09 September 2014

Launch of new press regulator IPSO

Yesterday (8 September) saw the launch of the Independent Press Complaints Commission (IPSO), a new self-regulating body established following the phone-hacking scandal. IPSO will be headed by ex Court of Appeal Judge, Sir Alan Moses, and is backed by the UK's largest newspaper and magazine groups. In seeking to set itself apart from its discredited predecessor, the Press Complaints Commission, IPSO plans to offer an arbitration service for complainants and a full-time investigations unit. Sir Alan has stated that IPSO will not only investigate inaccurate journalism but also breaches of the obligation in the Editors code for newspapers ‘not to distort' facts. If true this would be a welcome development and one which, alongside more formal legal channels, could offer victims of irresponsible reporting a further means of redress. However, critics question the independence and likely effectiveness of the new body, particularly as it is funded by the very newspapers that it is supposed to regulate. IPSO fails to conform to several of the recommendations made in the Leveson Report on press standards which notably called for an independent regulator backed by statute. It remains to be seen to what extent and how IPSO will report and punish breaches of the Editor's code and how transparent its investigations into these matters will be. Although a Royal Charter agreed by Parliament established a panel to independently verify a new regulator, IPSO has not sought its recognition. Newspapers which have joined IPSO include the Sun, Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail and Daily Mirror. Those who have declined to join include the Guardian, Financial Times, Independent and London Evening Standard. More information is available on IPSO's website www.ipso.co.uk

Category: Blog