Core principles

  • Editorial content of The Star's surveys and advertising features should observe the same standards of good writing expected in the rest of the newspaper, namely accuracy, fairness, clarity, conciseness and good taste.
  • Readers should be left in no doubt about the source of copy. If material has been provided by advertisers or other sources outside The Star, this should be clearly stated. Claims by advertisers and other companies must be attributed to them and not presented as statements of fact.
  • Sales representatives may not guarantee use of copy or illustrations in editorial space in order to elicit advertisements. Nor may they charge clients for the placement of photographs and logos in editorial space.
  • Editorial and advertising about a company should, wherever possible, not appear on the same page.
  • Reports about or references to companies relevant to a survey or advertising feature may not be omitted merely because they have declined to advertise in the product.
  • Extracts from published material must be properly attributed. It is inadvisable to quote at length from other works, not only because this may contravene copyright law but because it reflects poorly on the writer and The Star.
  • To avoid conflicts of interest, everyone involved in the production of a survey or advertising feature must declare any connection to or involvement with individuals or companies which are the focus of the feature or advertising in it.
  • Staff may not accept any gift or service of value without reference to the editor. No gift, favour or special treatment may be accepted if it puts a member of staff under any obligation to the donor.
  • Writers may not use pseudonyms without the permission of the editor.
  • Whenever possible, reports should be read back to the source for the checking of facts.


  • Editorial must be gathered independently by a writer commissioned by The Star and must meet all criteria laid down in The Star's Code of Ethics. Specifically, it must "give all sides of an issue, by means of balanced presentation without bias, distortion, undue emphasis or omission".
  • The integrity of the editorial must be maintained regardless of whether the focus of the survey is an industry, an event, a sport, an issue of topicality, a company or a non-profit organisation.
  • Writers may act on helpful leads from the sales representative and may contact companies which may be advertisers or potential advertisers during the course of their research. However, there must be no liaison between writers and sales representatives or between writer and advertisers on the question of specific editorial content. If this does occur, the feature may not be called a survey.

Advertising features

  • The primary aim of advertising features is to give clients an opportunity to publicise their activities, services and products. They are made viable by support from primary advertisers and their clients or suppliers. However, editorial space has not been paid for and thus advertisers have less control over content than would be the case with advertisements.
  • Editorial material should preferably be generated by a writer commissioned by The Star. If material is provided by advertisers, it should be processed by a writer commissioned by The Star to ensure it meets standards.
  • Clients may brief writers on what aspects of their business they want covered and provide illustrative material to accompany the text. They must be given the opportunity to check the copy for inaccuracies.
  • The wishes of clients regarding content and design will be taken into account but must not supersede considerations of standards and style of The Star. For example, reports and illustrative material may be omitted if there is no space or they are of inferior quality. And page elements that identify the product with The Star, such as banners, must follow style.
  • If time permits clients may be given an opportunity to see proofs of pages and suggest changes. However, no guarantee may be given that they will see proofs or that suggested changes will be made. This will be left to the discretion of the Production Editor.
  • These products must be clearly labelled ADVERTISING FEATURES. In addition, readers should be told that information was obtained from the client/clients.

Service features

  • Although these features attempt to attract advertising of a particular nature, their primary aim is to provide a service to readers. They tend to appear regularly or seasonally and include such themes as Adult Education, Holiday Destinations and Training for a Career.
  • The writer should attempt to give readers a balanced view of the subject and present items which are newsworthy and of service to readers.
  • Sales representatives may invite advertisers to submit editorial for consideration but may not guarantee its use.
  • Material submitted by advertisers may be used if: a) It is appropriate to the theme; b) It is newsworthy or of service to readers; c) There is space after worthier items of service or news interest have been used.
  • Material submitted by advertisers (its use must not be guaranteed) must be processed by a writer of The Star to ensure it meets editorial standards. If such material is used in a service feature, readers must be told, in an note at the end of the report: "Information in this report was supplied by (name of company)."
  • Advertisers have no control over the appearance and the content of the feature and have no right to see page proofs.