Ipso, the successor to the Press Complaints Commission, was set up in September 2014 to regulate the UK’s press. Some newspapers have chosen not to join Ipso and to set up their own regulatory framework (see September CJA newsletter). Sir Alan told a House of Lords communications select committee in mid-January that redrafted guidelines had been sent out by Ipso to editors and publishers. He identified one of the main jobs of the new regulatory body as putting a “red pencil” through the complex set of rules governing the UK’s newspaper industry.
“One of the things we have done is redraft rules that we can’t understand or we think are contradictory,” he told the Lords committee. He said that he was aiming for a “simple and understandable means by which we can investigate deliberate or repeated breaches of the code”. He stated Ipso’s aim was to make clear “how we monitor, investigate and reach decisions…free from control by other people, free from that hallmark of power and control, namely secrecy….Transparency is absolutely key.”
Ipso has a budget of £2.4m for its first year, £500,000 more than the PCC. It also has £500,000 for transition costs. Sir Alan described his initial job at Ipso as aiming to “gain the trust of the press and those who distrust us and fear abuse”. Ipso will monitor 69 publishers covering 1,400 publications and 1,000 websites.