IPSO Blog: Raising standards through training

Head of Complaints Bianca Strohmann on the training we offer to our members – and how publishers can access this free of charge.

IPSO doesn’t just deal with complaints. We have a broader commitment to improve press standards. An important part of this is assisting our member publications in ensuring that they comply with the Editors’ Code, and that they are able to deal effectively with complaints if things do go wrong. 

As part of this, we offer training to all of our member publishers – big and small! This is a joint initiative between our Standards and Complaints teams and senior members of staff have been visiting newsrooms up and down the country to provide bespoke newsroom training for a wide range of publishers. 

Our training offer provides more information about IPSO, explains our complaints process, and how publishers can cooperate with this, including tips on how to resolve complaints. We also explain key decisions by the Complaints Committee, so that editors and journalists can understand how IPSO approaches difficult issues 

We can also offer specialised training, focussing on particular Clauses of the Code, or rulings that the publication thinks are interesting and relevant to their work – whatever amount of training a newsroom requires. 

Recently, we have been to visit a number of regional papers, usually training all of their staff in two sessions across one or two days. We have also provided six weeks’ of training for a national publisher, speaking to their entire newsroom across the sessions. 

Following a successful training session at the Shropshire Star its Editor Martin Wright commented: 

“Since IPSO was established, the way in which complaints are handled has changed comprehensively and our approach is now much more consistent and professional. 

However, the Editors’ Code, guidance from IPSO and indeed journalism itself is constantly evolving. To have the opportunity to ask questions of two senior figures from IPSO was extremely valuable and the feedback from those who attended was overwhelmingly positive. 

For IPSO to offer this sort of service to publishers – free of charge it should be noted – shows, I believe, the organisation’s commitment to raising journalistic standards. I would strongly recommend other publishers get in touch and take advantage of this excellent service. “ 

Training is also beneficial for IPSO. We really value hearing from journalists and editors about their experiences of journalism. Our training seminars offer a forum for everyone to share their ideas, and we have had some really interesting discussions about the Code, and real life examples of tricky issues that journalists have had to deal with. 

If you would like IPSO to provide training for your staff, please contact Rosemary Douce, Standards Officer, at rosemary.douce@ipso.co.uk 

Don’t forget we also offer 2- hour non-binding pre-publication advice on the application of the Editors’ Code and guidance on writing about controversial issues for Editors’ and Journalists. During office hours please contact us on 0300 123 22 20 Out of hours please contact 07799 903 929 and leave a message and you will be phoned back. 


Originally published 26 July 2018.