When we notice misinformation about the Press Recognition Panel (PRP) and recognition system, we seek to correct it. We will note the misinformation and the correct information on this page. We have also published some myths and facts about the PRP.
Misinformation and corrections
On 2 November 2017, The Times published a news article with misinformation related to the PRP and role of the Data Protection Bill, which was progressing through the House of Lords, in relation to press regulation. We wrote to the Times to explain that IMPRESS was approved by the PRP, the independent body set up following the Leveson Inquiry to oversee press regulation, and that the PRP is independent of the Government, politicians, and the press. We explained that new system of regulation is entirely voluntary. Publishers who wish to sign up to it can choose to form their own regulator, and then apply to the PRP to be recognised as being independent, properly funded, and able to protect the public. We also added that the new system of press regulation received all-party support when it was devised, and it was designed to protect the public as well as promote a free press. We explained that omitting the recognition system from the Data Protection Bill would undermine the will of Parliament, and mean that ordinary people continue to be denied access to justice when they are wronged by the press.
On 13 June 2017, The Scotsman published a news article which incorrectly stated that section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act threatens punitive cost sanctions against news publishers who are not members of a government-recognised regulator. We wrote to the publication to clarify that it is the PRP’s role to recognise regulators, and that the government has absolutely no role in recognising regulators. We explained that the PRP is completely independent from government, politicians, the press, or any other such interest.
On 18 May 2017, The Spectator published a blog that suggested the only way for a publisher to take advantage of the protections afforded by section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act would be to join IMPRESS. The PRP has written to the Spectator to clarify that this is not the case. If section 40 was commenced, the press would not be forced to join IMPRESS. Instead, publishers could choose to form their own regulator that is fully compliant with Lord Justice Leveson’s recommendations. There can be more than one Leveson-compliant regulator.
On 24 February 2017, The Sun published an article stating, “The Union [the NUJ] supported yesterday’s parliamentary recommendations on proposed Section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act, which if implemented would see the press forced to sign up to state-backed regulator Impress, bankrolled by tycoon Max Mosley.” The PRP has written to The Sun to explain that this is not the case. If section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act is commenced, the press would not be forced to join IMPRESS. If it wishes to take advantage of the section 40 protections, the press could choose to form its own regulator that is compliant with Lord Justice Leveson’s recommendations. There can be more than one Leveson-compliant regulator, in addition to IMPRESS.
On 9 February 2017, Susie Uppal, CEO of the PRP, wrote to Matt Tee, CEO of IPSO, to correct misinformation that Sir Alan Moses, Chair of IPSO, has stated about the PRP during a recent radio interview. On 13 February 2017, Matt Tee responded.
On 6 January 2017, The Times published an article in which it claimed IMPRESS is ‘The one regulator the government has so far approved…’ We have written to The Times to explain that IMPRESS has been recognised by the PRP and that the PRP is entirely independent from government.