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COVID-19 | Note on responsible reporting

  • To publishers, please remember the importance of reporting responsibly on issues of public health.

  • To members of the public, if you would like information on how to issue a complaint regarding a publication regulated by IMPRESS, please visit our Complaints page.

  • More information and resources

See below information on standards code clauses on accuracy, discrimination and privacy. For more information about these and other IMPRESS Standards Code clauses, please visit impress.press/standards

Accuracy

1.1. Publishers must take all reasonable steps to ensure accuracy.

1.2. Publishers must correct any significant inaccuracy with due prominence, which should normally be equal prominence, at the earliest opportunity.

1.3. Publishers must always distinguish clearly between statements of fact, conjecture and opinion.

1.4. Whilst free to be partisan, publishers must not misrepresent or distort the facts.

Discrimination

4.1. Publishers must not make prejudicial or pejorative reference to a person on the basis of that person’s age, disability, mental health, gender reassignment or identity, marital or civil partnership status, pregnancy, race, religion, sex or sexual orientation or another characteristic that makes that person vulnerable to discrimination.

4.2. Publishers must not refer to a person’s disability, mental health, gender reassignment or identity, pregnancy, race, religion or sexual orientation unless this characteristic is relevant to the story.

4.3. Publishers must not incite hatred against any group on the basis of that group’s age, disability, mental health, gender reassignment or identity, marital or civil partnership status, pregnancy, race, religion, sex or sexual orientation or another characteristic that makes that group vulnerable to discrimination. 

Privacy

7.1 Except where justified by the public interest, publishers must respect people’s reasonable expectation of privacy (…)

7.2 Except where justified by the public interest, publishers must:

a) Not use covert means to gain or record information;

b) Respect privacy settings when reporting on social media content; and

c) Take all reasonable steps not to exacerbate grief or distress through intrusive newsgathering or reporting.

 

More information and resources

Standards

For more information about IMPRESS Standards Code clauses please visit impress.press/standards. You can also download the IMPRESS Standards Code and the Guidance on the IMPRESS Standards Code.

Whistleblowing hotline

If you work for a news publication and you believe your employer (editor, line manager or other person) is involved in wrongdoing or is encouraging you or others in your workplace to commit unethical or unlawful practices, and you want to report it confidentially, you can contact our whistleblowing hotline run by Protect on 0800 221 8548 at any time.

More on Whistleblowing.

Advisory notices

If you are experiencing press intrusion, you may make a request to IMPRESS to issue an Advisory Notice to its publishers to give warning or advice about unwelcome press intrusion. We will also consider requests to issue Advisory Notices to publishers that IMPRESS does not regulate, or to request that other regulators issue Advisory Notices.

More on Advisory Notices.