NMA Shortlisted For Public Affairs Awards

The News Media Association has been shortlisted for The Public Affairs Awards 2016 for the news media industry’s successful campaign against restrictions to the Freedom of Information Act.

The NMA is one of six organisations shortlisted for the trade body campaign of the year award, and the results will be announced at an awards ceremony at the Park Plaza, Riverbank, on 8 December.

The NMA’s campaign, which was backed by Hollywood actor and campaigner Michael Sheen, was run in tandem with high profile campaigns by other bodies such as the Campaign for Freedom of Information, Society of Editors, Press Gazette and member publishers whose efforts were instrumental in the defence of FOI in the face of proposals to water it down.

In March, Matt Hancock, then Minister for the Cabinet Office with responsibility for FOI, said the  Government “will not make any legal changes” to the FOI Act following publication of the Independent  Commission on Freedom of Information’s report on FOI. 

But the NMA remains concerned over proposals to strengthen the Ministerial veto which the NMA believes should be scrapped completely and to remove the right of appeal to the First Tier Tribunal which would mean the only way to appeal decisions against disclosure made by the Information Commissioner would be through judicial review.

The NMA continues to campaign for a robust, comprehensive and effective FOI Act and would resist any changes that could reduce the public right to know.