Standards / Impress standards code
Code Review 2020-2022

From 2020-2022 Impress undertook a comprehensive review of its Standards Code and Guidance, led by its Code Committee.

The Impress Standards Code and Guidance consists of the rules by which we regulate the news gathering activities and published material of regulated publications. We first launched these rules in 2017 after extensive research and consultation.

Beginning in November 2020, Impress actively engaged with wide range of organisations, stakeholders and readers to undertake a review of the Code, led by our expert Code Committee. This comprehensive review sought to ensure that the Code was updated to reflect the rapidly changing journalism industry and the growth of digital publications publishing across a diverse range of platforms.

The review was also designed to ensure that the Code remained fit for purpose for both the public and publishers. Unlike other industry codes, the Impress Standards Code is created for and in partnership with the public. Through extensive consultation and engagement, we seek to co-create a standards code that is crafted in the public interest and balances appropriate protections for members of the public with support and guidance for journalists to publish professionally and with accountability.

The two-year review consisted of:

  • An open call for evidence from November 2020 to February 2021.
  • A series of workshops with a range of organisations on issues including children and youth, discrimination, fairness, journalism online and free speech.
  • Extensive research and redrafting of the Code, facilitated by the Code Committee and expert Dr Peter Coe.
  • And a 6-week public code consultation from February to April 2022 on changes to the Impress Standards Code proposed by the Code Committee.

Participants in Code Review activities included representatives from Raise Your Voice, the NUJ Ethics Council, MEND, Terrence Higgins Trust, Media Diversity Institute, Centre for Women’s Justice, More in Common, RESET, Full Fact, English PEN and a range of independent news organisations.

The Code Review in numbers


organisations and stakeholders participated in our Code Review process


submissions to our public call for evidence


workshops with journalism practitioners, organisations and members of the public


years in the making