On June 2nd, the Press Recognition Panel (PRP) closed the second “call for evidence” over the decision over whether to award recognition to the IMPRESS regulator. The call for evidence is an opportunity for third parties to come forward with evidence or information which will aid the PRP in coming to a decision over IMPRESS’ recognition. IMPRESS’ stated aim is to operate as a Leveson-compliant regulator.
Hacked Off: “It is not a sound and logical case against IMPRESS’s claim to meet the [Royal Charter] criteria. Rather it is born out of… commercial self-interest.”
But during the first call for evidence, the News Media Association (NMA) made a series of points which were critical of IMPRESS’ application. The NMA represent the major newspaper publishers, who have made every effort to obstruct the progress of the Leveson system.
They have a clear commercial interest in seeing the recognition process stall, and in persisting with the sham regulator IPSO.
Hacked Off: “They have delivered a rant against the entire process with much that is entirely irrelevant to the issues before the PRP”
IMPRESS responded to those points which were relevant and the PRP issued a second call for information, based on the new information. This time, the NMA simply recycled the same points as in the previous submission with the addition of more and more irrelevant points and thinly-veiled personal attacks on those serving on the Board of IMPRESS. Many of the points they raised were directly opposites of previously argued positions. Hacked Off’s response gave a reasoned rebuttal of the NMA’s arguments, and exposed the organisation’s hypocrisy.
The NMA’s submission rarely even engaged with the substantive questions of whether IMPRESS met specific Royal Charter criteria.
Hacked Off: “The NMA is seeking to fight battles it lost at the Leveson Inquiry and during the passage of the Act.”
The NMA repeatedly attempted to reinterpret the Leveson criteria in their submission, just as their member publishers failed to reinterpret Leveson during Royal Charter negotiations, and then failed again with their own version of the Charter.
Extraordinarily, their submission even attempted to rely on sections of the Royal Charter which they opposed during drafting.
Hacked Off hope that IMPRESS’ application for recognition is successful.
- Read Hacked Off’s full submission here.
- Hacked Off is the campaign for a free and accountable press. The Campaign works with victims of press abuse to achieve those aims.