- What is the IMPRESS Standards Code and what does it mean for publishers?
- Who can take part in the Code review?
- Why is the code being reviewed, and what does this mean for IMPRESS’ current standards?
- Why does the process extend into 2022?
- What type of changes to the IMPRESS Standards can we expect as a result of the process? Will the Code change altogether?
The IMPRESS Standards Code sets out the rules by which we regulate the news gathering activities and published material of regulated publications. We can accept complaints, investigate, and adjudicate on matters relevant to the Code; we cannot act on matters that fall outside of the Code. That means publishers must ensure they are complying with all aspects of the Code.
Any individual or organisation can participate, whether you have a direct interest in journalism or not. We all have a stake in the public interest served by high-quality journalism and so should be able to take part in conversations about improving quality and trustworthiness.
From November 2020 to February 2021, we invited individuals and organisations to submit to our open call for evidence on 7 key issues: journalism online, accuracy, harassment, discrimination, public safety, children and fairness. We are now building on the evidence gathered during this process through a series of engagement opportunities, including further research and roundtable discussions to guide the Code Committee when considering revisions to the IMPRESS Standards Code. IMPRESS will hold an open consultation on the new Code when it becomes available, before ultimately issuing a new version of the Code in 2022.
2022 will mark 5 years since the Code was first developed in 2016. Journalism and UK society has changed in that time, not least because of the rise of digital journalism and the public’s changing consumption of news. We want to ensure the Code is up to date and fit for purpose, suited to the changing realities of journalism now and in the future. The existing Code will remain in effect till such time as any revised Code is implemented.
We want to ensure that any changes to the Code follows a robust evidence-led process. The Code Review will undergo various stages of consultation, analysis, drafting and revision. These stages will take time to progress and complete. We anticipate any new revised Code will be launched by 2022.
> What type of changes to the IMPRESS Standards can we expect as a result of the process? Will the Code change altogether?
We are not in a position to comment on whether there will be any changes to the Code. It might be the case that the Code Committee advises there is no case for change. This is the reason we need a robust process informed by evidence. We will update submitters to our Call for Evidence process in due course on any proposed changes to the Code, and invite comment on the proposals during a full consultation at that time.