The Independent Press Standards Organisation says it wants to help people understand the rules under which newspapers operate and so feel “more confident in engaging with the press.”
It has issued three sets of guidance, covering court reporting, the reporting of deaths and inquests; and how journalists use information from social media.
IPSO says the three topics were chosen because they address issues about which the watchdog receives the most contact from the public.
Among other things, the guidance notes highlight the importance of the principle of open justice and seek to explain why journalists may want to cover court cases and inquests even though the public may not be expecting them to be present.
Charlotte Urwin, head of standards at IPSO, said: “Often, the first time members of the public encounter the press is in relation to a stressful or traumatic event such as the death of a family member or after being caught up in a major incident.
“While some people may wish to speak to journalists, to tell their story, highlight an injustice or gather public support for a campaign, it can be hard to know what to expect.
“These three information sheets are the first of a new series for the public and answer some of the questions we are often asked about these topics and explain how IPSO can help.”
The new information has been developed with IPSO’s Reader’s Advisory Panel, which advises the organisation on its work and wider issues from the perspective of readers and citizens.
The guidance notes can be read here: