IPSO Blog: Five reasons to join

IPSO regulates 86 of the UK’s publishers. Our members include large national newspaper groups, small local online publications, glossy lifestyle magazines and business to business content. And we are growing. Head of Standards Charlotte Urwin explains some of the reasons more and more publishers are joining.

Membership of IPSO is voluntary – publishers are not required to sign up to a press regulator. So when they join IPSO, they are making a public statement about their commitment to editorial standards. They are choosing to allow an external organisation to monitor their compliance with those standards and impose remedial action when they don’t meet them.

But why might a publisher sign up? Here are some key reasons...

1. It’s a quality mark

Members of IPSO are part of the biggest and most recognised written-content regulator in the UK. In the era of fake news and alternative facts, IPSO membership is a statement that editors are willing to be held accountable to another organisation for the editorial content that they produce.  

2. Complaints handling

We have considerable complaints-handling experience and can ensure that complainants and publishers get a fair hearing. Sometimes, particularly in fraught or challenging situations, it can be helpful for IPSO to be involved as a neutral third party mediating between complainant and publisher.

3. The Editors’ Code

When publishers join IPSO, they commit to adhering to the Editors’ Code of Practice, a well-respected and authoritative set of rules about how the press should behave. They also get a say in the development of the Code and the rules and regulations that govern IPSO.

4. Access to guidance and training

Publishers have always been accountable to their readers and the rise of social media means that reader feedback can be almost instantaneous. We draw on our complaints expertise to offer editors and journalists guidance on how they can manage difficult editorial issues. Members can also benefit from guidance on key topics written by IPSO and participate in IPSO member user groups to discuss common challenges.

We’re also developing a training programme to help editors and others to understand their responsibilities in relation to complaints handling and the Editors’ Code and can support members to develop their internal manuals and editorial guidance.

5. Financial journalism

Under the new Market Abuse Regulations, journalists can be exempt from the new Regulatory Technical Standards provided that they are subject to equivalent appropriate regulation. In the UK for most purposes ‘appropriate regulation’ means self-regulation through IPSO.

If you are a publisher and are interested in finding out more about the benefits of IPSO membership, please contact Charlotte Urwin, Head of Standards on 0300 123 2220 or email charlotte.urwin@ipso.co.uk