News: Report of “External Review” of IPSO released, Hacked Off condemns as “manifestly bogus”

12 10 2016

ipso-reviewThe report of the “External Review” [pdf] of the Independent Press Standards Organisation (“IPSO”) by retired civil servant Sir Joseph Pilling, has been published.

The Review concluded that although it was in its early stages, it had demonstrated “early achievement, promise and commitment”.

Unsurprisingly, the review was welcomed by IPSO Chair Sir Alan Moses who said

“Sir Joseph’s review is a thorough examination of IPSO’s first two years in operation and I very much welcome it and thank him for his serious and scholarly analysis.I am pleased that he has highlighted the important achievements IPSO has made and the high quality assistance our staff offer to the public. In the areas where he has suggested we could improve or do things differently, we will seek to do so if necessary and will publish a full response.”

Hacked Off – which campaigns for the full implementation of the recommendations of the Leveson Report – was not impressed.  In a response to the report published today it said

This review is a predictable whitewash, and is rendered worthless by its failure to examine the real power behind IPSO: the secretive Regulatory Funding Company. The RFC, which is wholly run by the very publishers that IPSO purports to regulate “independently”, controls IPSO’s rules and has significant influence over its appointments.

“History is repeating itself: before its incompetence was exposed by the Leveson Inquiry, the Press Complaints Commission commissioned similar external reviews which pronounced in similar terms about the PCC’s independence and effectiveness. It is difficult to take seriously any review which denies industry influence over IPSO when both the Associate Editor of The Sun and editor of The Times were involved in IPSO’s initial appointments procedure, and when partisan newspaper executives serve on all IPSO committees.

“The review rightly identifies erosion of public trust in effective press regulation as a serious problem, yet IPSO attempts to rescue its own failing reputation by handpicking and paying a retired civil servant to write a glowing report according to terms of reference drawn up by IPSO itself.  The press marks its own homework and IPSO sets its own exams.

“Real public trust will only be fostered through the genuinely independent process recommended by Lord Justice Leveson and established by Parliament through a Royal Charter. If IPSO wishes to earn that trust, it should subject itself to scrutiny by the Press Recognition Panel, as Parliament intended, rather than engage in what is manifestly a bogus process.”



One response

12 10 2016

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