World View's Editorial Code of Conduct
At World View, it is important that we get things right. Our commitment to high standards is embodied in our company Code of Conduct, which is set out in full below. This Code applies to all members of our editorial staff, as well as freelancers who work for us, and our business partners.
In the event that we get something wrong, we would like to know about it. If you have any feedback or complaints about our online editorial material or about the conduct of our journalists in the course of their work please send your queries or complaints to the editor (email@example.com).
The rules set out here are intended to apply to everything that we do, unless stated otherwise. Please follow these rules unless you have specific approval from a senior manager.
While individuals take personal responsibility for their own compliance, managers also need to ensure this Code is understood and complied with by employees, workers and contributors in their own areas. If managers believe that they or those working for them have insufficient knowledge about the legal and regulatory environment within which they work, they must contact the managing editor’s office.
Anonymous contributions: Articles commissioned by World View should be published anonymously or pseudonymously only in circumstances where the authors identity needs to be protected, or where their privacy or livelihood may be compromised.
In these cases, readers should be made aware that identities have been changed or withheld. This provision need not apply to user-generated content published or reproduced on our digital platforms, or to authors with established pseudonyms commissioned or hosted by World View in that capacity.
Reproducing articles: Staff must not reproduce other people’s material without attribution, other than in exceptional circumstances – for example where the source cannot be identified — and only with permission of the managing editor. The source of published material obtained from another organisation should be acknowledged, including quotes taken from other newspaper articles.
Bylines should be carried only on material that is substantially the work of the bylined journalist. If an article contains a significant amount of agency copy then the agency should be credited.
Bribery and facilitation payments
Societies are built upon trust and rely on those with power and influence to use it with integrity and transparency.
The Bribery Act 2010 takes a robust approach to bribery, and creates a number of criminal offences, which even if committed abroad can be prosecuted in the UK. These include:
Offering someone in the UK or abroad a financial or other advantage to improperly perform an activity (whether public or private)
Bribing a foreign public official. In some circumstances, offers or acceptances of hospitality and / or facilitation payments paid to public officials abroad in order to secure or expedite the performance of a routine or necessary action will come within the Act. There is no public interest defence, although where an individual is left with no alternative but to make a facilitation payment in order to protect against loss of life, limb or liberty there may be a defence of duress.
Staff should always discuss with their managing editor beforehand if they are concerned that any payments might fall into these categories and, if such payments are requested or made, they should inform the editor-in-chief of the circumstances as soon as they are able to afterwards.
The public interest
Breaking rules can sometimes be justified where there is a legitimate 'public interest' in publishing a story. This can include such things as detecting or exposing crime or impropriety, protecting the security of the general public and preventing people and communities from being misled by the behaviour of another individual or organisation. The public interest is not, of course, the same thing as ‘being interesting to the public’. Context is vital to making judgements about what might be in the public interest.
If you believe that a story breaches this Code or industry best practice but has a public interest justification you should discuss the terms of that justification as precisely as possible with the managing editor or someone in the senior editorial team.
Dealing with children
There is no blanket prohibition on journalists talking to children or on using what they say for publication. However, special care should be taken when dealing with children (under the age of 16). Heads of departments must be informed when children have been photographed or interviewed without parental consent.
It is usually not adequate to rely on consent from a teacher, a non-custodial parent or other family member, e.g. grandparent.
Articles that include significant intrusions into children's private lives without their understanding and consent need a strong public interest justification.
In view of the longevity of online material, editors should consider whether children's identities should be hidden to protect them from embarrassment or harm as they grow older.
Consent to publication should be sought where the child is reasonably considered able to make an informed decision.
Privacy - pictures of children and vulnerable adults
Under-16s must not be photographed or filmed on subjects about their welfare – or the welfare of other children – without the consent of their custodial parent/guardian.
Read Section 6 of the PCC code
Commissioning: World View News supports good commissioning practice, including fair treatment of freelancers.
When commissioning material from a freelance individual or entity, for example an outside investigative company, steps must be taken to check that their track-record suggests they are professional, reliable and trustworthy.
If you are in any doubt, refer the issue to the editor-in-chief or your line manager. Any freelance journalist you intend to use should be directed to this Code of Conduct with which they are required to comply.
