Hacked Off: IPSO’s credibility sinking without a trace, as updated MST Report finds body fails more Leveson criteria than 2013 Report

The Media Standards Trust today publishes an update to the landmark 2013 assessment of IPSO (the system of complaints-handling set up by the newspaper industry) to coincide with IPSO’s five-year anniversary. The assessment measures IPSO against the 38 criteria that Lord Justice Leveson determined were necessary for a self-regulatory system to be ‘independent and effective’.


The assessment finds that IPSO fails even more of the Leveson criteria than it was judged to have done so in 2013. Overall, the Report finds that of the 38 Leveson recommendations for an independent and effective self-regulatory system for the press IPSO in 2019 fails 25.


The MST’s 2013 Report is the only impartial analysis of IPSO’s compliance with the Leveson recommendations to date.


A link to the study can be found here: http://mediastandardstrust.org/mst-news/the-independent-press-standards-organisation-ipso-five-years-on/ 


Hacked Off Policy Director Nathan Sparkes responding to the report said:


“As the only organisation to have performed an independent assessment of IPSO’s compliance with the Leveson recommendations, the 2013 version of which has never been rebutted, the MST have unparalleled expertise and credibility in this area. Their scathing judgment of IPSO as failing the majority of the Leveson recommendations blows apart the industry’s repeated claims of reform and change.


“This report exposes the sham “Pilling Review” of IPSO as a fraudulent and self-serving exercise. Where that Review sought to cobble together evidence of independence at IPSO which simply didn’t exist, the MST have painstakingly considered IPSO’s specific compliance with each of the criteria which Leveson carefully laid down – and found IPSO desperately inadequate.


“This Report will be an embarrassment to the Government, who have foolishly relied on the discredited Pilling Review of evidence of IPSO’s competence.


“Perhaps most damning from the report is the extent to which IPSO remains controlled by the very industry it’s meant to regulate, with the Regulatory Funding Company found to be continuing to exert considerable influence over IPSO. The powers of the previous RFC-style body PressBoF over the old Press Complaints Commission system were identified by Leveson to represent a serious threat to its independence and ability to truly regulate the press. The fact that the RFC maintains its grip on IPSO means the complaints-handler remains a servant of the industry.


Hacked Off Campaigns Rose Hayden, on the release of this report following IPSO’s 5th “birthday”, said:


“From all of us at Hacked Off, happy birthday, IPSO! Sadly there is nothing to celebrate. You have failed victims of press abuse consistently for five years. In your subservience to newspapers and their owners you have denied the public any real remedy or justice when they are wronged by the press.


“We are not surprised that to this day IPSO fails to satisfy 25 out of 38 Leveson recommendations and this report confirms our long held suspicion that IPSO has never and will never have any intention of actually doing what it purports to do. Its inability to carry out its function as a press regulator is built into its very structure.”




For press enquiries contact: sara@hackinginquiry.org  07554 665 940




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