Delay of decision on Impress's royal charter "farcical, but predictable"
23 August 2016
The National Union of Journalists has described as “farcical and sadly predictable” the action of UK media organisations in blocking a decision at today’s meeting of the Press Recognition Panel (PRP) on the application for royal charter recognition by the press regulator Impress.
David Wolfe, the panel chair, announced that the decision was being postponed for 20 days, following objections by newspaper and magazine publishers and representative organisations.
Séamus Dooley, NUJ assistant general secretary, noted that the PRP board had met in private session to consider representations from several publishing bodies, including the News Media Association and Associated Newspapers, owner of the Daily Mail the Professional Publishers’ Association, and the Scottish Newspapers’ Association. He said:
“This is highly farcical but also sadly predictable. There was a great fanfare about this public event, which was to be tweeted and broadcast via Periscope. When the public session began it emerged that the board had met in private and given in to the demands of owners that consideration of the application, first lodged in January, be deferred to allow greater consideration. Public confidence is severely dented by this sort of carry on and it does not suggest a genuine commitment to greater transparency or accountability.
"The application by Impress is consistent with the principles of the Leveson inquiry and is deserving of full consideration and scrutiny, without undue pressure from publishers panicked by the possibility of any model of regulation outside their control.”