How To Make A Complaint

Step by step guide to media complaints

IPSO (print media)

If you see a potentially problematic headline or article in a newspaper or magazine (or the website of a newspaper or magazine), follow these steps to make a quick, effective complaint:

Step 1 : Is the publication is a member of IPSO?

YES  :  Go to Step 2
NO  :  Write a letter to the Editor of the paper/magazine

Step 2: Does the article violate Clause 1 (Accuracy) of the IPSO Editors’ Code?

Clause 1: Accuracy

i) The Press must take care not to publish inaccurate, misleading or distorted information, including pictures.
ii) A significant inaccuracy, misleading statement or distortion once recognised must be corrected, promptly and with due prominence, and – where appropriate – an apology published. In cases involving the Commission, prominence should be agreed with IPSO in advance.

YES  :  Go to Step 3
NO  :  Write a letter to the Editor of the publication

N.B. There are other Clauses within the IPSO Editors’ Code, but they can only be used by the people directly affected by the breach. Clause 1 is the only clause which allows for 3 rd party complaints.

Step 3: Go to the following link and make your complaint!

https://www.ipso.co.uk/make-a-complaint/complaints-form/

You will need the following information:

1. The name of the publication;
2. The headline and date it was published;
3. If possible, a screenshot or photograph of the article;
4. Select Clause 1.
5. An explanation of why the Code has been breached.
6. Your name and email address (required).

In the first instance, you may wish to write directly to the Editor of a paper to explain why you feel a breach has been made, ask for a correction, and only proceed with IPSO if none is forthcoming. Other avenues are also available, why not attend one of our Media Monitoring Training days to find out more? Click here for
further information!

IPSO may not uphold your complaint, in which case you may wish to follow up with an appeal. If you would like further guidance with this, please email our Community Liaison Officer on a.morris@cfmm.org.uk.

BBC Editorial Guidelines (TV, Radio, Web, and Streaming)

The BBC, although regulated by Ofcom, in virtually all areas regulates itself when it comes to due accuracy and due impartiality in news content.

Read about Clause 3: Accuracy here (https://www.bbc.co.uk/editorialguidelines/guidelines/accuracy)

Read about Clause 4: Impartiality here (https://www.bbc.co.uk/editorialguidelines/guidelines/impartiality)

Step 1: Does the programme/web page breach either clause 3 or 4?

YES  :  Go to Step 2
NO  :  Refer to OFCOM regulations.

Step 2: Is the breach corrected in subsequent episodes of a series?

YES  :  No complaint needed. The Guidelines treat a series as a single entity, so if a breach happens in one episode but is corrected/addressed in another, no breach is considered to have occurred.
NO  :  Go to Step 3

Step 3: Go to the following link and make your complaint!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/complaints/complain-online/

You will provide the following through a series of drop-down menus:

1. Your region and postcode;
2. The service and channel you are complaining about;
3. The name, date and time of the programme;
4. Whether you viewed the programme live or on iPlayer;
5. The category, subject, and details of your complaint;
6. Your name and email address are only required if you wish to receive a reply.

The BBC may not uphold your complaint. In this case, you may wish to escalate your complaint to OFCOM as per the next section.

OFCOM Broadcasters’ Code (TV, Radio and related web content)

OFCOM regulates all UK based broadcasters (including the BBC once the above steps have been exhausted). The main clauses that complaints would fall under are the following:

Section 4. Religion (https://www.ofcom.org.uk/tv-radio-and-on demand/broadcast-codes/broadcast-code/section-four-religion)

Section 5. Due Impartiality and Due Accuracy, and Undue Prominence of View s and Opinions here (https://www.ofcom.org.uk/tv-radio-and-on-demand/broadcast-codes/broadcast-code/section-five-due-impartiality-accuracy)

Section 7. Fairness here (https://www.ofcom.org.uk/tv-radio-and-on-demand/broadcast-codes/broadcast-code/section-seven-fairness)

Step 1: Does the programme/web page breach any of the above Sections?

YES  :  Go to Step 2
NO  :   No complaint needed.

Step 2: Is the breach corrected in subsequent episodes of a series?

YES  :  No complaint needed. The Code treats a series as a single entity, so if a breach happens in one episode but is corrected/addressed in another, no breach is considered to have occurred.
NO  :  Go to Step 3

Step 3: Go to the following link and make your complaint!

https://www.ofcom.org.uk/tv-radio-and-on-demand/how-to-report-a-complaint/complain-about-tv-radio-on-demand

You will provide the following through a series of drop-down menus:

1. Your name and contact details;
2. The broadcaster name, programme name, date and time of broadcast;
3. The reasons for your complaint, including the Section breached;
4. If you are complaining about a BBC programme, you must give the BBC complaint reference number to show you have gone through the BBC procedures first.

Whenever you make a complaint about any representation of Muslims or Islam in the UK Media, please submit this information to us here to help us with our project!

Media Sources Complaint Guides

If you see a potentially problematic headline or article in a newspaper or magazine (or the website of a newspaper or magazine),
please click the button below and follow the guides to make an effective complaint for the media source.