We take all complaints about editorial content seriously and are committed to abiding by the Independent Press Standards Organisation (“IPSO”) rules and regulations and the Editors’ Code of Practice that IPSO enforces (the “Editors’ Code”).
1. What is a complaint?
When making a complaint, you must clearly state that your complaint is a formal complaint under this policy.
2. What does this policy cover?
This policy only applies to complaints about editorial content in our publications and digital services that we control in the UK, Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. It does not cover:
Complaints about TV and radio services (which is regulated by Ofcom, ATVOD and/or the BBC Trust)
complaints about advertising (as that is regulated by the Advertising Standards Authority);
concerns about matters of taste/decency and due impartiality;
complaints about books;
complaints about ‘user-generated content’ (i.e. material on our digital services e.g websites or apps that was not posted by us or on our behalf) which we have not reviewed or moderated;
and be addressed to The Director of Editorial Administration and Rights.
Complaints will only be accepted within four months from the date of the behaviour or first publication of the article that you are complaining about. Where an article remains accessible on our website, complaints will be accepted up to 12 months from the date of the behaviour or first publication of the article that you are complaining about.
When making your complaint, you must include:
a copy of the article in question, or a link to the relevant webpage or a web address, if the complaint is about published material (or reference to the publication title, issue date, page and article title if a copy is unavailable);
a written explanation of your concerns with reference to the Editors’ Code;
any other documents that will help us assess your complaint.
Complaints received without this essential information cannot be considered. We may seek further details after your initial contact. If you cannot provide the requested information we may be unable to consider your complaint.
We will consider complaints from (a) any person who has been directly affected by the matter complained of; or (b)from a representative group affected by an alleged breach of the Editor’s Code which is significant and of substantial public interest; or (c) from a third party seeking to correct a significant inaccuracy of published information
We reserve the right to reject, without further investigation, complaints that show no breach of the Editors’ Code; or that are trivial, hypothetical, gratuitously abusive or offensive, or otherwise vexatious or insignificant;
If you are taking legal action, we may be unable to consider your complaint.
4. What happens to your complaint?
The complaints process is free of charge irrespective of the outcome of your complaint
We aim to acknowledge your complaint within 5 working days of receipt. You agree to respond promptly to any request for further information.
If we receive multiple complaints about the same issue we may make one response to all.
We will resolve your complaint within 28 days of receiving everything we need from you to allow us to investigate. If we fail to meet this timescale, you can take your complaint to IPSO.
We will always treat you courteously and with respect. We expect the same from you.
5. Complaint to IPSO on exhaustion of our complaints procedure
If you are unhappy with our final response to your complaint you may complain to IPSO. IPSO offers without charge a complaints handling service to the public in cases where there has been a disagreement between a complainant and us about whether the Editors’ Code has been breached. We will be asked to confirm that our complaints procedure has been exhausted and will do so in writing.
6. Policy Changes
We reserve the right to amend this policy as required to ensure compliance with IPSO regulations. We will publish the current policy on our website. Your complaint will be considered against the published policy on the date of receipt of your complaint.