(To be read in conjunction with The Star's Code of Ethics)
- All invitations to host staff members on trips must be addressed to the Editor. When invitations are sent directly to staff members or heads of department, these must also be referred to the Editor. No trips may be taken unless approved by the Editor. There will be no exception to this rule.
- The Editor will then consider whether the invitation should be accepted. The following questions should be asked: Will the trip compromise The Star's Code of Ethics? Is it a venture The Star could recommend/be associated with? Is it likely to yield newsworthy copy? Would it be of interest/value to our readers? Would The Star have sent someone if expense were not an issue? (Multiple invitations from the same host should ring alarm bells and be discouraged.)
- All trips taken by members of staff should be logged in the travel register. This is to ensure transparency and fairness in awarding trips, as well as to record problems or failure to deliver copy.
(The Saturday Star will maintain its own travel register but will inform the editor of The Star and the executive in charge of the travel register if trips are awarded to staff members who work across both titles.)
- As trips are considered professional assignments, staff members need not apply for leave. However, you must apply for leave if you intend to extend the trip with the prior approval of your head of department.
- Without exception, all articles arising out of trips must declare the involvement of all sponsors who paid for transport costs, accommodation, etc.
- Prospective hosts/sponsors may not be asked to arrange free or discounted travel for partners, spouses or children. Any such offer made by the host/sponsor must be declined.
- A distinction is drawn between professional assignments and travel/tourism trips:
Professional trips: (Examples: the motoring editor being invited to an overseas car show; a boxing writer reporting on an overseas bout; an arts writer being invited to attend a premiere, etc)
- The permission of the editor as well as the head of department must be obtained.
- The trip must be logged in the travel register.
- It must be made clear to the prospective host/s that there will be no obligation/guarantees of coverage.
- At least two editorial executives, including the one in charge of the travel register, will recommend to the editor whether a travel invitation should be accepted. This will be done in consultation with the travel editor and after the interrogation in Rule 2.
- They will also recommend to the editor who should be awarded the trip, after consulting with the travel editor and the head of department concerned. The staff member chosen must be a capable of producing interesting and accurate copy and reliable in meeting deadlines.
- Staff members offered trips are obliged to write an article or articles within two weeks of their return. They will be required to complete and sign an undertaking to this effect.
For local professional trips, the staff member and their head of department must agree beforehand on an advance to cover reasonable expenses likely to be incurred during the trip, such as transport costs, meals not included in the accommodation, telephone calls, etc. Advances will not cover personal entertainment or other personal items such as toiletries, cigarettes and alcohol. Within two weeks of their return, staff members must submit receipts for these expenses and refund any surplus to the company.
- In the case of overseas trips, the prevailing company rate (currently US $240 a day or £170 a day in Britain) will be allocated and the same accounting rules will apply. A person on a by-invitation overseas trip will qualify only for the 100/£100 airport expenses allowance (see below)
- No advances will be given for travel/tourism trips, except in the case of overseas travel when US $100 (£100 in the case of Britain) will be advanced for airport expenses on departure and arrival. Within two weeks of their return, staff members must submit receipts for these expenses and refund any surplus to the company.
Failure to submit an expenses return in the set time frame will result in the advance being deducted from the staff member's salary.
Obligations on travel page trips
We are delighted that you have accepted the invitation to visit from________________to____________________
Please complete and sign this form. Then give a copy of this form, with a copy of your itinerary attached, to both the travel editor and your head of department.
THE TRAVEL EDITOR …………………….
Rules for travel trips:
- Professional Responsibilities
Please note that this is an official assignment and you are representing The Star. Your acceptance entails certain responsibilities, as set out in the Code of Ethics. Please ensure that you are familiar with it before you leave.
Please attend functions arranged for your benefit or, before the event, give your host good reasons why you cannot make it. Be punctual when accompanying others to a destination. In both instances, this is common courtesy.
Do not get drunk during assignments or behave in any way that could bring The Star into disrepute.
Your hosts will provide accommodation, meals and transport but you must pay for all other items (eg. phone calls, alcohol, etc). If you are travelling overseas, arrange with Editorial Administration for an advance of $100 to cover airport expenses. See information on this in the Trips Charter.
Before departure, confer with the travel editor as to what is required in terms of article/s and their length. The article/s must be accompanied by a factfile giving information on the destination, costs, weather, flights, etc. It is vital to provide illustrative material. If you don't take a camera, arrange for the tour operator to provide pictures. This should be done as a back-up anyway. Try to bring back postcards, brochures, maps, tickets, etc
- After the trip
Within 14 days of your return, you must submit the article/s to the Travel Editor. Failure to meet this deadline will be recorded in the travel register and you will never again be offered a trip. If applicable, you must also submit an expenses form for the $100 advance and refund the surplus to the company within that period.
Please arrange to get a travel insurance card from any of the staff in Syndication (x2310/2309/2220)
Names and telephone numbers of immediate family members (in case of emergencies):
Name …………………………………… Contact no …………………………..
Name …………………………………… Contact no …………………………..