A few days ago IPSO announced the appointment of three lay members to its Editors’ Code of Practice Committee. This committee oversees the precepts according to which complaints against newspapers are supposed to be judged. IPSO let it be known the appointments are in response to the Leveson Report.
The Editor’s Code, inherited by IPSO from the PCC, has always seemed to me as Polly Toynbee has described it:
The PCC’s editors’ code of practice is a delight. Article 1 says: “The press must take care not to publish inaccurate, misleading or distorted information, including pictures”. Now imagine the culture shock for all of us if truly independent adjudicators applied that maxim every day.
Should IPSO find itself replaced by a new government after the general election, I have no doubt that any future Press regulator … truly independent, Leveson-compliant or not … will chose to retain it.
There’s also no doubt that it could do with some tinkering around the edges especially better to protect vulnerable individuals and marginalised groups. To quote Scott Long, who has been rather busy this week writing about the disingenuity surrounding a certain letter to the Guardian:
Ideas exist not in an ideal but in the real world, and one way to judge them is not by their consistency with other ideas but by whether they have victims. By that standard, an idea that breeds hatred … has its problems.
The way things are, I can think of nobody I shall be happier to see keeping a caretaker’s eye on progress than the redoubtable Dr Kate Stone