IMPRESS launches Independent Publishers Taskforce

IMPRESS is convening a taskforce of independent news publishers to help strengthen public interest journalism in the UK.

[UPDATE: In November 2019, as a result of the work done, the Independent Publishers Taskforce published 'Supporting Public Interest News: A Blueprint', and launched the Public Interest News Foundation]

The taskforce will build on the work of the Cairncross Review, which recommended new subsidies and tax breaks for public interest journalism and digital innovation. The Review also recommended a ‘news quality obligation’, so that public interest journalism is ranked above misinformation and disinformation on social media platforms.

IMPRESS will work with the taskforce to answer questions such as:

  • How can the Cairncross recommendations be implemented whilst protecting the freedom of the press?
  • How can subsidies be directed towards publications that are committed to high standards of journalism?
  • What kinds of support do small and start-up news publications need in order to thrive in the digital era?

The project is being funded by the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust (JRRT), which promotes democratic and political reform in the UK. It will result in the publication of detailed proposals later in the year.

Jonathan Heawood, CEO of IMPRESS, said: ‘Independent publishers all over the UK are busy holding the powerful to account and producing informative and entertaining journalism. We want to draw on their creativity to ensure that the Cairncross recommendations turn into concrete actions. If we can get this right, we may see a new era of high-quality and diverse journalism in the public interest.’

IMPRESS is inviting its members to take part in the taskforce and welcomes interest from other publishers and stakeholders who would like to contribute to this initiative.


Media enquiries:

Clara Aguirre: / 020 3325 4290


IMPRESS regulates 120+ publications in the UK. We provide publishers and journalists with the protection and support they need to do their job. We offer complaints adjudication, free arbitration, a comprehensive insurance scheme and a progressive Standards Code, as well as an open code review process in which all members of the public can take part. We work in partnership with the public, publishers and key stakeholders to raise the standards of journalism.

About the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust (JRRT)

The Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust (JRRT) supports non-charitable organisations and individuals working for democratic and political reform in the UK. The Trust is primarily a grant-maker but also commissions research and organises events about issues it works on.

JRRT is one of three trusts created in 1904 by Joseph Rowntree, the York-based Quaker businessman who made a considerable fortune from the chocolate company that bore his name. He transferred a large part of his wealth to the three trusts: each designed to reflect and tackle contemporary social issues and, to this day, the trusts remain independent of each other.