Event announced to help social workers understand media complaints process

Staff from IPSO, SWU, and Campaign Collective stand in front of the "IPSO" sigh at the IPSO office in November 2022

An event organised by the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO), the Social Workers Union, and British Association of Social Work will help the profession understand press regulation and editorial standards.

Taking place on 8 June 2023, the joint event will help social workers navigate the complaints process if they are the victims of unfair reporting by journalists and how media guidelines work to protect the public.

Led by Jane Debois (IPSO Head of Standards and Regulation) and Dr Beth Kitson (IPSO Engagement Officer) the session will introduce IPSO and the Editors’ Code of Practice and explain the rules the press must follow. It will also include practical advice on speaking (and not speaking) to the press and how IPSO can help social workers.

The event is being organised as part of the Social Workers Union Campaign Fund’s work on media guidelines which was launched in 2022 in response to social workers’ concerns about media coverage.

SWU and BASW members can sign up to the event here: https://www.basw.co.uk/events/ipso-press-regulation-editorial-standards-and-protecting-public

The Social Workers Union has recently launched a new rapid reporting mechanism for social workers concerned about media coverage. Social workers can submit links or images of media reports which they believe breach the guidelines for investigation to: campaigns@swu-union.org.uk

Jane Debois, Head of Standards at IPSO said:

“IPSO provides training to representative groups about the Editors’ Code of Practice, and how to make a complaint if a publication breaches the code. The purpose is to promote high editorial standards and protect the public and freedom of expression.”

John McGowan, General Secretary of SWU commented:

“We’re delighted that IPSO continues to take engagement with us on this issue so seriously.

“A recent IPSO Readers’ Panel discussion found significant concerns at how social work and issues related to the profession are reported in the media.

“While we will take action if we find media coverage in breach of the Guidelines we have published, this session will help social workers protect themselves and their families with formal help and support.”

The Social Workers Union will continue to work with IPSO, IMPRESS, the National Union of Journalists and other bodies to address issues in the coverage of social workers in the media.