How Press Covers Courts, Deaths & Social Media: UK Regulator Offers Guidance for Public - iMediaEthics

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The UK press regulator, the Independent Press Standards Organisation, wants the public to be “more confident in engaging with the press,” so the regulator has released new explanations for the average reader about how the press does it job.

Specifically, IPSO released three “information sheets” as part of a “new series.” The new guidance published Jan. 12 addresses how the press reports on courts, deaths,  inquests and social media.

iMediaEthics has written to IPSO to ask about future guidance; an IPSO spokesperson said there isn’t a schedule yet but there will be more sheets released in 2018. Some highlights from the information sheets:


Court Reporting

  • Journalists can report on court proceedings including photos and addresses of people giving evidence
  • Information from court can be republished in a variety of news outlets
  • Journalists aren’t required to publish everything or every day from a court case
  • People might be photographed leaving court
  • Journalists can’t ID sexual assault victims and people who are unrelated to convicted criminals unless it’s in the public interest.



  • Journalists can report on anything from an inquest into a death
  • Journalists should be sympathetic and shouldn’t be the ones to tell a family member about a death
  • Journalists don’t need to include everything in reporting on a suicide

Social Media:

  • Anything posted on social media can be seen if it isn’t protected by privacy settings. And if, there aren’t privacy settings, journalists can publish information from social media even if someone else posted it about you.
  • Information about children or sexual offense victims shouldn’t be published without permission
  • Screenshots of even deleted social media posts may be published
  • Journalists can’t identify sex crime victims without consent from victims
  • Journalists can and do use social media to fact check or get in contact

UPDATED: 1/15/2018 11:27 AM EST 

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How Press Covers Courts, Deaths & Social Media: UK Regulator Offers Guidance for Public

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