IPSO Appear In Front of Select Committee

IPSO’s chairman, Sir Alan Moses, and chief executive, Matt Tee, gave evidence to the Culture, Media and Sport Committee on ‘Dealing with complaints against the press’ on Tuesday.

Sir Alan and Mr Tee answered questions on IPSO’s work, processes and Annual Report and spoke about issues such as independence, funding and due prominence.

Following the select committee hearing, speaking on Radio 4’s World At One, Moses said IPSO had brought in a new standard of press regulation for their member publishers which include the majority of national and local newspapers and the large magazine publishers.

He said: “I think every day that we work imposing powers that we have and enforcing obligations that those who have joined us – which is most of the newspapers – must submit to and every day we are requiring them to comply with our requests, deal with complaints and when we uphold a complaint, forcing them – forcing them, it’s the first time that’s ever been done – to publish in the words that we choose. That’s not toothless.

“The fact that we have that most extreme of powers available, which is something that we think about and which we will use when it’s appropriate to do so.

“You cannot judge a regulator merely by the fact that is has failed to flex its muscles for the sake of flexing its muscles.”

Discussing publishers reproducing IPSO’s adjudications, he said: “We’ve taken the view and I still take the view – there are other members of the committee who take a different view – that a forced apology is no apology at all.

“What matters is that they see the correction in the terms that we dictate that makes it quite clear in what respects the particular newspaper has broken the editor’s code.”

Last month, most national newspaper publishers signed up to a new voluntary arbitration system run by Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR)  on behalf of IPSO  aimed at reducing the cost of settling libel disputes.