Pub­lic Re­jects Im­press’ Fund­ing Model

Less than a twen­ti­eth of re­spon­dents to YouGov poll be­lieve press reg­u­la­tor should be funded by wealthy donors

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Press Regulation -

Just four per cent of peo­ple think a press reg­u­la­tor should be funded by do­na­tions from wealthy in­di­vid­u­als and trusts, the Im­press model, com­pared with 49 per cent who be­lieve it should be funded by the news­pa­per in­dus­try it­self, as the In­de­pen­dent Press Stan­dards Or­gan­i­sa­tion is, a new YouGov poll has found.

In his re­port into the cul­ture, ethics and prac­tices of the press pub­lished in Novem­ber 2012, Lord Jus­tice Leve­son said that a reg­u­la­tor for the press should be funded by its mem­bers, and IPSO — which is funded en­tirely by mem­ber pub­lish­ers — was sub­se­quently es­tab­lished to reg­u­late the press.

A new YouGov poll pub­lished to­day has found that the pub­lic agree that a press reg­u­la­tor should be funded by the in­dus­try (49 per cent) while just four per cent be­lieve that a reg­u­la­tor should be funded by a wealthy in­di­vid­ual or trust. Im­press, the statere­cog­nised reg­u­la­tor for the press which not a sin­gle sig­nif­i­cant pub­lisher has signed up to, is funded by Max Mosley.

Lynne An­der­son, News Me­dia As­so­ci­a­tion deputy chief ex­ec­u­tive, said: “This sur­vey demon­strates con­clu­sively that a reg­u­la­tory regime led by Im­press — which is com­pletely re­liant upon fund­ing from one wealthy in­di­vid­ual, Max Mosley— can­not com­mand the con­fi­dence of the pub­lic.

“IPSO is funded in its en­tirety by its mem­ber na­tional, re­gional and lo­cal news­pa­per pub­lish­ers which is the fund­ing model the pub­lic want and ex­pect from an in­dus­try which is com­mit­ted to ro­bust sel­f­reg­u­la­tion.”

“It is also abun­dantly clear from the poll that there is ab­so­lutely no pub­lic ap­petite for fur­ther ac­tiv­ity from the Gov­ern­ment in this area — such as the re­open­ing of the Leve­son In­quiry — when there are other much more press­ing pri­or­i­ties at hand.”

The YouGov poll also found that the pub­lic over­whelm­ingly be­lieve the Gov­ern­ment should be fo­cussing its at­ten­tion and re­sources on ar­eas other than press reg­u­la­tion which came at the very bot­tom of a list of 16 is­sues the Gov­ern­ment should fo­cus on over the next few years.

The poll found that just one per cent of re­spon­dents thought press reg­u­la­tion should be among the top four pri­or­i­ties, af­ter airport ex­pan­sion (two per cent). Top four pri­or­i­ties were Brexit (53 per cent), health (48 per cent), im­mi­gra­tion and asy­lum (45 per cent) and the econ­omy (44 per cent).

Com­mis­sioned by the NMA, the poll also found that more than two-thirds (68 per cent) of peo­ple be­lieve that news on so­cial me­dia plat­forms like Face­book — which are cur­rently un­reg­u­lated — should be sub­ject at least to the same level of reg­u­la­tion as news­pa­pers or even tighter reg­u­la­tion.

Britain’s press is sub­ject to numer­ous crim­i­nal and civil laws cover­ing news gath­er­ing and re­port­ing.

The vast ma­jor­ity of news­pa­pers and mag­a­zines have also signed up vol­un­tar­ily to a sys­tem of tough, in­de­pen­dent self-reg­u­la­tion un­der IPSO.

Lynne An­der­son, News Me­dia As­so­ci­a­tion deputy chief ex­ec­u­tive

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