Our professional code of conduct is a practice of the Editor’s code of practice in line with the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO).
Photojournalism Hub CIC supports and defends the principle of media freedom, the right of freedom of expression and the right of the public to be informed. It is the responsibility of editors and publishers to apply the Code to editorial content in print and digital, online versions of publications.
It is also a duty of editors to ensure that the Code of Conduct is observed by all editorial staff, contributors, external contributors, including non-journalists.
Editors and Publishers should co-operate with the Independent Press Standards Organisation CIC (the‘Regulator’) in the resolution of complaints. Any publication judged to have breached the Code must publish the adjudication in full and with the state of being agreed by the ‘Regulator.
i) Ensures that information disseminated is accurate, fair, including photographs.
ii) A significant inaccuracy, misleading statement or distortion must be corrected, promptly and with due prominence, and – where appropriate – an apology published.
iii) Does her/his utmost to correct harmful inaccuracies.
iv) Differentiates between fact and opinion.
i) Everyone is entitled respect for their private and family life, home, physical and mental health, and correspondence, including digital communications.
ii) Does nothing to intrude into anybody’s private life, grief or distress unless justified by overriding consideration of the public interest.
iii) Protects the identity of sources who supply information in confidence and material gathered in the course of her/his work.
iv) Editors will be expected to justify intrusions into any individual’s private life without consent.
i) Journalists must not engage in intimidation, harassment or persistent pursuit.
ii) They must not persist in questioning, telephoning, pursuing or photographing individuals once asked to desist; nor remain on their property when asked to leave and must not follow them. If requested, they must identify themselves and whom they represent.
iii) Editors must ensure these principles are observed by those working for them and take care not to use non-compliant material from other sources.
Intrusion into grief or shock
i) In cases involving personal grief or shock, enquiries and approaches must be made with sympathy and discretion and publication handled sensitively. These provisions should not restrict the right to report legal proceedings.
i) Young people should be free to complete their time at school without unnecessary intrusion.
ii) A child under 16 must not be interviewed or photographed on issues involving their own or another child’s welfare unless a custodial parent or similarly responsible adult consents.
iii) Pupils must not be approached or photographed at school without the permission of the school authorities.
iv) Minors must not be paid for material involving children’s welfare, nor parents or guardians for material about their children or wards unless it is clearly in the child’s interest.
v) Editors must not use the fame, notoriety or position of a parent or guardian as the sole justification for publishing details of a child’s private life
Children in sex cases
i) The press must not, even if legally free to do so, identify children under 16 who are victims or witnesses in cases involving sex offences. 2. In any press report of a case involving a sexual offence against a child
i) The child must not be identified.
ii) The adult may be identified.
iii) The word “incest” must not be used where a child victim might be identified.
iv) Care must be taken that nothing in the report implies the relationship between the accused and the child.
i) Journalists must identify themselves and obtain permission from a responsible executive before entering non-public areas of hospitals or similar institutions to pursue enquiries. ii) The restrictions on intruding into privacy are particularly relevant to enquiries about individuals in hospitals or similar institutions.
Reporting of Crime
i) Relatives or friends of persons convicted or accused of crime should not generally be identified without their consent, unless they are genuinely relevant to the story.
ii) Particular regard should be paid to the potentially vulnerable position of children under the age of 18 who witness, or are victims of, crime. This should not restrict the right to report legal proceedings.
iii) Editors should generally avoid naming children under the age of 18 after arrest for a criminal offence but before they appear in a youth court unless they can show that the individual’s name is already in the public domain, or that the individual (or, if they are under 16, a custodial parent or similarly responsible adult) has given their consent. This does not restrict the right to name juveniles who appear in a crown court, or whose anonymity is lifted.
Clandestine devices and subterfuge
i) The press must not seek to obtain or publish material acquired by using hidden cameras or clandestine listening devices; or by intercepting private or mobile telephone calls, messages or emails; or by the unauthorised removal of documents or photographs; or by accessing digitally-held information without consent.
ii) Engaging in misrepresentation or subterfuge, including by agents or intermediaries, can generally be justified only in the public interest and then only when the material cannot be obtained by other means.
Victims of sexual assault
The press must not identify or publish material likely to lead to the identification of a victim of sexual assault unless there is adequate justification and they are legally free to do so. Journalists are entitled to make enquiries but must take care and exercise discretion to avoid the unjustified disclosure of the identity of a victim of sexual assault.
i) The press must avoid prejudicial or pejorative reference to an individual’s race, colour, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation or to any physical or mental illness or disability.
ii) Details of an individual’s race, colour, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, physical or mental illness or disability must be avoided unless genuinely relevant to the story.
Journalists have a moral obligation to protect confidential sources of information.
Witness payments in criminal trials
i) No payment or offer of payment to a witness – or any person who may reasonably be expected to be called as a witness – should be made in any case once proceedings are active as defined by the Contempt of Court Act 1981. This prohibition lasts until the suspect has been freed unconditionally by police without charge or bail or the proceedings are otherwise discontinued; or has entered a guilty plea to the court; or, in the event of a not guilty plea, the court has announced its verdict.
ii) Where proceedings are not yet active but are likely and foreseeable, editors must not make or offer payment to any person who may reasonably be expected to be called as a witness, unless the information concerned ought demonstrably to be published in the public interest and there is an over-riding need to make or promise payment for this to be done; and all reasonable steps have been taken to ensure no financial dealings influence the evidence those witnesses give. In no circumstances should such payment be conditional on the outcome of a trial.
iii) Any payment or offer of payment made to a person later cited to give evidence in proceedings must be disclosed to the prosecution and defence. The witness must be advised of this requirement.
Payment to criminals
i) Payment or offers of payment for stories, pictures or information which seek to exploit a particular crime or to glorify or glamorise crime in general, must not be made directly or via agents to convicted or confessed criminals or to their associates – who may include family, friends and colleagues.
ii) Editors invoking the public interest to justify payment or offers would need to demonstrate that there was good reason to believe the public interest would be served. If, despite payment, no public interest emerged, then the material should not be published.
The public interest
There may be exceptions to the clauses marked * where they can be demonstrated to be in the public interest.
The public interest includes, but is not confined to:
i) Detecting or exposing crime or serious impropriety.
ii) Protecting public health and safety.
iii) Preventing the public from being misled by an action or statement of an individual or organisation.
There is a public interest in freedom of expression itself
Disclosing a miscarriage of justice
Whenever the public interest is invoked, the Regulator will require editors to demonstrate fully that they reasonably believed that publication, or journalistic activity undertaken with a view to publication, would be in the public interest and how, and with whom, that was established at the time.
The Regulator will consider the extent to which material is already in the public domain, or will become so.
5. In cases involving children under 16, editors must demonstrate an exceptional public interest to over-ride the normally primary interest of the child.Follow us on social media: