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July 19, 2016

Press regulator IPSO may start rejecting complaints about UK news publishers’ international output

By Freddy Mayhew

Press regulator IPSO is to review how it handles complaints about global digital publishers.

The focus primarily is on whether content not targeted at a UK audience should fall under the regulator’s remit, with IPSO looking to define more clearly the content that does.

Until the review is concluded, IPSO has said it “may exercise its discretion” to ignore new complaints that relate specifically to articles and other content about events in overseas jurisdictions.

Mail Online is the IPSO member publisher with the strongest international output, including a popular US-facing website.

IPSO chief executive Matt Tee said: “When the current regulations were drafted nearly four years ago, it was difficult to imagine the developments that would take place in digital publishing, with some publishers having numerous editorial bureaux across the world focused on different audiences in different time zones.

“This is already an issue for some IPSO members and is bound to affect others in future. It may also be a disincentive to other global digital publishers joining IPSO.

“We want a solution that enables IPSO to be an effective regulator for relevant consumers and provides a definition that is intuitive and workable for publishers.”

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The review will include consultation with publishers and overseas regulators as well as those who focus on broadcast and/or video.

IPSO has said it will be contacting relevant parties in the next week inviting them to make submissions to the review, but it also welcomes submissions from any person or group.

Send submissions to digitalreview@ipso.co.uk by midday on Friday 19 August to have them considered as part of the review.

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