AddThis SmartLayers

Trade body says panel ‘erred in law’ in choosing official press watchdog

NMALogonewThe Press Recognition Panel has misinterpreted and misapplied the concept of what a regulator is in making Impress the official watchdog, the newspaper industry body has claimed.

As previously reported on HTFP, the News Media Association launched legal action in response to the PRP’s decision to recognise Impress, which is funded by Max Mosley, in October.

The NMA says the PRP has “erred in law” by concluding that Impress meets its criteria of being an “independent self-regulatory body”.

The Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO), to which most UK newspaper publishers have opted to subscribe, has made clear it has no intention of applying for recognition on the grounds that it amounts to state-sponsored regulation of the press.

Impress has attracted only a handful of hyperlocal publishers and none of the big national or regional groups.

The claims are made in the text of the pre-action protocol for judicial review letter which the NMA has served on the PRP.

The letter, which has been made public, challenges the legality of the decision to recognise Impress

It reads: “While the precise circumstances of Impress’ formation remain opaque – in particular the role played by the well-known privacy campaigner Max Mosley, who as set out below is the main source of Impress’ funding – what is clear is that Impress was not formed by relevant publishers.”

The NMA is now awaiting a response from the PRP by 19 December.