C&TH Editorial Code

Country & Town House (C&TH) aims to make sustainability effortless. With a buy less, buy better mantra, C&TH spotlights the brands, products, companies, people and ideas that are having a positive impact on the earth without sacrificing beauty, creativity and fun.

We also know that, in an era of misinformation, trust is paramount and to this end staff and freelancers must abide by our Editorial Code as outlined below. This not only protects our independence but gives accurate guidance to all contributors.

1 Accuracy
Employees, especially journalists and editors, should make all reasonable efforts to ensure that information and content is reported honestly, accurately and fairly.

2 Attribution
Articles and images (including stock and syndicated) commissioned by C&TH should be clearly attributed to their owner.

3 Bribery and Facilitation Payments
The Bribery Act 2010 takes a robust approach to bribery, and creates a number of criminal offences, which even if committed abroad can be prosecuted in the UK. These include (i) bribery – ie offering someone in the UK or abroad a financial or other advantage to improperly perform an activity (whether public or private), (ii) being bribed and (iii) bribing a foreign public official. In some circumstances, offers or acceptances of hospitality and/or facilitation payments paid to public officials abroad in order to secure or expedite the performance of a routine or necessary action will come within the Act. There is no public interest defence, although where an individual is left with no alternative but to make a facilitation payment in order to protect against loss of life, limb or liberty there may be a defence of duress. Staff should always discuss with their managing editor beforehand if they are concerned that any payments might fall into these categories and, if such payments are requested or made, they should inform the editor-in-chief or their managing editor of the circumstances as soon as they are able to afterwards.

4 C&TH Connections
Staff members should not use their positions to seek any benefit or advantage in personal business, financial or commercial transactions not afforded to the public generally.

5 Children
Special care should be taken when dealing with children (under the age of 16). Consent to publication should be sought where the child is reasonably considered able to make an informed decision.

6 Commercial Products
No C&TH journalist or freelance primarily associated with C&TH should endorse commercial products unless with the express permission of their head of department or managing editor. Neither should they be involved in producing advertisement features (advertorials).

7 Commissioning
C&TH supports good commissioning practice, including fair treatment of freelancers.

8 Confidentiality
Editors with access to personal information relating to other members of staff are required to treat such information as confidential, and not disclose it to anyone except in the course of discharging formal responsibilities.

9 Copyright
Journalists should not use content from non-authorised third-party sources – whether pictures, text or other media – without obtaining the necessary permissions.

10 Credits
Staff must not reproduce other people’s material without attribution. The source of published material obtained from another organisation should be acknowledged, including quotes taken from other newspaper articles. Bylines should be carried only on material that is substantially the work of the bylined journalist. If an article contains a significant amount of agency copy then the agency should be credited.

11 Declarations of Interest
It is always necessary to declare an interest when the journalist is writing about something with which they have a significant connection. This applies to both staff journalists and freelances. The declaration should be to a head of department or editor during preparation. Full transparency may mean that the declaration should appear in print and on the website.

12 Direct Quotations
Should not be changed to alter their context or meaning.

13 Errors
It is the policy of C&TH to correct significant errors as soon as possible. Journalists have a duty to cooperate frankly and openly with C&TH and to report errors to them.

14 External Assistance
Journalists should not engage the paid services of external non-journalistic agents or assistants without the prior knowledge and approval of the editorial director.

15 Freelance Work
We understand that our talented journalists may want to undertake additional paid for editorial and/or commercial work. This may be undertaken with the consent of the Editorial Director or the Online Content Director in writing, but may not be undertaken during working hours or be a conflict of interest (i.e. byline credits for a competitor).

16 Gift Policy
A gift which comes to an employee of Country & Town House is considered a gift to the company, not to the individual. Perishable goods like flowers and artisanal foods and products that are being reviewed by individuals must be first reviewed and where feasible, be shared with the rest of the company. Employees are forbidden from soliciting gifts. The management of the company shall decide upon the disposition of any gifts. Giving the gifts to charity or selling them in order to raise money for a charitable cause is encouraged. There is a gift cupboard in the editorial department and editorial staff only allow products for review when they are relevant to C&TH.

17 Interaction with Readers
Our most important relationship is the one we have with our readers and online audience. Being polite and courteous applies whether an exchange takes place in person, by telephone, letter, email or social media.

18 Outside Engagements or Duties
C&TH accepts the journalist’s right to a private life and the right to take part in civic society. However, staff should inform their immediate editor if, in their capacity as an employee, they intend to:

Chair public forums or seminars arranged by professional conference organisers or commercial organisations

Undertake any outside employment likely to conflict with their professional duties

Chair public or political forums or appear on platforms

19 Press Trips
We do partake of press trips in order to review hotels, events and restaurants but do not guarantee bias in review. Should we not believe that the experience is up to the quality standards upheld by Country & Town House, confidential feedback is given to the client direct. We do not post false reviews. We also choose our trips according to our press trip policy of judging a trip depending on our criteria, and we track and monitor press trip travel carbon footprint.

Except in some areas of travel writing it should never need to be the case that the journalist’s partner, family or friends are included in any free arrangement. When a partner, family member or friend accompanies the journalist on a trip, the additional costs should generally be paid for by the journalist or person accompanying the journalist.

20 Professional Discounts
Some designers and retailers offer a discount to their professional associates, commonly called a ‘trade discount’. Employees are permitted to accept a normal professional discount if it is offered, provided that it is not offered in order to obtain a business advantage or in exchange for favours or benefits. The discount must be offered openly, not secretly. An employee may not purchase an item using a trade discount with the intention of reselling it at a profit.