Copy approval: The general rule is that no one should be given the right to copy approval. In certain circumstances we may allow people to see copy or quotes but we are not required to alter copy. We should avoid offering copy approval as a method of securing interviews or cooperation.
Copyright: Journalists should not use content from non-authorised third-party sources - whether pictures, text or other media - without obtaining the necessary permissions. There are limited legal situations where permission may not be needed but you must check with the picture desk or editorial legal before using without permission.
Direct quotations: Should not be changed to alter their context or meaning.
Endorsements: Journalists should not agree to promote through copy, photographs or footnotes the financial interests of prospective interviewees or contributors, or their sponsors, as a way of securing access to them. Promotional information about a subject or author provided in footnotes should be included only where, in the editor's judgment, it is of genuine interest or will assist the reader.
Errors: It is our duty at World View News, to correct significant errors as soon as possible. Journalists have a duty to cooperate frankly and openly with its readers’ and to report errors to them. All complaints should be brought to the attention of the readers’ editors.
External assistance: Journalists should not engage the paid services of external non-journalistic agents or assistants without the prior knowledge and approval of the editor-in-chief.
Fairness in journalism means exploring all sides of an issue and reporting the findings accurately.
Members of the public should never be used to exaggerate the importance of a story. As a journalist you have a responsibility to examine your own motives. Your personal feelings and emotions should never influence how you report and the angle that your story takes.
Section 5 of the PCC code states: In cases involving personal grief or shock, enquiries and approaches must be made with sympathy and discretion and publication handled sensitively. This should not restrict the right to report legal proceedings, such as inquests. *ii) When reporting suicide, care should be taken to avoid excessive detail about the method used.
People should be treated with sensitivity during periods of grief and trauma.
Respect for the reader requires that we respect their differences and that we do not casually use words that are likely to offend.
The use of swear words will only be used when absolutely necessary to the facts of a piece, or to portray a character in an article.
Privacy - and pictures
Individuals must not be photographed or filmed in places where they have a ‘reasonable expectation of privacy’ – nor should we knowingly publish material resulting from such photography/filming, whether created by us or by another person.
Privacy – material from social media
Social media provides a wide range of information, some of which is often used by mainstream media. However, the internet can present issues around ethics. We should not assume that simply because something appears online it can be published by us.
It is important to consider whether republication in a major news outlet might invade someone’s privacy. Some of the things to consider are:
What is the nature of the material (is it intrinsically private)?
Who uploaded it and why?
Did they intend that it be widely published?
How widely has it been/can it be seen?
Has that person waived their right to privacy in whole or as regards this particular aspect?
Is there the public interest to justify a possible invasion of privacy?
Has consent been acquired?
Payment: World View does not pay for stories except if it is a freelancer providing an exclusive story. In which case, it will be at the discretion of the editor-in-chief or deputies.
Race: In general, we do not publish someone’s race or ethnic background or religion unless that information is crucial to the story. This means avoiding pejorative references to those aspects of their lives; but it also means not referring to them at all unless relevant to the story.
Sources: Sources promised confidentiality must be protected at all costs. However, where possible, the sources of information should be identified as specifically as possible.
Subterfuge: Journalists should generally identify themselves as World View New reporters when working on a story.
Anyone engaging in any form of deception for journalistic purposes (and this includes where they do not make it clear they are a journalist when making enquiries) should seek approval in advance.
Section 10 of the PCC code states: 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 private 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.
Suicide*: Journalists are asked to exercise particular care in reporting suicide or issues involving suicide, bearing in mind the risk of encouraging others. This should be borne in mind both in presentation, including the use of pictures, and in describing the method of suicide. Any substances should be referred to in general rather than specific terms if possible. The feelings of relatives should also be carefully considered.
If we publish information that turns out to be inaccurate it is important that the position be corrected.
Editors' Code of Practice
(As seen on the Independent Press Standards Organisation's website)
About the Editors' Code
The Editors’ Code of Practice sets out the rules that newspapers and magazines regulated by IPSO have agreed to follow. The Code is written and administered by the Editors’ Code Committee and enforced by IPSO.The latest version of the Editors’ Code of Practice came into effect on 1 July 2019. Download the previous version here.
