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    Impress: The Independent Monitor for the Press CIC

    Impress is a champion for news that can be trusted.

    In an ever-changing media landscape, we are here to make sure news providers can publish with integrity, and the public can engage with the news in confidence.

    © 2023 Impress. All rights reserved.
    Registered number 9655520

    © 2023 Impress. All rights reserved.
    Registered number 9655520

    Defamation
    Defamation refers to when a statement has been made which lowers a person’s character and reputation in the estimation of ordinary people.

    Breach of confidence
    Defamation refers to when a statement has been made which lowers a person’s character and reputation in the estimation of ordinary people.

    Misuse of private information
    Misuse of private information refers to the wrongful or threatened publication, of personal information.


    Malicious falsehood
    Malicious falsehood refers to a published statement about a person which is allegedly untrue, malicious, and has directly resulted in the economic loss or likely economic loss.

    Harassment
    Harassment is a course of conduct (occurring on at least two occasions) which causes fear of violence, serious alarm or distress. This can include stalking offences such as watching or spying on someone.

    Breach of the Data Protection Act
    A breach of the Data Protection Act 2018 can occur if a publisher contravenes one of the data protection principles listed under the UK General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) when processing personal data. However, publishers are not obligated to comply with certain data protection principles in the interests of protecting freedom of expression.

