The ABC Grassroots Certificate is designed to audit smaller rural, township and neighbourhood publications that cannot afford the costs associated with full ABC membership.
The certificate will confirm print orders, methods of distribution, and frequency of publication, but not actual circulation.
Grassroots newspapers that apply for certification will instead be required to provide the ABC with invoices from their printers confirming the exact print run and frequency of each of their publications over the preceding six-month period. They will also file details of whether their publications are sold or free, and how they are distributed.
The resulting certificate will be valid for six (6) months. Only publications that abide by both Press Ombudsman and Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) codes are eligible for the new certificate.
This new certificate gives smaller publishers the tools to compete for that advertising on a more even footing.
THE BENEFITS OF AN ABC GRASSROOTS CERTIFICATE
The ABC Certificate allows the publisher to sell advertising space based on certified information.
The ABC Certificate gives the advertiser comfort regarding the information claimed by the publisher
The information is certified by an independent authority with no affiliation, recognised by the industry as providing a true measure.
The certificate will elevate the status of the publication in the eyes of the advertiser.
The publisher will be expected to abide by a code of conduct, benefiting both themselves and the advertiser. The certificate holder may display the ABC Grassroots logo in his/her publication.
The ABC will forward the most recently updated list of Grassroots certificate holders to CAPRO.
CODE OF CONDUCT FOR GRASSROOTS PUBLISHERS
1. To act, at all times, with the utmost good faith.
2. To ensure that the information provided to the ABC is in no way inaccurate, misleading or distorted.
3. To respect the trademarks and copyrights of other members.
4. To promote and sell space on the merits of the member’s own title, and not use promotion or selling methods that disparage other members or titles.
5. To deal honestly and fairly with advertisers and suppliers.
Any publisher be found guilty by the Board of the ABC of breaching the code of conduct will be expelled from the ABC and all other members will be informed accordingly.
Registration with the ABC; this entails a payment of the required fee and submission of a copy of the publication. Brief description of the publications Publication Calenda Selling price (if any)
Registration with the ABC; this entails a payment of the required fee and submission of a copy of the publication.
1. Brief description of the publications
2. Publication Calenda
3. Selling price (if any)
Rules for Grassroots Publishers
1. Publishers requesting membership must conform to the requirements for Grassroots publishers. These are:
• Publishers must be independent and free of conglomerate or State ownership;
• The publication must be launched prior to application;
• The publication must be in a printed format;
• The publisher must subscribe to the Press Council’s Code;
• The publisher must subscribe to the Advertising Standards Authority Code;
• A minimum number of issues must be published depending on the frequency of the publication:
• Weekly Publications:
Must be published a minimum of 18 times in a six month period, with at least 3 issues per month.
• Bi-weekly Publications:
Must be published a minimum of 9 times in a six month period, with at least I issue per month.
• Monthly Publications:
Must be published a minimum of 4 times in a 6 month period.
• Bi-monthly Publications:
Must be published a minimum of 2 times in a 6 month period.
• Quarterly Publications:
Must be published at least 3 times per annum (An annual certificate will be issued).
2. Application for membership must be made by completing and signing the prescribed application form, as well as the questionnaire. Both documents as well as the prescribed fee must be submitted to the ABC offices. A copy of the latest issue must accompany the questionnaire
3. Membership will be granted once the ABC has authenticated the information on the questionnaire.
4. Members are required to adhere to a Code of Conduct. In particular, they agree:
• To act, at all times, with the utmost good faith;
• To ensure that information provided to the ABC is in no way inaccurate, misleading, or distorted;
• To respect the trademarks and copyrights of other members;
• To promote and sell space on the merits of the member’s own title, and not use promotion or selling methods that disparage other members or titles;
• To deal honestly and fairly with advertisers and suppliers.
5. Members may, during the period of membership, display the unaltered ABC Grassroots logo, as well as the latest certified print run on letterheads, publications and promotional material, stating that the figure is a certified print run.
6. If a member resigns, or his membership is terminated, he forfeits all rights in terms of these rules. He may not use the logo. Should a publisher illegally display the logo in a publication whilst not a member, the publisher will be subject to a penalty of R1000, as well as a delay of 1 (one) reporting period before an application for membership will be considered.
7. Membership will be terminated if:
• The member is sequestrated or liquidated;
• The member is held by the Board of Directors of the ABC to have brought the ABC into disrepute;
• The member is held by the Board of Directors of the ABC to have violated the Code of Conduct;
• The member has not submitted the data as required by clause 12, within the stipulated time.
8. A member whose membership has been terminated may re-apply for membership after a period of 6 months. The Board of Directors of the ABC, at its sole discretion, will approve re-instatement, subject to suitable motivation.
9. Members acknowledge and agree that the ABC owns all material existing in the Grassroots Summary Report. Copyright of the Grassroots Certificate vests jointly with the ABC and the member concerned. Copyright of the Grassroots logo vests with the ABC.
10. Submission cycles are the six month periods ended 30 June and 31 December each year
11. The deadline for submission of the completed questionnaires is 31 July (for the period ended 30 June) and 31 January (for the period ended 31 December).A copy of the latest issue of the publication must be submitted.
12. Within one month of the deadline date, the ABC will validate the information, and thereafter issue a certificate, which will be valid for the next 6 months (1 September to 28 February, or 1 March to 31 August).
13. The member agrees to the ABC performing random checks on the information supplied by the member, including direct contact with the printer to obtain a print certificate, and other relevant parties. Should it be established that the information is in any way inaccurate, the certificate will immediately be withdrawn, and all members informed accordingly.
14. Any sanction for submission of inaccurate information will be determined by the Board of Directors of the ABC.
These rules are effective from 30 May 2017, and are applicable to certificates to be issued for periods commencing from 1 January 2017.
Grassroots Members Reports have moved to the Members Area
a. If you are an existing member Login using your ABC credentials
b. If you are not a member follow the instructions below to become a member
To join the ABC click on the Members Area.
1. On the page click “Register”.
2. Once you have created your User Profile you will be directed to the ABC user application form.
3. Select the appropriate application type and follow the instructions.
**Guide to application type**
a. New User
New User for an existing Publisher / Associate Member / Member
b. New Member Application
Membership of other interested parties with more than 1 staff member requiring access.
Your user and the new Member will be registered at the same time.
All new registrations are subject to approval by the ABC. On application the ABC will contact you as soon as your application has been approved. A User manual will be sent to you to assist you in the most effect use of ABC online site.