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IPSO launches reporting on major incidents guidelines

Posted on: June 25, 2019 by Mariella Brown

The Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO) has issued new guidelines to the press for reporting major incidents.

The Society of Editors, while not endorsing the guidelines, welcomes the recommendations as a topic for discussion by the media following the Kerslake Report into the Manchester Arena bombing outrage in 2017.

The Society is happy to pass on the guidelines to its members and media contacts for their consideration but acknowledges that all publishers and media organisations must make their own decisions on the validity of the contents. 

A summary of the key points, issued by IPSO, is available below: 

  • There is a public interest in the reporting of major incidents, to inform the public of what has happened and over time allow the public to make sense of those events
  • Legitimate reporting of major incidents will often include approaches to individuals who have witnessed or been otherwise affected by the events; the Code does not seek to prevent this.
  • Journalists must approach individuals caught up in these incidents, or affected family and friends, with sensitivity and sympathy
  • Journalists must take care to distinguish between claims and facts when reporting on major incidents
  • Journalists must take particular care in relation to any content about a major incident which involves children, considering carefully how to avoid unnecessary intrusion

To read the full guidelines click here

Along with guidance for journalists, IPSO’s new release is accompanied by information for the public which is available to read via this link

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