Bringing Back the Trust - IMPRESS Publishers Share their Reasons for Joining

As IMPRESS gains its 50th publisher, we ask new and established members why they want to be part of the UK’s newest regulator.

IMPRESS has come a long way since it opened its doors to applications in January 2016. With upwards of 50 publishers now being regulated or going through compliance it seems there is a growing need for independent regulation amongst a wide variety of news publishers across the UK.

We asked some members to share with us their reasons for becoming members of the UK’s newest press regulator.

Eliot Higgins, editor of investigative news site, Bellingcat, is one of IMPRESS’s most recent members, “Bellingcat uses open source and social media investigation to scrutinise and report on a variety of subjects from Mexican drug lords to conflicts being fought across the world. We wanted to sign up to IMPRESS because much of the early work in my investigative career focused on the phone hacking scandal and the Leveson Inquiry, so IMPRESS feels like a natural fit to what we’re trying to do.”

Michael Casey, editor of local community news sites Your Thurrock and Your Harlow agrees, “It was the spirit and proactivity of IMPRESS that attracted me in the first place. I endorsed their whole ethos and after Leveson it just made sense.

“Having come from a long career in the mainstream media, I believed that we had to come up with something different, better. To me IMPRESS represents a real change, regardless of Leveson 2 or Section 40, IMPRESS lays out a roadmap for a new future for news publishing.”

Kordian Klaczynski, editor at Polish weekly magazine, Cooltura has joined IMPRESS primarily for the security that it represents for handling complaints which go beyond what they can handle in house. 

He said, “Without the protection of IMPRESS’s arbitration scheme we could be up against expensive and time-consuming court proceedings. In addition, membership of IMPRESS gives us prestige, it confirms that we adhere to the highest standards of news publishing.

“Being part of a network of other independent publications we feel stronger in our public mission and in fulfilling the highest standards of journalism. I hope in the future we will also benefit from networking with other members.”

Michael Casey again, “It certainly helps to have the support structure that IMPRESS provides. There are small but important aspects to being part of a regulator – Thurrock Council for example will not allow journalists on the press bench who are not signed up to a regulator. I don’t know what they’d say if the FT or the Guardian decided to turn up for a council meeting – but that’s the rule.”