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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 that of murdered Milly Dowler. This resulted in the News of the World 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 he issued a damning report that recommended replacing the old Press Complaints Commission (PCC). He also called for a new body to help set up a replacement, and 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, was replaced by the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO), which declined to seek membership of the Press Recognition Panel arguing it would compromise its independence.

At the same time a new group was being formed called IMPRESS. Unlike IPSO, this organisation was not going to be funded the same way as IPSO.[4] This would be a fully independent body, to ensure that it followed the recommendations of Leveson.

IMPRESS has caused friction with the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO) and the big national titles, who are mostly owned by the same publishing groups, plus also the regional papers,[5] by challenging IPSO's control of the regulation of the UK Press. IMPRESS, as of October 2016,[6] 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.”,[7] the case was rejected by the High Court, a decision IPSO intend to appeal.[8]

As a recognised regulatory body, all members of Impress will now be immune from exemplary damages in libel and privacy cases and from the cost shifting element of Section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act if it ever comes into force. See Section 40, Crime and Courts Act 2013

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.[9] IMPRESS's membership consists only of some small-circulation local newspapers and blogs.

Member publications[edit]

The following publications have joined IMPRESS:[10]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]