Britain’s new Ipso press regulator will aim to ensure journalists “work in a profession they are proud of”, according to chairman Sir Alan Moses.
Speaking to The Drum, the former judge said that the impact of the News of the World phone-hacking scandal meant that the reputation of journalists had “been tainted by what others have done in the past” and that reporters “don’t want to spend their working lives in something with no trust, no authority.”
Moses sought to allay fears by insisting that the new body would differ from its predecessor, the Press Complaints Commission (PCC), as it would have greater powers to investigate and deal with complaints against media organisations.
He also pointed to the larger fines Ipso could levy for media misconduct of up to one per cent of turnover, or £1m. Moses also said Ipso would take an active role in “improving standards” in the industry rather than just responding to complaints.
Responding to criticism that the new regulator had launched before all of the required staff were in place or a budget finalised, Moses said that the PCC “wanted to stop” and the public needed a body in place to deal with complaints.
The chairman added: “It would be nice to operate like a commercial operation and have had a six-month trial, but that simply wasn’t the arrangement.”
Despite the initial problems, the new chairman was upbeat about the body’s future, saying: “I would say if we are doing our job properly, independently and free from press interference, we can prove our value.”
As The Drum has previously reported, most of the UK’s major newspaper publishers have signed up to Ipso, with only the Guardian and Financial Times refusing to join and the Independent remaining undecided.