IPSO Blog: 2021 Annual Statements

Head of Standards and Regulation Jane Debois explains how IPSO monitors publisher compliance through the annual statements process

It’s that time of the year again, Annual Statements!

Each year IPSO writes to all publishers within our diverse regulated membership, asking each to report on their compliance processes and approach to ensuring editorial standards.

As our longstanding regulated publishers know (having reported for the past 8 years), annual statements must cover a publisher’s approach to editorial standards; complaints-handling processes; training processes and record on compliance, including details of any complaints that have been upheld by IPSO’s Complaints Committee within the relevant period.

This year publishers must complete and submit their statements covering the period 1 January to 31 December 2021 by 7 April 2022.

What is the purpose of the annual statement?

IPSO’s mission is to uphold the highest professional standards in journalism for the UK press. Annual statements represent one way in which IPSO can acquire the information necessary to act as an effective, independent regulator and monitor press standards.

The statements evidence the steps taken by each publisher to meet journalistic standards and what steps publishers take to address gaps when those standards have not been met.

Once received, statements are assessed by the following criteria:

  • Whether the name and contact details of the publisher’s responsible person has been provided
  • Whether all titles/products have been listed
  • Whether an overview of the nature of the publisher has been provided
  • Copies of any internal manuals, codes or guidance used by journalists of the publisher
  • Brief details of the compliance process, including how the publisher deals with compliance with the Editors’ Code, any upheld complaints and steps taken to address these, and training of staff.

What are the next steps?

All statements are published on our website (with confidential information redacted) as part of our commitment to transparency.

Information provided from this year’s annual statements will feed into our wider standards monitoring and engagement work. 

Thank you to our publishers who have already submitted their annual statements and I look forward to receiving and reviewing the rest of the statements.

As always please do contact the Standards Team if you have any questions regarding the annual statement process on 0300 123 2220 or rosemary.douce@ipso.co.uk