The News Media Association (NMA) has abandoned its appeal against a Judicial Review ruling made by the High Court in October 2017. The Court rejected the NMA’s attempt to challenge the status of IMPRESS as the first ‘approved’ regulator, and the NMA lodged an appeal against this decision to the Court of Appeal.
Today the NMA has dropped its appeal a few days before the case was due to be heard, agreeing to pay the majority of IMPRESS’s legal costs.
Hacked Off’s Director Kyle Taylor said,
“In recognising IMPRESS, the Press Recognition Panel exhaustively examined every element of IMPRESS’ structure and found the regulator met the Royal Charter requirements for an independent regulator. As a result, IMPRESS publications enjoy a new protection for freedom of expression, through immunity from exemplary damages in some media claims – and were promised to enjoy a further costs-shifting protection too.
“Yet this legal challenge was brought by the News Media Association to challenge that decision: to frustrate the Leveson model of independent press regulation, deprive local newspapers of those free speech protections, and to undermine the status of IMPRESS as the only independent press self-regulator. If successful, this would have been to the clear detriment of the dozens of valuable local newspaper titles which are members of the only British newspaper regulator.
“The fact that the claim, deemed by the judge to be “hopeless on the facts” when initially rejected last year, has finally been abandoned, serves to underline the permanence and integrity of the Leveson model.
“The News Media Association, a shadowy network of politicians and publishers with a troubling record on press freedom, should reflect on how it was prepared to damage local newspaper titles across the UK through this action.”
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