FAQ

  1. Why was IMPRESS created?
  2. Who is IMPRESS for?
  3. How can publications join IMPRESS?
  4. What other benefits does an IMPRESS membership have?
  5. Can journalists join IMPRESS?
  6. How can members of the public contact IMPRESS, and bring complaints forward?
  7. Who runs IMPRESS?
  8. How is IMPRESS funded?
  9. Which publishers are regulated by IMPRESS, and part of the IMPRESS network?
  10. What is the relationship between IMPRESS and the government?
  11. What is Section 40?

 

1. 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.

[VIDEO] CEO and founder of IMPRESS, Jonathan Heawood on the  

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2. 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 all UK news publishers.

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3. 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. You can apply online to join IMPRESS here.

>> If you wish to discuss joining IMPRESS, contact our Business Development Executive Konsta on konsta@impress.press or 020 3325 4289.

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4. What other benefits does an IMPRESS membership have?

  • 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 as part of 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.
  • A network. Our members join group of dynamic, innovative organisations that is continuosly growing. Through this network, they can share expertise and experiences.

>> You can learn more about the benefits of joining IMPRESS and other services on our Join IMPRESS page. You can also contact our Business Development Executive Konsta on konsta@impress.press or 020 3325 4289.

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5. 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.

>> We also have a whistleblowing hotline.  Please refer to our dedicated Whistleblowing page for more information.

>> Find out more on our Journalists page.

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6. How can members of the public contact IMPRESS, and bring complaints forwards?

IMPRESS  provides the public with the reassurance that they can rely on the news sources that inform them, entertain them and represent their interests.

>> Find out more on the different IMPRESS services available to members of the public

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'.

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7. Who runs IMPRESS?

Key to our role as an effective, independent and transparent 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 independent Appointment Panel. We also maintain a Code Committee, that is responsible for advising the board on our Standards Code.

IMPRESS also has a small staff team, based in central London.

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8. How is IMPRESS funded?

You can find a detailed description of our funding arrangements and independence safegaurds in our Funding page. 

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9. Which publishers are regulated by IMPRESS, and part of the IMPRESS network?

We are growing quickly. Our membership is currently made up of 112 publications from across the country, collectively reaching more than 8 million people every month.

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10. 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.’

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11. 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.

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