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IMPRESS raises concerns over the Government's proposed National Security Bill

Independent press regulator IMPRESS raises concerns ahead of report stage for the Government’s proposed National Security Bill, due to the serious risk it poses to the integrity of public interest journalism. 

Under the changes, investigative journalists run the risk of falling foul of the Bill, while increased police powers to search and inspect the notebooks and electronic files of journalists without a court order waters down press freedom and poses a serious threat to the future of public interest reporting in this country.

Chair of IMPRESS Richard Ayre said: “The proposed Bill conflicts with many of the principles that underlie well regulated, ethical journalism in the UK: the protection of whistleblower sources and the freedom of journalists to report in the public interest without fear of prosecution.”

Ayre continued:

"If this Bill becomes law, no witness, no victim, no whistleblower, no member of parliament, will ever be able to talk to a journalist without the risk a police officer will demand to read or hear what was said."