"PR must elevate the importance of ethics" - CIPR welcomes fake news inquiry

The Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) has welcomed the Culture, Media and Sport Committee's investigation into 'fake news' - the widespread dissemination and acceptance as fact of stories of uncertain provenance or accuracy.

The inquiry aims to establish a definition of fake news and explore the ways in which it has impacted "public understanding of the world". The investigation also seeks to reveal the crossover between "legitimate commentary" and "propaganda and lies".

Jason MacKenzie FCIPR Chart.PR, CIPR President
During the US election campaign, fake election news stories generated more engagement on Facebook than the top election stories from 19 major news outlets combined. This points towards a broken advertising model and evidences the scale of the challenge facing us all. 

The Culture, Media and Sport Committee's inquiry is a welcome first step in the fight against fake news. As public relations professionals, our ability to deliver strategic value is dependent on honest and truthful communication. Fake news poses a threat to that process and for that reason we must elevate the importance of ethics in our day-to-day roles.

The CIPR's Code of Conduct requires all members to act with integrity, fairness and honesty. When it comes fake news, members must ensure that they - along with those for whom they are responsible - stand up for truth by denouncing dishonest communication in every form.
Jason MacKenzie FCIPR Chart.PR, CIPR President

The CIPR is inviting contributions from members to help shape the Institute's consultation response. Members are encouraged to read the Select Committee's questions here, before emailing Catherine Wanjiku by midday on Monday 20 February. 

Notes to editors

Notes to editors

About the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR)Founded in 1948, the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) is the Royal Chartered professional body for public relations practitioners in the UK and overseas. The CIPR is the largest membership organisation for PR practitioners outside of North America. By size of turnover and number of individually registered members, we are the leading representative body for the PR profession and industry in Europe.

The CIPR advances professionalism in public relations by making its members accountable to their employers and the public through a code of conduct and searchable public register, setting standards through training, qualifications, awards and the production of best practice and skills guidance, facilitating Continuing Professional Development (CPD), and awarding Chartered Public Relations Practitioner status (Chart.PR).