IPSO publishes guidance on due prominence of corrections in digital media

Under the rules of the Editors’ Code of Practice, editors are required to correct breaches of the Code promptly and with due prominence.

This guidance explains how IPSO makes decisions on the prominence with which editors must publish remedies for digital articles or social media posts which fall under a publication’s editorial control. 

Rosemary Douce, Senior Standards Officer said: 

“The guidance on digital due prominence has been developed after extensive outreach to editors and journalists. We called on their experience of applying the Code’s requirement for corrections to be published with due prominence in the context of digital journalism.”

Corrections might appear as a social media post; in a separate clarification and correction page; on a publication’s own webpage as a standalone correction, if there is no separate clarifications page, which may be linked on the homepage or on the homepage itself; or on the original article, either underneath the headline or as a footnote.   

The Chief Executive of IPSO, Charlotte Dewar said:

“The concept is ‘due prominence’ is more complicated to apply to digital journalism than traditional print publication, but one thing has not changed: correcting significantly inaccurate, misleading or distorted information with due prominence is the right thing to do for readers and signifies a publication’s commitment to high editorial standards.”  

While deciding where the correction has to appear in an online article, IPSO’s Complaints Committee may consider its placement based on the seriousness of the breach of the Code, the prominence of the breach within the article, the public interest in remedying the breach, its consequences and any actions taken by the publisher to address the breach of the Code.  

The Committee also considers how long the inaccurate content was accessible, including when the publication was made aware that the information was inaccurate, whether the publication of a standalone or homepage correction is required to bring it to readers’ attention and whether an offer to revise the article was made which the Complaints Committee found to be acceptable among other factors. Where an inaccuracy occurs in a social media post under the control of a publication, a correction is generally required to be published on the same platform to meet the online due prominence requirement.  

To read the full Guidance on Due Prominence in Digital Media, visit:  https://www.ipso.co.uk/media/2457/due-prominence-guidance-v4.pdf

Originally published 24 January 2024