APPENDIX 3: INQUIRY ANNOUNCEMENT |
The House of Lords Communications Committee, chaired
by Lord Best, will conduct a short inquiry to find out where
things stand on press regulation.
On 29 November 2012 Lord Justice Leveson published
his report into the "culture, practices and ethics of the
press". The report found that, "There have been too
many times when, chasing the story, parts of the press have acted
as if its own code, which it wrote, simply did not exist. This
has caused real hardship and, on occasion, wreaked havoc with
the lives of innocent people whose rights and liberties have been
In response to the Leveson report, on 30 October
2013, a Royal Charter on press regulation was granted. This allowed
for one or more independent self-regulatory bodies for the press
to be established. Any such body would be recognised and overseen
by a Recognition Panel. This Panel came into existence on 3 November
The Press Complaints Commission, which had been the
voluntary regulatory body for the industry, closed in September
2014. It was replaced by The Independent Press Standards Organisation
(IPSO). In November 2014 a second body, The Independent Monitor
for the Press (IMPRESS) was set up. Neither of these bodies has,
as yet, sought recognition under the Royal Charter.
Many newspaper groups have signed up to IPSO. The
Guardian, The Independent and the Financial Times are notable
The Committee will be holding oral evidence sessions
in January 2015. These will look at the developments in press
regulation since the Leveson report in 2012. It will seek to understand
the current state of play and set out what is the policy of the
Government and others in relation to the future.
The Committee's first evidence session is expected
be held on Tuesday 13th January at 3:30 pm in Committee
Room 2, Palace of Westminster.
Oral evidence will be sought from a cross-section
of interested parties including: academics, the Press Recognition
Panel, IPSO, IMPRESS, Hacked Off and representatives of newspapers
and other publishers.
The Committee intends to conclude its evidence sessions
towards the end of January 2015 to allow it to report before the
end of the current Parliament.
Issues the Committee will consider within the course
of this inquiry, include:
is the current process for someone wishing to make a complaint
against a newspaper?
do the public know to whom to complain?
· Is it
clear what conduct merits a complaint?
are the differences between the various bodies such as IPSO and
IMPRESS, including the differences in the criteria for accepting
and evaluating complaints?
important are the terms for membership; are these a deterrent
to membership of a regulatory body?
is likely to be the effect of more than one regulator on a) the
industry and b) the consumer? Does the current situation provide
an adequate balance between consumer protection and press freedom?
the funding mechanisms in place for the replacement organisation/s
ensure effective regulation?
· Do any
of the new regulators intend to seek recognition? If so, or if
not, is there agreement as to the consequences and next steps?
variety of publications are covered by the current/intended regulations?
are the similarities and differences between the regulations for
press and other forms of media?
is taking an overall view of the system of press regulation in
We are not soliciting written evidence for this inquiry
because it is intended to set out the current position rather
than make recommendations about the future of press regulation.
If, however, any individual or organisation would like to make
a written submission they should, in the first instance, contact
15 December 2014
216 The Leveson Inquiry, An inquiry in the culture,
practices and ethics of the press, report, Executive Summary (November
'Press watchdog Ipso will 'damn' deliberate rule-breakers', BBC
(9 November 2014): http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-29980886 [accessed
14 December 2014] Back