The head of UK press regulator the Independent Press Standards Organisation wants to investigate Peter Oborne’s claims that the UK Telegraph let advertiser HSBC influence its editorial coverage of the bank, the Guardian reported.
“We haven’t had multiple complaints … we should look at it but we haven’t had the meeting or got in the information that we should have got in,” IPSO chairman Sir Alan Moses said at the Parliament committee of culture, media and sport meeting, according to the Guardian.
As iMediaEthics has reported, Oborne quit as chief political commentator for the Telegraph last month by publishing a column accusing the newspaper of failing to appropriately or adequately cover problems at the bank
The Telegraph denied Oborne’s claims but announced it would establish guidelines for the separation of editorial and business departments. After Oborne’s claims made the rounds in the media, the Telegraph published an article claiming that two suicides at rival media company News UK were caused by work pressure, which prompted further criticism of the newspaper.
IPSO’s Moses commented that Oborne’s claims concern the “fundamental importance of credibility” but noted that “It is very difficult to devise a rule which says ‘you are in breach if you fail to publish something’.”
iMediaEthics is writing to IPSO and the Telegraph for more information. We’ve also reached out to Oborne via Twitter.
IPSO replaced the Press Complaints Commission as the UK media regulator back in September. The PCC couldn’t investigate media issues without a complaint from the public, but IPSO has that power.
UPDATE: 3/2/2015 10:14 AM EST An IPSO spokesperson told iMediaEthics by e-mail:
“The Peter Oborne/Telegraph/HSBC story and the issues it raises about conflicts between editorial and commercial interests will be the subject of an agenda discussion item at the next meeting of the IPSO Board later this month. Sir Alan has said on the record that he would welcome information from journalists or publishers (including the Telegraph itself) which might inform this discussion.”
However, “There is no formal IPSO investigation or review at this point, on this topic.”