Do you have experience or information on how press standards could be improved? This is an opportunity for readers and individuals to have a say on and help shape and improve press standards. IMPRESS is seeking evidence on seven key themes: journalism online, discrimination, harassment, accuracy, fairness, children and public safety. This call for evidence closes on 26 February 2021. 

This process intends to collect information for the ongoing review of the IMPRESS STANDARDS CODE which is the set of rules by which IMPRESS regulates the news gathering activities and published material of regulated publications that include You can help draft a revised set of rules so that the rules continue to be relevant and fit for purpose in the changing world we live in.

Who can take part in this call for evidence? 

Any individual or organisation can participate, whether you have a direct interest in journalism or not. Taking part in the call for evidence is easy and accessible, through an online form. You may visit the IMPRESS website for details about the process.

The Themes

1. Journalism online

Whether the Code reflects the realities of news gathering and publication online, with particular focus on Artificial Intelligence (AI), data and open source journalism; the use of social media accounts, groups and pages and whether the Code is applicable to different kinds of news providers, including non-professional and citizen journalists.

2. Discrimination

Whether Clause 4 of the Code is fit for purpose, and adequately reflects how discrimination is experienced by those with protected characteristics, particularly in an online context. Specifically whether the discrimination standard adequately addresses the degree, manner, and extent to which journalism practices impact on discrimination in society and whether they sufficiently reflect the relationship between discrimination and other clauses of the Code such as accuracy, privacy, and harassment.

3. Harassment

Whether the Code reflects how journalists gather information, approach individuals and organisations for stories and comment, engage with audiences and readers and address and deal with threats, abuse, and intimidation when it is experienced by employees and contributors.  Whether the Code takes sufficient account of the speed, delivery, and the emotional tone of journalism online and how that mode exacerbates online harassment, hate speech and any subsequent harm.

4. Accuracy

Whether the Code embodies best practice around signaling news content, the use and placement of corrections, and clarifications (for example, practices around labelling, positioning and transparency), the conflation of fact and opinion and the use of click-bait headlines. Whether the Code embodies best practice for testing veracity, verifiability and robust news gathering, particularly online.

5. Fairness

Whether the Code sufficiently addresses standards of fairness within newsgathering practice, such as dealing fairly with those reported on and avoiding misrepresentation with respect to comment.

6. Children

Whether the Code is aligned with best practice with respect to informed consent and information gathering on matters affecting children.

7. Public safety

Whether the Code adequately addresses matters that impact on public and community safety, such as terrorism, domestic violence, and public health.

About IMPRESS and its Standards Code

The IMPRESS Standards Code sets out the rules by which IMPRESS regulates the news gathering activities and published material of regulated publications. IMPRESS can accept complaints, investigate, and adjudicate on matters relevant to the Code. The code was first launched in 2017 after extensive research and consultation. 

Taking part: Getting in touch with IMPRESS

If you’d like to get in touch with IMPRESS about the code review, please email

Making a Submission

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