IPSO Blog: Resources to support journalists

Today we have launched a new page on our website containing resources for journalists.

It features a list of organisations journalists can consult if they require more information when writing about sensitive subjects such as religion, mental health, transgender people and childhood abuse.

We know that journalists often face tight deadlines and this is intended to be a one-stop shop where they can go and easily find relevant information. These resources may help them to to produce rich and varied content and may assist in complying with the Editors’ Code of Practice, particularly relating to the accuracy of their articles. The page includes a brief description of organisations and their contact details, with links to their media guidelines, if applicable.

We have a commitment to press standards which goes beyond complaints handling, and we believe it will be worthwhile to have an up-to-date collection of resources and this is part of our work to support journalists in producing high quality content.

All of the organisations featured recognise the important role the media can have in raising awareness of sensitive subjects which affect so many people in society, and which are widely reported in the media. Some of the key messages these organisations share on their websites or guidance include:

  • Only one in eight cases of child abuse cases are reported to the police or children’s services.
  • Suicide is the biggest killer of young people, both male and female, under 35 in the UK.
  • Two women are murdered by a partner or ex-partner every week.

Organisations like NAPAC (the National Association for People Abused in Childhood), Level Up, Samaritans and PAPYRUS Prevention of Young Suicide have produced their own guidelines aimed at the press. These include advice on how they believe difficult subjects should be best covered, tips for using case studies and discussions about the language used in reports. Many groups have identified terms they would prefer were not used, because they are now considered derogatory or inaccurate, even if they were once considered acceptable and in common usage.

This is not intended to be a comprehensive list of every organisation, so if you are part of a group or charity who would like to be included, please contact Rosemary Douce by email at rosemary.douce@ipso.co.uk or phone 0300 123 2220.