    Children clause - explained
    The Children clause is carefully designed to make sure that children’s rights are well respected by publishers. It also recognises public interest exceptions where publishers have licence to report on serious matters professionally. The clause protects children under 18 from harmful journalistic practices. Unless there is an extremely high level of public interest, publishers must only report on, engage with, or identify children when they have the child’s consent. There may also be times where publishers need the consent of an appropriate adult. If a publisher wishes to identify a child, then they must make sure that doing so is relevant to the story. A child might ask to be anonymous, and an adult over 18 might ask that their identity is removed from content which identified them when they were under 18. In both cases, publishers must reasonably consider this request, which relates to Clause 7: Privacy.
    Children clause - explained
    The Children clause is carefully designed to make sure that children’s rights are well respected by publishers. It also recognises public interest exceptions where publishers have licence to report on serious matters professionally. The clause protects children under 18 from harmful journalistic practices. Unless there is an extremely high level of public interest, publishers must only report on, engage with, or identify children when they have the child’s consent. There may also be times where publishers need the consent of an appropriate adult. If a publisher wishes to identify a child, then they must make sure that doing so is relevant to the story. A child might ask to be anonymous, and an adult over 18 might ask that their identity is removed from content which identified them when they were under 18. In both cases, publishers must reasonably consider this request, which relates to Clause 7: Privacy.
    Discrimination clause - explained
    The Discrimination clause prevents the spread of hateful language. It ensures that news content does not negatively refer to someone’s age, disability, health, gender, partnership status, pregnancy, race, religion, sex or sexual orientation, or any other characteristic that puts a person at risk of discrimination. Publishers must not encourage abuse or hate against any group based on characteristics in their published content. At the same time, the clause respects cases where news content might refer to such characteristics for reasons that are directly relevant to the news story in question.
    Discrimination clause - explained
    The Discrimination clause prevents the spread of hateful language. It ensures that news content does not negatively refer to someone’s age, disability, health, gender, partnership status, pregnancy, race, religion, sex or sexual orientation, or any other characteristic that puts a person at risk of discrimination. Publishers must not encourage abuse or hate against any group based on characteristics in their published content. At the same time, the clause respects cases where news content might refer to such characteristics for reasons that are directly relevant to the news story in question.
    Harassment clause - explained
    The Harassment clause protects the public from being intimidated or harassed by journalists, while the public interest exception ensures that journalists can carry out investigative work effectively. Under the clause, publishers are responsible for making sure that journalists do not intimidate or harass members of the public. The clause also covers acts of deception and requires that journalists clearly identify themselves and the publication they are working for when they contact people. If someone reasonably requests that a journalist stops contacting or following them, then this must be respected.
    Harassment clause - explained
    The Harassment clause protects the public from being intimidated or harassed by journalists, while the public interest exception ensures that journalists can carry out investigative work effectively. Under the clause, publishers are responsible for making sure that journalists do not intimidate or harass members of the public. The clause also covers acts of deception and requires that journalists clearly identify themselves and the publication they are working for when they contact people. If someone reasonably requests that a journalist stops contacting or following them, then this must be respected.
    Justice clause - explained
    The Justice clause aims to ensure that the integrity of criminal investigations and proceedings is protected from press interference, whilst also ensuring that journalists have the freedom to report on cases ethically, professionally, and legally. The clause asks that:
    • Publishers must not interfere with investigations or cases, whether intentionally or carelessly.
    • Children under 18 who are involved in court cases must not be identified unless permitted by law.
    • If someone under investigation has not yet been charged, they must not be identified unless it is in the public interest.
    • Victims of sexual offences must be made anonymous unless they consent to being named, or if permitted by law.
    • Publishers must also not offer to pay anyone involved in court cases, unless permitted by law.
    Justice clause - explained
    The Justice clause aims to ensure that the integrity of criminal investigations and proceedings is protected from press interference, whilst also ensuring that journalists have the freedom to report on cases ethically, professionally, and legally. The clause asks that:
    • Publishers must not interfere with investigations or cases, whether intentionally or carelessly.
    • Children under 18 who are involved in court cases must not be identified unless permitted by law.
    • If someone under investigation has not yet been charged, they must not be identified unless it is in the public interest.
    • Victims of sexual offences must be made anonymous unless they consent to being named, or if permitted by law.
    • Publishers must also not offer to pay anyone involved in court cases, unless permitted by law.
    Privacy clause - explained
    The Privacy clause aims to protect people’s reasonable expectations of privacy, and provides practical guidance for publishers on how to ethically report on private and sensitive issues. The clause requires that publishers reasonably consider people’s expectations of privacy. This means that privacy requests must be fairly considered whether the content has already been published or will be published in future. The clause also provides advice on ethical ways of obtaining private information and recommends ways that publishers can gather and publish this information without exacerbating grief or distress. Like the Children clause, publishers should consider requests by adults to anonymise content published when they were under 18. The responsibility however is on the person to demonstrate why they should no longer be identified.
    Privacy clause - explained
    The Privacy clause aims to protect people’s reasonable expectations of privacy, and provides practical guidance for publishers on how to ethically report on private and sensitive issues. The clause requires that publishers reasonably consider people’s expectations of privacy. This means that privacy requests must be fairly considered whether the content has already been published or will be published in future. The clause also provides advice on ethical ways of obtaining private information and recommends ways that publishers can gather and publish this information without exacerbating grief or distress. Like the Children clause, publishers should consider requests by adults to anonymise content published when they were under 18. The responsibility however is on the person to demonstrate why they should no longer be identified.
    Sources clause - explained
    The Sources clause protects journalists and sources, as well as the confidentiality and integrity of their relationship. This clause ensures that publishers work to keep their sources anonymous. This is unless the source has agreed otherwise, or if they have actively misled or lied to the journalist they are working with. The clause also asks that publishers take steps to ensure that journalists and contributors do not invent or distort sources. This clause also provides guidance for journalists on handling ‘off-the-record’ conversations and states that publishers should not pay public officials for information unless there is a public interest defence for doing so.
    Sources clause - explained
    The Sources clause protects journalists and sources, as well as the confidentiality and integrity of their relationship. This clause ensures that publishers work to keep their sources anonymous. This is unless the source has agreed otherwise, or if they have actively misled or lied to the journalist they are working with. The clause also asks that publishers take steps to ensure that journalists and contributors do not invent or distort sources. This clause also provides guidance for journalists on handling ‘off-the-record’ conversations and states that publishers should not pay public officials for information unless there is a public interest defence for doing so.
    Self-Harm & Suicide clause - explained
    The Self-Harm & Suicide clause protects the public from content that may intentionally or unintentionally glorify sensitive, distressing issues. The clause asks that news content does not provide excessive, unnecessary details about acts of self-harm and suicide, such as the method used, location, or general speculation about the motives of the individuals concerned. This clause also asks that publishers signpost and link to relevant support services and resources when reporting on self-harm and suicide.
    Self-Harm & Suicide clause - explained
    The Self-Harm & Suicide clause protects the public from content that may intentionally or unintentionally glorify sensitive, distressing issues. The clause asks that news content does not provide excessive, unnecessary details about acts of self-harm and suicide, such as the method used, location, or general speculation about the motives of the individuals concerned. This clause also asks that publishers signpost and link to relevant support services and resources when reporting on self-harm and suicide.
    Transparency clause - explained
    The Transparency clause ensures that:
    • News content and paid for content, such as adverts, are clearly separated.
    • Any financial partnerships between a news publisher and the subject of an article are made clear to the reader.
    • Information about any products mentioned remains objective.
    Failures to disclose any of this information must be corrected as soon as possible. The clause also covers the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in journalism. It asks that AI generated content is clearly labelled and that there is human editorial oversight in all cases.
    Transparency clause - explained
    The Transparency clause ensures that:
    • News content and paid for content, such as adverts, are clearly separated.
    • Any financial partnerships between a news publisher and the subject of an article are made clear to the reader.
    • Information about any products mentioned remains objective.
    Failures to disclose any of this information must be corrected as soon as possible. The clause also covers the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in journalism. It asks that AI generated content is clearly labelled and that there is human editorial oversight in all cases.
    Accuracy clause - explained
    The Accuracy clause seeks to protect the public from the consequences of inaccurate reporting. The clause requires publishers to take reasonable steps to ensure the accuracy of their news reporting. In doing so, this clause recognises that it can be difficult for news publishers to get it right every time and publish only indisputably true facts, and instead calls for all reasonable steps to be taken to ensure published reporting is as accurate as possible. The clause asks that publishers clearly distinguish between facts and opinion. While publishers are free to be partisan and share opinions, this clause ensures that this freedom is not used to misrepresent or distort the facts. If a publisher is deemed to have published an inaccuracy, it must be corrected as early as possible, and the correction must be published as prominently as the original article.
    Accuracy clause - explained
    The Accuracy clause seeks to protect the public from the consequences of inaccurate reporting. The clause requires publishers to take reasonable steps to ensure the accuracy of their news reporting. In doing so, this clause recognises that it can be difficult for news publishers to get it right every time and publish only indisputably true facts, and instead calls for all reasonable steps to be taken to ensure published reporting is as accurate as possible. The clause asks that publishers clearly distinguish between facts and opinion. While publishers are free to be partisan and share opinions, this clause ensures that this freedom is not used to misrepresent or distort the facts. If a publisher is deemed to have published an inaccuracy, it must be corrected as early as possible, and the correction must be published as prominently as the original article.

    Privacy Preference Center