IMPRESS Granted Extension to Review Application

The Press Recognition Panel received around a dozen submissions in response to their call for information on the application by IMPRESS for recognition as an approved press regulator. Copies of all the submissions received by the closing date of 4 March, including the News Media Association’s, have been provided to IMPRESS who were given 15 working days to review and amend their application if they wished. IMPRESS have asked for, and the PRP has agreed, an extension of a further 15 working days, ending on 20 April.

The PRP has informed the News Media Association that if IMPRESS’s response amounted to a significant alteration or substitution to their application, it would be published on the PRP’s website and a further call for information would take place. In so far as IMPRESS choses to comment on other matters, then those elements of their response would be published by the PRP at the end of the application process, once a decision has been made by the PRP Board on IMPRESS application. 

The NMA submission detailed why the IMPRESS application fails to meet most of the key recognition criteria set down in the Royal Charter. It is unrepresentative of the press as a whole, it relies for its funding on a single wealthy donor Max Mosley, it has no editorial code of standards and it cannot be described as independent, credible or effective.

In the 45-page response, the NMA explains that it would be irrational for the PRP to recognise IMPRESS as a regulator and that doing so would not help to create an effective regulator. It would, however, unfairly impose on the vast majority of UK publishers a system of penalties in circumstances that were never intended.

Meanwhile, the PRP is consulting on their proposals for reviewing approved regulators, under the terms of the Royal Charter, to ensure they continue to meet the recognition criteria. A cyclical review must be carried out two years after a regulator has been recognised and three yearly thereafter. The Charter also requires the PRP to undertake ad hoc reviews in exceptional circumstances and where there is a significant public interest in undertaking a review.

As part of the consultation, they held an online webinar on 16 March, when PRP chairman David Wolfe outlined their consultation proposals and answered questions from viewers. A recording of the webinar is available online.

The PRP’s proposed approach to reviewing approached regulators is set out in their consultation document. The consultation will run for eight weeks, closing on 11 April.