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New version of Editors’ Code published following post-Leveson overhaul

Sir Alan MosesNew provisions on headline acccuracy, suicide reporting and gender discrimination have been included in a revamped version of the Editors’ Code of Practice published today.

The Code, under which most UK journalists operate, has undergone its first major overhaul since the Leveson Inquiry in 2012.

The new version sees the introduction of an explicit requirement in the accuracy clause for headlines to be supported in the text of the story.

It also introduces a separate clause on reporting suicide, reflecting concerns about the publication of excessive detail about methods of suicide.

Other changes see gender identity added to the list of categories covered by the discrimination clause, which protects individuals from prejudicial and perjorative reporting.

And the duty of editors to maintain procedures to resolve complaints swiftly, and to co-operate with the Independent Press Standards Organisation, has now been enshrined in the Code’s preamble.

The Code’s first clause, covering accuracy, now reads: “The Press must take care not to publish inaccurate, misleading or distorted information or images, including headlines not supported by the text.”

The new fifth clause, on suicide, reads: “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.”

The changes have been agreed by a new-look Code Committee which has also been revamped in the wake of the Leveson recommendations.

It now includes three independent law members as well as the chair of the Independent Press Standards Organisation, Sir Alan Moses, pictured, and chief executive Matt Tee.

Code Committee chairman Paul Dacre said: “I am very grateful to our new lay members – and Sir Alan Moses and Matt Tee – for the depth of experience they have brought to our discussions. I am convinced these changes strengthen the Code and will ensure it remains the universally accepted standard for journalistic practice in the post-Leveson era.”

Sir Alan Moses said: “It is important to acknowledge publicly and to welcome the significant degree of co-operation and accord which all those at the Editors’ Code Committee have achieved.

“As IPSO gains authority through experience, we look forward to continuing and improving our contribution to the work of the Committee in the next round of discussion and consultation in 2016.”

The revised Code can be viewed here:—-2015.php

In another new departure, the Code is being made available in a mobile phone friendly format, so that journalists can consult it in all circumstances.

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