IPSO looks carefully across every complaint it receives (more than 14,000 last year) to see if there are any trends or themes in editorial standards that indicate that targeted action by IPSO is needed.
We also consider seriously other concerns that are raised with us and aim to ensure that action we take is appropriate and proportionate to the issues raised. For example, we recently issued guidance on publishing information taken from social media after we identified a pattern of complaints from the public and concerns from journalists on that topic.
For the most serious concerns, IPSO is able to launch a standards investigation, which is conducted by a specialist team. The circumstances in which IPSO may launch such an investigation are set out in our regulations. Those situations include instances in which IPSO’s Board reasonably considers that there may have been serious and systemic breaches of the Editors’ Code; where there has been one or more failure to comply with the requirements of the Regulator’s Board; and where the Regulator reasonably considers that an investigation is desirable because of substantial legal issues or Editors’ Code compliance issues. Ultimately, the decision about whether to launch a standards investigation must be taken by IPSO’s Board.
We acknowledge the concerns that this petition has raised. Should IPSO’s Board decide to launch a standards investigation on this or any subject, this would be made public, in accordance with IPSO’s commitment to transparency. At this time, no such decision has been taken.
IPSO has a robust process in place to manage any potential conflicts of interest that might arise in relation to the handling of complaints or broader standards concerns. Trevor Kavanagh will have no involvement in the consideration or handling of the concerns raised about The Sun.
We will continue to take action to address editorial standards as appropriate. We keep under review all matters of relevance to press regulation and are grateful for the NUJ’s input on this and other subjects.