Why was IMPRESS created?
Effective, accurate journalism has never been more important to society. But right now it is under more pressure than ever - from technological changes, the economics of publishing, the challenge of new, unverified sources of news and opinion, and from political interests.
It can only withstand these pressures if it has a secure framework within which to operate, and the confidence of the public.
IMPRESS is here to ensure quality, independent journalism flourishes in a digital age, helping build understanding and trust between journalists and the public.
Who is IMPRESS for?
IMPRESS aims to build trust in journalism to the benefit of us all.
We provide journalists and publishers with the protection and the support they need to do their job, hold the powerful to account, and speak with confidence and security.
We provide the public with the reassurance that they can rely on the news sources that inform them, entertain them and represent their interests.
Membership of IMPRESS as a regulator is available to UK news publishers.
How can publications join IMPRESS?
Joining IMPRESS can cost as little as £50 a year for organisations with up to £100,000 annual turnover, with a sliding scale for larger organisations based on turnover above that.
What publishers gain from being a member of IMPRESS
- Protection from legal costs. Our low cost arbitration scheme means your business will be protected from the threat of legal action in response to investigative reporting
- Support the future of journalism. Be a part of the future of news media, building on the core principles of the past, while innovating to deal with the challenges of the digital age.
- Gain a network. Join a group of dynamic, innovative organisations, sharing expertise and learning from each other
You can find full details of the benefits of Impress membership on this page.
Can Journalists join IMPRESS?
Currently IMPRESS does not offer membership to individual journalists.
Through our progressive Standards Code, we help journalists take the steps to protect themselves and to ensure accuracy, in an age where they are under more pressure than ever from economics, technology and new competitors.
You can find out more on our Journalists page.
How can members of the public support IMPRESS?
IMPRESS provides the public with the reassurance that they can rely on the news sources that inform them, entertain them and represent their interests.
You can find out the different ways that individuals can interact with IMPRESS on this page.
In the long term, we expect to generate income from a range of sources, including regulatory fees. In the meantime, we have obtained funding from the Independent Press Regulation Trust(IPRT), a charity which exists to promote high standards of journalism. The IPRT can award grants to any organisation that shares its charitable purpose of supporting independent press regulation.
In 2015, we entered into a long-term agreement with the IPRT for £3.8m in funding over the next four years. The IPRT’s funding has been guaranteed by the Alexander Mosley Charitable Trust. Other funders may contribute to the Trust in future. This grant is enough to cover our core costs for this period whilst we develop our income from regulatory fees.
The IPRT IMPRESS Funding Agreement is typical of charitable funding agreements. In addition, it serves to protect the independence of IMPRESS, as a fair and impartial regulator, from any donor.’
Who runs IMPRESS?
Key to our role as an effective regulator is our governance and structure.
Our board is made up of journalists, experts and specialists with a wide range of experience and skills. They are selected by an appointment panel. We also maintain a Code Committee, that is responsible for advising the board on our Standards Code.
Impress has a small staff team, based out of our office in central London.
Which publishers are members of IMPRESS?
We are growing quickly. Our membership is currently made up of more than 60 publications from across the country, collectively reaching more than 3 million people.
What is the relationship between IMPRESS and the government?
IMPRESS is a Leveson-compliant regulator and is currently the only organisation that has applied for recognition by the Press Recognition Panel (PRP). The PRP was set up at arm’s length by the Government in response to Lord Justice Leveson’s recommendations. IMPRESS was recognised by the PRP on 25 October 2016 as the first independent press regulator in the UK. The Chair of the PRP, Dr David Wolfe has said: ‘The Panel works in the public interest by supporting and promoting a free press in a free and fair society.’
What is Section 40?
Section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act 2013 gives publishers a choice: to join a recognised press regulator and take advantage of a low-cost arbitration scheme or not to join a recognised regulator, in which case they may be liable for the claimant’s costs in any legal action for libel, breach of privacy or harassment.
Publishers which join a recognised regulator will thereby be able to pursue more investigative journalism, confident that they cannot be deterred by the chilling effect of legal threats. Whilst the majority of provisions in the Crime and Courts Act have come into force, the Government has not yet commenced section 40.