Our editorial policy

Every so often, the LDV team looks at how we do things. We think about how we want to run the site in a way that we can all be comfortable with.

We’ve had a look at our editorial policy and we have agreed to make some changes which reflect our current practice.

We have never aligned ourselves with any supposed wing or faction of the party, which is a good thing as they change all the time. We’ve published a wide range of articles and viewpoints, many of which we personally disagree with, because we want to facilitate debate within the party and with others outside it. That will continue to be the case..

Much is said about free speech. It’s something that we very much value. It also includes our freedom as editors to run the site in a way that fits with our ethos.

Nobody has the right to have anything they want published on LDV or anywhere else. We will judge articles on their merit and decide whether they will be a good fit for us.

There are some issues, though, which go way beyond the normal rough and tumble of political debate.

We’ve always felt a sense of responsibility that our site should stand up for vulnerable people.  We don’t want to contribute to the often toxic atmosphere that is present in much of the media where groups of people, whether they be, for example, social security claimants, immigrants, disabled people, LGBT people, or followers of one religion or another are demonised.

The way those marginalised groups are treated is not consequence free. Whipping up a storm against vulnerable people on the basis of who they are makes it more difficult for them to live their lives freely without fear and damages their life chances. We want no part in that.

So that means that sometimes we either have to pick a side or be part of the problem.  We will do so when we think it necessary to make our site a kinder, progressive place.

Our revised policy reads (with changes in bold):

Lib Dem Voice does not belong to any supposed wing group in the party. It is a neutral platform where the views of all members are welcome, both as articles and comments. The site’s editorial team comprises includes a diverse range of party members, each of whom is free to put forward their own views while maintaining an overall balance of coverage. As a group, we prize freedom of speech and this includes our editorial freedom. 

Nobody, in or out of the party, has a right to be published on LDV. Articles are judged on merit and topicality. 

Articles and comments which may contribute harm to marginalised groups will not be published. We will not allow a toxic atmosphere which fosters prejudice and discrimination. 

There are occasions when people have to pick a side and we will do so when we consider it necessary to make our small bit of the world a kinder, more progressive place. 

 

 

 

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16 Comments

  • Paul Barker 18th Nov '22 - 2:25pm

    Sounds good to me.

  • Massimo Ricciuti 18th Nov '22 - 2:37pm

    Well said. Go on! Best Wishes LDV!

  • Mathew Hulbert 18th Nov '22 - 3:07pm

    Good to see.
    We’re not nor should we be free speech absolutists.
    Hate speech or speech which seeks to belittle others, especially minority communities, should never be acceptable.

  • Looks good to me. There are times when trying to be neutral doesn’t make sense.

  • David Evans 18th Nov '22 - 3:55pm

    I sincerely wish you had chosen to say “we will do so when we consider it necessary to make our small bit of the world a kinder, more liberal place”. The view that everything that is called progressive is kinder is sadly not always true.

  • Zoe O'Connell 18th Nov '22 - 3:58pm

    A welcome move. I wish more people would realise that “free speech” does not equate to the right of the already powerful to demand a platform on whatever medium they desire.

  • Candy Piercy 18th Nov '22 - 6:18pm

    Well said LDV! Very clear and principled.

  • Mick Taylor 18th Nov '22 - 8:13pm

    JS Mill would be proud of you. Freedom of Speech is never an absolute and it’s really time our party made that clear at all levels. Hate speech of any kind or views designed to ferment hatred and prejudice can never be supported. It’s not a time for absolutism.

  • Charley Hasted Charley Hasted 18th Nov '22 - 9:14pm

    As one of the editorial team I’d also like to stress that if anyone is worried they lack the skill or language ability to write for us for any reason please don’t be.

    As someone who is dyslexic and dyspraxic I understand the fear of not being able to express yourself as well as you might want to due to disability or lack of confidence in written English for any reason.

    We judge on merit of your argument and we will work with you to help you craft your article to give it the best reception we can- that’s what editors are for!

  • Andy Boddington 19th Nov '22 - 2:53am

    On some of the days I am lead editor (currently Thursday), I spend almost as much time dealing with comments as I do writing and editing articles. We read every comment, whether pre-moderated or not. We believe in freedom of speech but not the freedom to abuse others in any way. People have the right to live their lives how they wish if that doesn’t cause harm to others. Harm here does not include offending someone’s moral, religious or other values, providing comments are not made in an abusive way. It is not an easy task at times and we have extensive debates among the editorial team about where the line should be drawn.
    But liberal values can only thrive in a tolerant society and we aim to ensure that LDV is a tolerant space for discussion. We won’t publish intolerant articles or comments whether they are by Lib Dem members or others. I am always surprised how many comments we get that don’t come from a Liberal Democrat or liberal perspective.
    As for LDV representing the party, yes and no. We are committed to the Liberal Democrat’s success. But we are not part of the party and reserve the right to challenge the party and take our own line on editorial matters. And that line will never stray from our liberal values.

  • Andy Boddington 19th Nov '22 - 2:56am

    Well said Charley!

  • That’s great. Clear and unambiguous. Thank you

  • Neil Fawcett 19th Nov '22 - 8:18pm

    This looks good to me.

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