Other codes: Guardian, FT, and Independent

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Guardian/Financial Times/Independent

The Guardian/Observer has a readers’ editor, to whom individuals can appeal, and an editorial code that appears to be a straight lift from the PCC. It even references the PCC, although that body ceased to exist in 2014. As such it is a close copy of the current IPSO code.

The FT recommends that readers first approach the individual editor responsible if they wish to complain about an individual story. If that does not resolve the issue, individuals should take the matter further, to the Editorial Complaints Commissioner who, the FT asserts, “ensures an independent means of overseeing reader complaints”.

For the most part, the FT has adopted the IPSO code wholesale as yardstick for complaints. However, as befits its status as a newspaper of influence in the Finance sphere, there are additional specific stipulations around financial propriety.

Seemingly alone of all the regulators, the FT highlights that complaints may also reference a matter – or matters – that will trigger actual legal action.

The Independent appears to be alone of all publications in – ironically – not having a complaints process that might be described as “independent”. Rather, it encourages the channelling of complaints through an online complaint form, and in “serious or urgent cases” concerns should be forwarded to a department head, the managing editor and, where legal considerations are engaged, the head of legal.

Its code of conduct is long, wordy and appears, outwardly, to cover most of the same ground as other codes – though interestingly, many words appear, in several instances, to deliver less content. On discrimination, for example, it says: “Care should be taken not to discriminate against people on the basis of, for instance, their sexual orientation, religion or race, or by virtue of an illness or disability.” This is less than either IPSO or IMPRESS codes stipulate.