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IMPRESS is an independent press regulator in the UK. It was the first to be recognised by the Press Recognition Panel.[1] Unlike the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO), IMPRESS is fully compliant with the terms of the Leveson Inquiry.


In Spring 2011, News International began publicly admitting liability and paying compensation to people whose phone voicemail the News of the World had listened to, including an allegation (later disproven) that the paper had hacked and deleted messages from the phone of a murdered girl, Milly Dowler. This resulted in the withdrawal of advertising from the News of the World and its ceasing publication.

Lord Leveson, a senior judge, was appointed in 2011 to conduct an inquiry into the "culture, practices and ethics of the press."

In 2012 Lord Leverson issued a report that recommended replacing the old Press Complaints Commission (PCC). The Leveson Report recommended that if a new, voluntary regulatory body were to comply with a list of requirements set out in the report then litigants should be encouraged to seek redress through procedures provided by such a body: Leverson's mechanism (which was later incorporated in Section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act 2013) was that when a recognised, compliant body had been established, with a dispute resolution mechanism, then if a complainant instead brought an action in the courts, not through the new body, neither side could be awarded any costs in the court action, even if they were to win. To determine whether any proposed complaints body complies with the Leveson criteria, The Press Recognition Panel (PRP) was established.[2]

"The Press Recognition Panel (PRP) is an independent body set up to ensure that any organisation which regulates the press is independent, properly funded and able to protect the public, while recognising the important role carried out by the press."[3]

On 8 September 2014, the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO) was established by the major newspapers. It declined to seek recognition from the Press Recognition Panel, arguing complying with all the criteria would compromise its independence.

At the same time a new group was being formed called IMPRESS, intended to be a body fully compliant with the recommendations of Leveson.

IMPRESS has been rejected by all the big national titles plus most of the regional papers.[4] by challenging IPSO's control of the regulation of the UK Press. IMPRESS, as of October 2016,[5] became the UK's first officially recognised press regulator after its application for Royal Charter recognition was granted, in a move backed by many campaign groups and the National Union of Journalists (NUJ). IPSO, with the help of The News Media Association - which represents many of the largest IPSO members - requested a 'judicial review' on the grounds that “That is not what Leveson or those drafting the Charter intended.”,[6] the case was rejected by the High Court, a decision IPSO intend to appeal.[7]

IMPRESS is at present the only recognised regulatory body. However, the Government has declined to bring Section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act into effect, so the advantage of membership in terms of cost shifting are negated. The Conservative and Unionist Manifesto for the General Election in 2017 pledged to repeal Section 40, but this has not been done, so there remains a possibility that it may be.

Funding and support[edit]

IMPRESS was initially supported by individuals and groups including J.K. Rowling, the campaign group Hacked Off and the controversial Max Mosley.

No national newspaper has signed up to the new regulator; most continue to be members of the unrecognised Independent Press Standards Organisation.[8] IMPRESS's membership consists only of some small-circulation local newspapers and blogs.

Member publications[edit]

The following publications have joined IMPRESS:[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "First official UK press regulator, Impress, approved". BBC News.
  2. ^ "What's going on with UK press regulation?". London Freelance (NUJ).
  3. ^ "Who We Are". Press Recognition Panel.
  4. ^ "IMPRESS Press Regulator Newspaper Publishers - Max Moseley". The Guardian.
  5. ^ "First official UK press regulator, Impress, approved". BBC News.
  6. ^ "Newspapers Claim Decision to Grant Impress Royal Charter Recognition Unlawful and Threatens Judicial Review".
  7. ^ "High court rejects challenge to status of UK press regulator". The Guardian.
  8. ^ "Who IPSO regulates". IPSO.
  9. ^
  10. ^ Mayhew, Freddy (24 August 2017). "The Canary joins Impress to become alternative press regulator's 66th member". Press Gazette. Retrieved 2 January 2018.
  11. ^ Mayhew, Freddy (30 November 2018). "Left-wing news site Evolve Politics joins press regulator Impress in response to 'unsubstantiated shrieks of fake news'". Press Gazette. Retrieved 2 January 2018.

External links[edit]