The Press Recognition Panel has today published its annual report considering the success of the recognition system, which certifies press regulators as independent and effective.
Participation in the recognition system is incentivized by protections on political interference in press regulation and a provision which makes legal claims far cheaper to defend for newspapers within the system. Most newspapers have instead persisted with membership of IPSO; a body which is subject to political interference, while the Government have refused to implement the costs-shifting provision that can help newspapers defend against legal claims.
The report found:
- The recognition system has still not been brought into effect; it has been frustrated by the Government’s interventions in press regulation, such as to block the access to justice incentive;
- IPSO, the industry association most publishers are members of, fails the Leveson criteria for independence and effectiveness;
- The Government should introduce Leveson’s access to justice measure immediately, and the system should be given a chance to work.
Commenting, Hacked Off Director Kyle Taylor stated:
“The recognition system is the only way to ensure that newspaper regulation is free from political interference so that journalists can do their jobs without hindrance and that the public are protected from press misconduct.
“The Panel’s report today confirms what we already knew: IPSO falls hopelessly short of the requirements for recognition. A politician exercises a veto over rule changes, its standards are written by editors and in the last five years it hasn’t managed a single fine or investigation.
“IPSO is having a corrosive effect on freedom of expression in our country, by failing to be a check on fake news and allowing a politician influence over press regulation. This poses a grave and immediate danger to democracy itself, which relies on a free and accountable press to function.”
“The Government should listen to the Panel’s recommendations and introduce access to justice for media claimants immediately so that we can restore faith in journalism once again.”
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