Code of Practice

It is important to us that we get things right. We are committed to the highest standards as defined by this Code of Practice.

The Code of Practice applies to all video programmes and written articles produced by the UK Column and applies equally to UK Column staff and freelance contributors.

If you have any feedback or complaints about any UK Column material, or about the conduct of any of our contributors in the course of their work, please contact us using the complaints email address.


All UK Column contributors must take care not to publish inaccurate information in any format.

Any significant inaccuracy must be corrected at the earliest opportunity, with the same prominence given to the original report.

While there is no requirement for UK Column contributors to present a so-called ‘balanced’ view, care must be taken not to misrepresent or distort the facts and there must be a clearly identified differentiation between statements of fact and opinion.

There is no absolute requirement to only report undisputed fact. However, every reasonable effort must have been taken to verify the truth of any information presented, and where there is room for doubt, this must be clearly reported.

A right of reply to any significant inaccuracy should always be given when a reasonable request has been received.


Everyone is entitled to respect for their private life, home and personal correspondence.

This right to privacy does not extend to any public figure attempting to hide public activities behind a claim to a private life, for example an MP attending an international gathering in a personal capacity where that attendance has the potential to affect their public service role.

UK Column editors will be expected to justify any intrusion into an individual’s private life without consent.

It is unacceptable to photograph or video individuals without their consent in public or private places where there is a reasonable expectation of privacy.


UK Column contributors must not intimidate or harass or persistently pursue an individual.

This requirement is not intended to limit investigative journalism, however an individual’s non-cooperation cannot be used to justify harassment.

Investigative journalism may sometime require the use of hidden cameras or other recording equipment. Such use is only permitted when conventional methods are impossible or impractical, only with consultation of the editorial board and only with consideration of the public interest and any potential conflict with the right to privacy.


Proper attribution of content is essential for ensuring accuracy.

Where the creator of content is unknown, for example because a piece of content has been widely shared on social media and the original source is unclear, every effort to identify them must be taken.

If it proves impossible to identify the original creator of a piece of content, this should be made clear at the time of publication.


If an investigation of any allegation of wrongdoing depends on the word of a single source, UK Column contributors are expected to attempt to locate at least one other independent source.

If a source needs to remain anonymous, all steps must be taken to ensure that they cannot be identified from notes taken on paper or electronically on any device.

Online Sources

Caution must be taken when using material found online, in terms of reliability, identification and copyright.

Consideration should be given to any material found online which may have a bearing on ongoing legal proceedings, particularly where there may be potential for contempt of court.


Children under 16 must not be interviewed or photographed without parental consent.

Children under 16 must not be identified as victims or witnesses in cases involving sexual offences.

The adult may be identified in cases involving sexual offences, and in this case the word ‘incest’ must not be used where a child victim might be identified.

Public Interest

The law must not be broken, even where there may appear to be a public interest justification.

There may be exceptions to the above Code of Practice where public interest can be clearly demonstrated. Exceptions can only be acted upon with the approval of the editorial board. The editorial board is responsible for showing that any such approval is in the public interest.

The public interest includes:

  • Reporting on crime or a threat of crime
  • Protecting public health or safety
  • Exposing misleading actions or statements by individuals, organisations or governments
  • Revealing that an individual, organisation or government may be failing to meet a legal obligation
  • Disclosing a miscarriage of justice
  • National security
  • Contributing to a matter of public debate, including misconduct, malfeasance or incompetence concerning the public

There is a public interest in freedom of expression itself.

An exceptional public interest would need to be demonstrated to override the Code of Practice with respect to children under the age of 16.


This Code of Practice is the standards code that applies to UK Column within the meaning of s56(2)(c) of the Online Safety Act 2023.