members must not accept vehicle review assignments from automobile manufacturers or their agents for publication in brand magazines.

 

AJAC journalist members do not accept compensation, monetary or otherwise, from automobile manufacturers and other companies, directly or indirectly, in return for favourable coverage.

 

AJAC journalists do not write positive articles with a view to receiving invitations to press events paid for by manufacturers.

 

VEHICLE LOANS

 

In order to write vehicle reviews, AJAC members typically source subject vehicles from the manufacturer's "press fleet," evaluating the vehicle for a period of one week.

 

On occasion, an AJAC journalist member may request or be offered use of a vehicle for a term longer than the typical one-week road test period. A sound editorial reason, such as a request by an outlet for evaluation by multiple individuals, should accompany acceptance of a vehicle for an extended term. 

 

PLAGIARISM

 

AJAC member journalists do not copy or reproduce the work of other journalists or content providers without appropriate attribution.

 

REMUNERATION

 

AJAC members do not give their work away, and will not permit its publication for a token amount.

 

ADVERTORIAL

 

Advertorial is any and all material used for the purpose of promoting a product.  It should be clearly labeled as publicity, advertising or advertorial.

 

Advertorial, by definition, is not journalism, and the production of advertorial by AJAC journalists is contrary to the goals of AJAC. Consequently, a journalist must not permit his/her by-line to be attached to advertorial materials.

 

ENTREPRENEURIAL

 

An AJAC journalist member must not engage in regular business activities with car manufacturers, their dealers, or their agents.

 

BREACH OF ETHICS

 

Unethical behaviour (that is, behaviour contrary to AJAC's Guidelines and Ethics document) should be reported to the AJAC Executive, who will determine an appropriate response. The response may extend to revoking AJAC membership.

 

A member may be disciplined for failing to comply with the association’s Code of Conduct as outlined in “AJAC’s Guidelines and Ethics”. Discipline shall be in accordance with the Discipline Process established by the Board and amended by resolution. The Discipline Process sets out the procedure for investigating complaints, hearing allegations, and making appeals to the Board. It also sets out the occasions when the discipline may take the form of a warning, reprimand, suspension, probation, or cancellation as well as the terms, conditions, and limitations of the penalty.