After months of delays, the mainstream press complaint-handler IPSO has refused to initiate a formal standards investigation into the right-wing Jewish Chronicle, despite a string of breaches and several payouts for libel in a limited period.
Instead, IPSO has decided that providing ‘training’ to the paper’s staff will be enough of a response – even though IPSO itself has previously criticised the Chronicle’s arrogant non-cooperation with its investigations into a ‘litany’ of libels against a Liverpool pensioner for which the paper eventually paid out ‘substantial damages’.
Victims of the rag’s smears have issued a response to IPSO’s refusal, accusing it of being a ‘sham… toothless organisation that always puts the interests of the press before those of ordinary people:
BY ITS REFUSAL TO TAKE ACTION AGAINST THE JEWISH CHRONICLE, IPSO HAS PROVED IT IS A SHAM
Statement by victims of libel by the Jewish Chronicle and members of the public whose complaints against the paper were upheld by IPSO.
In August we wrote to Lord Faulks, the chair of IPSO, pointing to the collapse of journalistic standards at the Jewish Chronicle and urging him to initiate a formal Standards Investigation into what had gone wrong. The Editors ‘Code of Conduct had been breached 33 times in three years and the paper admitted libel on four occasions in the same period.
We can announce that today, five months on from our letter, we have been told by Lord Faulks that there will be no Standards Investigation and that IPSO believes it is sufficient to provide Jewish Chronicle staff with compliance training – something that is already supposed to be routine for all IPSO members.
IPSO has refused to take meaningful action in the case of a member that repeatedly defies its authority, and it is clear that it will never do so. This sends the message to IPSO members that no behaviour by them could ever be bad enough to prompt even a formal investigation, let alone disciplinary action.
We had pointed out to Lord Faulks that IPSO’s own conduct should also be subject to investigation. IPSO’s complaints committee publicly reported the Jewish Chronicle to IPSO’s standards department for ‘unacceptable’ conduct in November 2019, yet the paper’s spree of libels and code breaches was allowed to continue. This matter has been ignored.
The price for this regulatory failure is felt by the public – both by those who are libelled and misrepresented and by readers who are fed falsehoods without consequence. That IPSO provided its response to us only after five months had elapsed underlines this disregard for the public. That it chose to do so at the height of the Christmas season smacks of the worst kind of news manipulation.
The moral is clear: IPSO is nothing like a real regulator. It is a sham, a toothless organisation that always puts the interests of the press before those of ordinary people. If you have been abused in the papers, don’t count on IPSO to put it right.
IPSO has never conducted a single standards investigation against one of its members in its entire existence. The Hacked Off group has described it as a ‘sham’ set up to create ‘the illusion of reform’ after the phone-hacking scandal.
Skwawkbox is regulated by IMPRESS, the independent – and UK’s only Leveson-compliant – regulator. This site offers solidarity to the many victims of the smears of right-wing rags.
SKWAWKBOX needs your help. The site is provided free of charge but depends on the support of its readers to be viable. If you’d like to help it keep revealing the news as it is and not what the Establishment wants you to hear – and can afford to without hardship – please click here to arrange a one-off or modest monthly donation via PayPal or here to set up a monthly donation via GoCardless (SKWAWKBOX will contact you to confirm the GoCardless amount). Thanks for your solidarity so SKWAWKBOX can keep doing its job.
If you wish to republish this post for non-commercial use, you are welcome to do so – see here for more.