Making a complaint

Find our more about how to make a complaint to IPSO and our complaints process

An illustration shows a woman writing a complaint while referring to a newspaper laid out in front of her.

All members regulated by IPSO have agreed to follow our Editors’ Code of Practice, which sets the framework for the highest professional standards.

You should receive a formal acknowledgement of your complaint within 3 working days.  If you have not heard further from us by then please email with the basic details of your complaint so that we can check our records.


How does the process work?

We consider complaints about newspapers or magazines (and their websites) which are members of IPSO.

We deal with complaints about editorial material in publications.

This includes:
- articles
- images and videos
- readers’ letters
- user comments on websites which the publication has moderated
- the behaviour of journalists.

Make a complaint

All complaints need to be made in writing via IPSO's Complaints form. If you are not able to use the Complaints form, we can accept complaints via post or by email. With your complaint you should include a copy of, or link to the article, details of the publication and an explanation of how the Editors' Code has been breached.

Initial assessment

IPSO complaints staff assess every complaint received. If the complaint is outside of remit, or raises no possible breach of the Code complainants receive an email/letter explaining why IPSO cannot take the complaint forward (this decision is subject to Committee review).
Complaints that are within remit and raise a possible breach of the Code progress to the next step.

Referral to the publication

The complaint is passed to the publication so that they might, if possible, resolve the matter directly. The default time period for this stage is 28-days, but this can be shorter if you and the publication find you are not making any progress, IPSO closes the complaint and it does not progress further. If the matter is not resolved, the complaint progresses to the next step. If the complainant and publication have already engaged in correspondence prior to the IPSO complaint being made, without reaching resolution, your complaint may skip this stage.


An IPSO complaints officer will gather the information they consider the Complaints Committee will need to reach a decision, by asking both parties questions. All correspondence goes through IPSO at this stage. It is still possible for the complainant and publication to reach a resolution at this stage with IPSO mediation, if the complaint is resolved during the investigation, a resolution statement will be published on IPSO’s website. If the complaint is not resolved, it progresses to the next stage.

Complaints Committee decision

The Committee will either consider a decision via correspondence, or at a meeting. If a complaint is upheld, the Committee may decide on one of the following outcomes: that there should be no further action, as the breach has already been remedied; that a correction should be published; or that an adjudication (a short judgement that sets out our findings) should be published.

Independent Review

Either party to the complaint can request a review of any Complaints Committee decision within 14 days of it being issued. If an Independent Review is upheld, the Reviewer may ask the Committee to reconsider its decision.


At the end of the process, any remedial action required must be taken by the publication. Once this is done the Complaints Committee's decision is published on our website.

When to make a complaint

An illustration of a man reading a newspaper. He has a cloud above his head indicating his annoyance.

A newspaper may have printed something you believe to be inaccurate

Complaints FAQs

An article in a newspaper or magazine is about you and you are not happy with all of the details provided

Complaints form
An illustration shows a woman writing a complaint while referring to a newspaper laid out in front of her.

A magazine article about your child provides private medical information

Complaints form