IPSO Blog: Representing Readers’ Views

In her first blog since taking up the role, new Head of Standards and Regulation Jane DeBois discusses the impact of IPSO’s Readers’ Advisory Panel and explains how you can get involved as we recruit new panelists.

The Reader’s Advisory Panel (RAP) are a diverse group of newspaper and magazine readers with no regulatory or editorial experience. One previous panel member described it as: “a group of readers expressing their thoughts on documents that will help raise press standards and provide information to the public on relevant issues, a very worthwhile experience”.

The most recent meeting, which was also the final meeting of this group of panelists, has just taken place. It seemed like a good opportunity to review the topics that have been discussed at each meeting since 2017 and the guidance, information leaflets and processes that the RAP have contributed to. Highlights noted by the group include:

The panel’s useful contributions have helped IPSO provide six pieces of information for the public that that are easy to read and understand. They have reminded us of the importance of not using “legalese” or regulatory terminology, helping to make sure our public information is high quality and accessible.

We have valued the different perspectives our panelists bring, and diversity of thought and background is an essential part of the panel.

Sadly, we have had to say goodbye to our current group of panelists as their two-year terms have come to an end. We would like to thank all of them for the time, contributions and opinions that have fed into our work and processes. We have thoroughly enjoyed working with you!

It is important that our panelists are refreshed every two years to ensure the objectivity of the views expressed and avoid them becoming overly-familiar with regulatory processes. We are currently recruiting new members, so if you read newspapers and magazines and have an interest in how they are regulated, why not apply?

We are looking for people of all ages and backgrounds, especially if you have not thought of working with a regulator in the past. IPSO is keen to have greater diversity in those involved in its work and applications are encouraged from communities and demographics that are often less well-represented in regulators.

Members will be paid £200 per meeting which typically lasts 2.5 hours. Meetings are currently held via Zoom but will take place in IPSO’s London office when circumstances allow. Travel expenses will be paid and we encourage applicants from all over the UK.

You will have the opportunity to provide opinions on topical discussions, view and comment on IPSO guidance and information and the Editors’ Code of Practice, and share your views and understanding of journalism.

If you are a newspaper/magazine reader who has opinions on what is written and why, can commit to 6 meetings over 2 years, and have a willingness to engage and communicate, then we want to hear from you! More information on how to apply here