Annual statements 2017 - two weeks to go!

In January, we wrote to publishers asking them to submit their annual statements by Friday 16 March. These statements will cover the period 1 January to 31 December 2017.

The statements are always published on our website and  are a very public statement, in a publisher’s own words, of the steps they take to meet journalistic standards and what they do when they don’t meet those standards.

They include information about how publishers approach editorial standards; complaints-handling processes; training processes and their record on compliance, including details of what they have done in relation to complaints upheld by our Complaints Committee.

What does a good statement look like?

Good statements show a strong commitment to editorial standards and reflect the uniqueness of the publisher.

All of the statements published on our website meet the required standards – but with considerable variety about how they do so.

This uniqueness is important because each of the publishers we regulate is different. There is no ‘one way’ of producing a statement or meeting the requirements.

Some publisher’s statements speak strongly about how they learn from adverse adjudications issued by IPSO. Independent News & Media for example, improved communication between UK and Irish offices to make senior staff on both sides of the border aware of the potential legal or regulatory issues in the content of shared stories.

Trinity Mirror’s 2016 statement is one of many to talk eloquently about their approach to training of staff and MNA’s statement includes a multiple choice quiz given to all journalists.

Some statements such as the one from Congleton Chronicle show a unique editorial voice; a number give good insight into editorial decision making, such as the procedures followed within a publisher to verify a story – this statement from Veterinary Business is a great example.

We’ve already received over twenty statements from publishers we regulate for the most recent period. I know that other publishers are currently beavering away and we look forward to receiving their statement.

As always, the Standards team remains available to answer any questions that publishers or the public might have about the annual statements. You can reach us via or 0300 123 2220.