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The IMPRESS Project is a conversation. We would love to know what you think. How can we combine press freedom with ethical journalism? How can good regulation help to strengthen journalism for the future?

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The IMPRESS Project is a company limited by guarantee, registered number 8768595.

Registered office: Acre House, 11-15 William Road, London NW1 3ER.

  1. Could I raise one query? Your prospectus makes just one mention of the sanctions for non-subsribers under the Crime & Courts Act, and does not stress that these will not come into effect unless there is a code recognised by the recognition panel under the Royal Charter. Your “means tested” financial subsciption proposals presumably envisage minimal cost to small publishers, and no sizeable ones have as yet supported your proposals.

    So are you really in business to regulate something or someone of real substance – or are you primarily a campaign to cause the Crime and Courts Act sanctions to be triggered?

    • Hi Andy – Thanks for this. Our aim has always been to establish a regulator which protects press freedom and promotes ethical journalism. If we seek recognition under the Royal Charter then our members will benefit from the ‘carrots’ set out in the Crime & Courts Act. However, some people object to the Charter framework and we remain open-minded about whether to seek recognition. If we don’t seek recognition but comply with the terms of the Charter, in particular by offering an arbitration service, our members may still be able to avoid some of the chilling effect of High Court costs. This is a work in progress and we would be happy to discuss further. What’s your position in this debate?

  2. Since you ask, my position is that nearly all forms of abusive behaviour by newspapers, certainly the worst ones, have existing remedies in civil and/or criminal law; that I can understand why publishers would have concerns about several of the Royal Charter requirements when exposing themselves to double jeopardy through adding new redress channels to the existing ones, and that the Crime and Courts Act sanctions represent a cure much worse than the disease. I would feel more relaxed about Impress if you said very clearly that you would not seek recognition unless that Act were very sunstantially amended.

    • The challenge in looking for amendments to the Crime & Courts Act is to find a way of protecting the intention behind the legislation, which is to safeguard the regulator’s independence and effectiveness by creating, on one hand, a recognition process, and, on the other hand, a system of incentives for membership. If you believe that all forms of abusive behaviour by newspapers have existing remedies then perhaps you don’t share this commitment to independent and effective regulation. Are you confident that the law does everything necessary here and that it is universally accessible? I’m not so sure. That’s why I believe regulation has an important part to play. IPSO is not satisfactory and we need an alternative.

  3. Well, I don’t believe everything is perfect now – just that the Leveson cure is worse than the disease. And in this field at least I don’t really believe in either industry self-regulation nor executive rule-making by regulatory bodies however constituted – just effective regulation under the law of the land, through speicifc statutes and judicial precedents as necessary. Of course accessibility of the legal process is an issue, but I guess there is scope for this to be improved through the development of contingent fee arrangements in defamation and other cases relevant to the media, as has been seen elsewhere. Arbitration as an alternative to litigation is fine, but only if both parties freely agree on the framework.

  1. Pingback: News: IMPRESS Project launches plans to develop independent Leveson compliant regulator | Inforrm's Blog

  2. Pingback: Hunt of the PCC sweats under fire from the Commons Charterists | FREE Article Distribution, Press Release Distribution, News Distribution - No Registration! Submit a Free Article or Press Release | BUZZSTAKE

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