IPSO Blog: Media literacy and the IPSO Mark

Senior Policy & Communications Officer Hanno Fenech explains IPSO's work to raise media literacy and promote The IPSO Mark.

Promoting media literacy is an important part of IPSO’s work. Every day, the public have access to thousands of articles from diverse publications and websites. Each of us is free to choose which articles we read, publications we subscribe to, and news websites we visit. But not every news publisher, blogger, social media poster or newspaper is bound to uphold the editorial standards enshrined in the Editors’ Code of Practice. 

Publishers regulated by IPSO have committed themselves to accountability and independent scrutiny under the rules of the Code, including protecting privacy, accurate reporting and, where mistakes are made, publishing corrections and amendments swiftly in redress. 

“Media literacy” has an expansive definition but can simply refer to an individual’s ability to access and evaluate media, and to understand why and how subjects are reported. The digital age has made it easier than ever to create media, meaning media literacy is even more essential as a skill for news readers. 

In the past 18 months of the Covid-19 pandemic, it has been more important than ever to distinguish quality, accountable journalism and public health messaging from the unregulated, unaccountable mass of information circulating on social media. Media literacy has proved an indispensable tool in the ongoing battle against fake news, dangerous conspiracy theories and faulty information (for more on this, see IPSO’s Covid Report).   

IPSO works to raise media literacy in many ways. Our IPSO Mark helps the public to distinguish regulated, accountable news. Launched in 2017, it is a visual signifier of news publishers’ commitment to upholding the highest editorial standards. All IPSO-regulated national news publishers display the Mark in print and online, and many regional, local and online-only publications utilise it to distinguish their products. 

IPSO will continue to support the public to have appropriate levels of knowledge in order to make informed decisions about what sorts of news they access by making it as easy as possible to recognise regulated, curated content. 

By enforcing and upholding high standards at regulated news publishers, and distinguishing them with the Mark, IPSO continues to foster the critical dialogue between the press and the public that supports wider media literacy in the UK.   

Find out if your newspaper, magazine or news website is accountable to the Editors’ Code on the list of IPSO-member publications here.   

See here for more on The IPSO Mark. 

Originally published 10 December 2021