The Code of Practice is a living document. It has to be flexible and responsive, changing with the times to reflect developments in circumstances, technology and public attitudes. It is the job of the Editors' Code of Practice Committee to keep it fresh, relevant and responsive.

The committee's role is to write, review and revise the Code, often considering suggestions for amendments from the public, or civil society, as well as from within the industry.

If you would like to suggest an amendment click here, or send it to:
Editors' Code Committee, c/o News Media Association, 292 Vauxhall Bridge Road, London SW1V 1AE.

The Editors' Committee was formed in 1990 to draft Britain's first universally-accepted Code of Practice for the Press, to coincide with the birth of the Press Complaints Commission, which administered the new system of self-regulation prior to the launch of IPSO.

Since then, the Code has evolved consistently, with major rewrites in 1997, following the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, and 2004, when - at the suggestion of the then PCC chairman Sir Christopher Meyer - an annual Code review was introduced. In all, there have been more than 30 substantive amendments (click here to view).

The Editors' Committee's philosophy throughout has been that the Code should be a simple, commonsense and non-legalistic document that maintains a proper balance between protecting the rights of the individual and the public's right to know, which can sometimes compete.

The guiding principle has been that the Code should be observed not only to the letter, but in the full spirit - not interpreted so narrowly as to compromise the commitment to respect the rights of the individual, nor so broadly as to interfere with free speech or to impede publication in the public interest.

This "spirit of the Code" is a distinguishing feature that is possible in a voluntary self-regulatory system, but could not work in the legalistic framework of a statutory code.

The Editors' Committee produces The Editors' Codebook, an official handbook that brings together the Code and the case law developed by the regulatory body. It will be updated to reflect IPSO adjudications. This provides a unique bank of experience upon which editors, journalists and complainants can draw. The Codebook is now incorporated into this website (click here to view), where it can be regularly updated to reflect the most significant developments.

The Code Committee members:


Neil Benson, Trinity Mirror Regionals

Sir Alan Moses, Chairman of IPSO

Damian Bates, Aberdeen Press and Journal;

Christine Elliott, independent lay member;

Chris Evans, Daily Telegraph;

David Jessel, independent lay member;

Mike Sassi, Nottingham Post;

Gary Shipton, Johnston Press

Dr Kate Stone, independent lay member;

Matt Tee, Chief Executive of IPSO;

Hannah Walker, South London Press;

Hugh Whittow, Daily Express;

Harriet Wilson, Conde-Nast Publications;

John Witherow, The Times.

Jonathan Grun, editorialcode@gmail.com