IPSO launches

New newspaper and magazine industry regulator opens for business

The newspaper industry regulator the Press Complaints Commission (PCC) has been replaced by the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO). IPSO’s temporary website went live on Monday 8 September.

IPSO says it has been established “to promote and uphold the highest professional standards of journalism in the UK, and to support members of the public in seeking redress where they believe that the Editors’ Code of Practice has been breached”. It administers the Editors’ Code of Practice, which remains unchanged from the version used by the PCC.

It will handle complaints relating to breaches of the Code and to the conduct of journalists, and it will undertake monitoring work. IPSO also says it will have the power “to require the publication of prominent corrections and critical adjudications, and may ultimately fine publications in cases where failings are particularly serious and systemic”. Its services are free.

The Chairman of IPSO is Sir Alan Moses, former Lord Justice of Appeal. He chairs both the Board of Directors and the Complaints Committee. The Board has 12 members, 7 who are independent and have no connection with the newspaper and magazine industry, and 5 who represent the industry. There is a separate 12-member Complaints Committee. Complaints may be made online, by email or by post, and the site also sets out how to seek help to deal with harassment or to obtain advice prior to the publication of a story.

Newspaper and magazine groups including News UK, Associated Newspapers Ltd, Mirror Group Newspapers and the Telegraph Media Group have backed the new body. Other publishers including Guardian Media Group, Independent News and Media, and Financial Times Ltd have not joined. The Financial Times has appointed its own independent Complaints Commissioner, and the Guardian is shortly to publish details of its own new system for dealing with complaints.