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Society evidence to the Leveson Inquiry
The British Psychological Society has called for the press to consider the psychological implications of stories they publish. This call is made in evidence submitted by the Society to the Leveson Inquiry. Lord Justice Leveson is currently leading the Inquiry into the culture, practice and ethics of the press.
In its submission the Society recognises that much of the coverage of psychological issues and research is accurate and balanced due to the skill and dedication of the specialist science and health journalists employed in the national press.
However, the submission also considers the implications of headlines, over-simplifying research findings and insensitive reporting on psychological topics such as depression, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
Ethical issues are always high on the agenda for the psychological community. The Society’s submission focuses on how crucial it is for people to be aware of the consequences of exposure in the media. It suggests the Society’s guidelines on media ethics could be helpful to the Inquiry in encouraging newspapers to consider the psychological implications of news and features, both for the individuals involved and for the wider readership.
The British Psychological Society also supported the recommendations submitted by the Science Media Centre to the Inquiry earlier this month.
Members of the Society who contributed to the submission were: Dr Carole Allan CPsychol (President of the British Psychological Society), Dr Cynthia McVey CPsychol, Professor John Oates, Dr Ceri Parsons, DrSinead Rhodes and Dr Mark Sergeant CPsychol.