IPSO launches public consultation on draft guidance on the reporting of sex and gender identity

IPSO – the Independent Press Standards Organisation – is seeking views on its new guidance on the reporting of sex and gender identity.  

IPSO is seeking views on new draft guidance on reporting of sex and gender identity  

  • The draft uses case studies to illustrate how the Editors’ Code of Practice – the framework by which IPSO regulates the press – applies to this complex reporting area.
  • Developing and publishing guidance is one way that IPSO supports editors and journalists to raise editorial standards. It is not mandatory.  

IPSO – the Independent Press Standards Organisation – is seeking views on its new guidance on the reporting of sex and gender identity.  

In developing this draft, IPSO has carried out a significant programme of engagement with editors, with IPSO committees and advisory groups, and others who expressed a wide range of views on the reporting of gender identity and sex.  

This guidance is not mandatory but is intended to support editors and journalists to improve the quality of editorial decision-making.  

The consultation is open to members of the public, journalists, experts, and anyone with an interest in reporting of this subject. It will last four weeks, ending at midday on Friday 10 March, 2023. 

Jane Debois, Head of Standards and Regulation at IPSO, said:  

“Sex and gender identity regularly features in the UK press and this non-binding guidance is intended to help understand how the Editors’ Code of Practice is applied in this area of reporting.   

“Over the past nine months we have carried out extensive engagement with a wide range of interested groups, journalists, and publishers. The outcome is draft guidance designed to be a part of an editorial toolkit to support the decision-making process on stories about sex and gender identity. Like other IPSO guidance, its aim is to advise, not to prescribe, define, or limit choices made by journalists and editors.  

“Most complaints to IPSO relate to accuracy (Clause 1). In this guidance, we have identified key themes to help editors navigate topics relating to the reporting of sex and gender identity. The guidance strikes a balance between freedom of expression and the rights of the individual not to face discrimination and intrusion.  

“We are seeking views from people interested in this area to ensure we have the widest spectrum of opinion on the draft.” 

IPSO regulation is an indicator of quality and accountable journalism. This draft guidance will help regulated publishers to maintain and demonstrate their value to the public, in print and online.  

Notes to editors: 

For more information, please contact John Davidson, Head of Communications, john.davidson@ipso.co.uk  

The consultation document on the draft guidance on the Reporting of Sex and Gender Identity can be found here.

The draft guidance is here.  

About IPSO: 

Since 2014, the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO) has built an unparalleled understanding of editorial processes and gained unique insight into the concerns of the public about journalistic practice. IPSO is the independent regulator of most newspapers, magazines and associated news websites in the UK.  

We investigate and resolve complaints about alleged breaches of the Editors’ Code of Practice, the rules to which IPSO-regulated publications agree to adhere. We monitor editorial standards and intervene where standards issues are identified. We also operate an arbitration scheme for legal claims against some titles we regulate, including the regulated national newspaper. 

Our regulated publishers can use the IPSO mark as a simple visual symbol to demonstrate that their journalism is regulated and distinguishable from other content. 

Recent guidance and information from the public from IPSO:  

Independent regulation by IPSO is a mark of credible and accountable journalism.