IPSO 2018-07-24T14:01:20+00:00

Human rights law provides a number of protections for everyone, including for politicians and the media. This includes the right to freedom of expression – however ignorant one’s views. Therefore, it is not easy to compel individuals and groups to be honest about human rights. One of the very few ways to hold the print media to account is the mechanism enforced by Ipso, or the Independent Press Standards Organisation. Ipso requires that any complaint be made to directly to the newspaper first and then escalated to Ipso only if it cannot be resolved. This mechanism has occasionally been used to correct inaccurate newspaper articles about human rights.

While this may eventually lead to a correction and/or apology being published, there are a number of problems with this system, or indeed any system that holds a publisher to account after the publication but cannot prevent it being published.

Also, complaints to newspapers can take many months to resolve. By then, the original, misleading article will have been read and shared countless times and people will already have made their minds up about the issue. Even if a few lines do appear in the corrections section several months later, no-one will really notice them or change their views because of them. The public will have already been misled and will have decided that human rights are a damaging concept that should be done away with. No correction or clarification later will change that.