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Change to the Editors’ Code of Practice

Posted on: June 21, 2019 by Mariella Brown

Changes were announced to the Editors’ Code of Practice on 19 June 2019. The Code is to be revised to strengthen the protection for victims of sexual assault, under Clause 11. 

The Committee released the following statement: 

The Editors’ Code of Practice, under which the vast majority of Britain’s newspaper, magazine and news website journalists work, is to be revised to further strengthen protection for victims of sexual assault.

Clause 11 (Victims of sexual assault) has been expanded to make clear that it applies to newsgathering as well as publication. The revised clause – with changes in [italics] – will read:

11. Victims of sexual assault

The press must not identify or publish material likely to lead to the identification of a victim of sexual assault unless there is adequate justification and they are legally free to do so. Journalists are entitled
to make enquiries but must take care and exercise discretion to avoid the unjustified disclosure of the identity of a victim of sexual assault.

The change comes into effect on July 1, 2019.

Download the Committee’s press release in full here. 

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