Editorial standards monitoring

We monitor the complaints we receive and wider concerns about press coverage of particular issues to identify themes in editorial standards. We use this to monitor trends and, where necessary, to take targeted action to address issues of concern in a proportionate way, ideally at an early stage. The ongoing monitoring of standards themes is vital to ensuring that IPSO remains aware of any potential issues and is able to respond appropriately.

In complaints monitoring, IPSO looks at a sample of all complaints closed in a particular quarter. The sample includes the following:

  • all complaints considered by IPSO’s Complaints Committee
  • all complaints where IPSO mediated a resolution between the complainant and publication
  • all complaints resolved directly between the complainant and publication without IPSO involvement
  • all third party complaints which suggest a concern about editorial standards.

This sampling approach allows IPSO to gather a rich and robust body of evidence to help it to understand editorial standards. The sample is analysed and then reviewed by members of IPSO’s Liaison Committee, which brings together members of IPSO’s Board and Complaints Committee, and reports into IPSO’s Board. This means that some of the themes identified below relate to complaints where there was no decision on whether the complaint was a breach of the Code.

This information is currently published on a yearly basis in IPSO’s annual report, but for greater transparency, we will now be publishing excerpts from this analysis quarterly. The information will be presented on a broad thematic level to protect the confidentiality of the complaints process; for the same reason, reference to some complaints and/or issues may be withheld.

The tables below give a high-level indication of the issues we are currently reviewing. They are not intended to be exhaustive, for example, they may not reflect IPSO’s regular programme of interventions in relation to small-scale or one-off standards concerns.