Standards / Initiated investigations
About initiated investigations

How the initiated investigations process works

Under our Regulatory Scheme, Impress has powers to investigate potential Code breaches on our own initiative. This allows us to proactively address concerns about journalism standards, ensuring regulated publishers are adhering to the Impress Standards Code.

Evidence gathering

Prior to launching a formal investigation, we first assess whether there is a case to answer. To do so, our regulatory team gathers evidence, contacts affected parties, and seeks expert advice where relevant.

A regulatory committee appointed by the Impress Board then decides whether further investigation is required.

Decision making

If the committee decides the matter does not warrant further investigation, it will be closed. If the committee decides there is a case to answer, a formal investigation is launched.

We will then communicate the case to the publisher, providing an opportunity to respond to the concerns. We consider any comments or other cooperative actions that the publisher makes, while gathering further evidence.

Potential outcomes

The publisher is given time to prepare a response before the investigation decision is made public. If a breach is found, a publisher may be directed to take certain action.

Such actions can include issuing corrections, retractions, apologies, amendments, and in some cases, payment of fines. All investigation decisions are published on the Impress website.

Further details

Impress may consider launching an investigation on its own initiative if:

  • it has concerns about a potentially serious or systematic breach of the Code; or
  • there is a significant public interest in initiating an investigation; or
  • it receives a high volume of complaints about a similar issue or related issue.

You can read more about the initiated investigation procedure, sanctions and remedies in sections 5 and 6 of the Impress Regulatory Scheme.

View Impress Regulatory SchemeLearn more about our investigation procedureView our past investigation decisions