IPSO Blog: Update on IPSO’s Covid-19 reporting monitor and services

Communications & Public Affairs Officer Hanno Fenech shares updates on IPSO’s Covid-19 monitoring and case studies and reviews the services available to complainants during the UK’s third national lockdown. 

A year on since the first confirmed case of Covid-19 arrived in the UK, the coronavirus pandemic continues to alter our everyday lives. From the beginning of the pandemic, newspapers, magazines and online publications have played an important role breaking and analysing news while delivering regulated, accountable journalism concerning the virus and its impacts.  

As the independent regulator of the majority of newspapers and magazines in the UK, IPSO has been monitoring news coverage specifically relating to Covid-19; identifying trends and publishing case studies on complaints received about reporting the pandemic. These can now be found on the IPSO Coronavirus Case Studies webpage.  

While all IPSO rulings are publicly available (link), we have gathered together all rulings related to Covid in one place, so that the public can understand exactly what action has been taken about complaints. Alongside each case study, we include key Editors’ Code considerations, to support editors and journalists writing about Covid to comply with the standards set out in the Code.

Major themes identified in the case studies include the accurate reporting of statistics and graphs and the differentiation of comment and opinion pieces from factual public health advice. For more, see the full list of rulings and check IPSO’s twitter feed for regular updates and analysis.  

IPSO also continues to offer information and advice for the public on responding to Covid-19. As high-profile events like regional and national lockdowns continue to develop, IPSO offers advice on how the press may respond to major incidents and, as ever, provides a 24-7 emergency hotline for those who are worried about potential press intrusion.