The Code – including this preamble and the public interest exceptions below – sets the framework for the highest professional standards that members of the press subscribing to the Independent Press Standards Organisation have undertaken to maintain. It is the cornerstone of the system of voluntary self-regulation to which they have made a binding contractual commitment. It balances both the rights of the individual and the public's right to know.
To achieve that balance, it is essential that an agreed Code be honoured not only to the letter, but in the full spirit. It should be interpreted neither so narrowly as to compromise its commitment to respect the rights of the individual, nor so broadly that it infringes the fundamental right to freedom of expression – such as to inform, to be partisan, to challenge, shock, be satirical and to entertain – or prevents publication in the public interest.
It is the responsibility of editors and publishers to apply the Code to editorial material in both printed and online versions of their publications. They should take care to ensure it is observed rigorously by all editorial staff and external contributors, including non-journalists.
Editors must maintain in-house procedures to resolve complaints swiftly and, where required to do so, co- operate with IPSO. A publication subject to an adverse adjudication must publish it in full and with due prominence, as required by IPSO.
i) The Press must take care not to publish inaccurate, misleading or distorted information or images, including headlines not supported by the text.
ii) A significant inaccuracy, misleading statement or distortion must be corrected, promptly and with due prominence, and — where appropriate — an apology published. In cases involving IPSO, due prominence should be as required by the regulator.
iii) A fair opportunity to reply to significant inaccuracies should be given, when reasonably called for.
iv) The Press, while free to editorialise and campaign, must distinguish clearly between comment, conjecture and fact.
v) A publication must report fairly and accurately the outcome of an action for defamation to which it has been a party, unless an agreed settlement states otherwise, or an agreed statement is published.
i) Everyone is entitled to respect for his or her private and family life, home, health and correspondence, including digital communications.
ii) Editors will be expected to justify intrusions into any individual's private life without consent. In considering an individual's reasonable expectation of privacy, account will be taken of the complainant's own public disclosures of information and the extent to which the material complained about is already in the public domain or will become so.
iii) It is unacceptable to photograph individuals, without their consent, in public or private places where there is a reasonable expectation of privacy.
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 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.
4. Intrusion into grief or shock
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.
5. *Reporting Suicide
When reporting suicide, to prevent simulative acts care should be taken to avoid excessive detail of the method used, while taking into account the media's right to report legal proceedings.
i) All pupils should be free to complete their time at school without unnecessary intrusion.
ii) They must not be approached or photographed at school without permission of the school authorities.
iii) Children 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.
iv) Children under 16 must not be paid for material involving their 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 sole justification for publishing details of a child's private life.
7. Children in sex cases
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.
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.
9. 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.
10.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.
11. 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.
13. Financial journalism
i) Even where the law does not prohibit it, journalists must not use for their own profit financial information they receive in advance of its general publication, nor should they pass such information to others.
ii) They must not write about shares or securities in whose performance they know that they or their close families have a significant financial interest without disclosing the interest to the editor or financial editor.
iii) They must not buy or sell, either directly or through nominees or agents, shares or securities about which they have written recently or about which they intend to write in the near future.
14. Confidential sources
Journalists have a moral obligation to protect confidential sources of information.
15. 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 overriding 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.
16. 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.
1. The public interest includes, but is not confined to:
Detecting or exposing crime, or the threat of crime, or serious impropriety. Protecting public health or safety. Protecting the public from being misled by an action or statement of an individual or organisation.
Disclosing a person or organisation’s failure or likely failure to comply with any obligation to which they are subject.Disclosing a miscarriage of justice.Raising or contributing to a matter of public debate, including serious cases of impropriety, unethical conduct or incompetence concerning the public.Disclosing concealment, or likely concealment, of any of the above.
2. There is a public interest in freedom of expression itself.
3. The regulator will consider the extent to which material is already in the public domain or will become so.
4. Editors invoking the public interest will need to demonstrate that they reasonably believed publication - or journalistic activity taken with a view to publication – would both serve, and be proportionate to, the public interest and explain how they reached that decision at the time.
5. An exceptional public interest would need to be demonstrated to override the normally paramount interests of children under 16.