A House of Lords report into investigative journalism published today has ‘highlighted the real need for the responsible PR industry to strengthen its internal system of self-regulation, and thereby increase public confidence in their industry and their work’.
The report noted that the industry is unregulated, and that voluntary codes such as the CIPR Code of Conduct only apply to the one in six practitioners who are CIPR members.
Since anyone can issue a press release, the report urges greater scrutiny by journalists of the sources they use for their stories.
“In the context of investigative journalism, it is incumbent upon journalists and news providers to be rigorous and proactive in checking the accuracy of press releases, as with other sources of news, as part of their commitment to accuracy. In addition, we recommend that journalists themselves be transparent in their use of press releases particularly online where barriers to publishing links to press releases are low.”
Among those providing evidence was the Chartered Institute of Public Relations.
The House of Lords Select Committee Report on Communications: The future of investigative journalism