Press regulator IPSO proposing to largely exempt US-based Mail Online journalists from following the Editors' Code

Press regulator IPSO is proposing that journalists working in overseas bureaus for UK newspaper websites be largely excempt from following the Editors’ Code of Practice.

The proposed move follows pressure from Mail Online after it complained that stories written by journalists based in the US aimed at an international audience should not be covered by the Editors’ Code.

It was on these grounds that Mail Online declined to defend a piece about Tom Cruise’s “bromance” with the founder of the Church of Scientology which was found to be in breach of clause one of the Editors’ Code (accuracy).

IPSO is proposing a change to its rules to state: “‘IPSO’s jurisdiction regarding material published by a global digital publisher* is limited to content covering events in the UK, save where the content can be viewed in the UK and:

1. The content covers events outside the UK and:

a. Principally concerns a UK national or resident who is directly and personally affected by the alleged breach of the Code; or

b. In respect of the accuracy of the content, where the coverage concerns UK nationals, residents or institutions.

Or

2. The content is based on material published in a UK print edition of a title within the global digital publisher’s group.”

Global Digital Publisher is defined by IPSO as “an electronic service which employs journalists and operates newsrooms both inside and outside the UK, which operates distinct editorial and compliance structures to deal with jurisdictions outside the UK”.

IPSO has invited submissions to a public consultation on the proposed rule change.

The consultation document is available here.

IPSO has asked the submissions be emailed to digitalreview@ipso.co.uk by 2 October 2017.

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