Closed petition Create a new independent statutory regulator for all UK News Media

News Media holds a unique place in our society holding government & powerful organisations to account & can exert a powerful influence on public opinion.

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News reporting should be fair factual & accurate particularly during election & referendum campaigns where the Media could influence the outcome.

We believe the current regulatory system fails to ensure fairness & accuracy, that many News organisations are little more than mouthpieces for political parties or private interests, and that enforcement of rules is weak & ineffective.

An independent system of statutory regulation is needed with the ability to ensure fairness and accuracy in news reporting & the ability to enforce rules & impose meaningful sanctions.

This petition is closed All petitions run for 6 months

10,819 signatures

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Government responded

This response was given on 26 July 2021

The government supports a free press underpinned by independent self regulation and the independent regulation of television and radio services by Ofcom.

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The Government is committed to a free and independent press, which is vital to a strong and fully functioning democracy where the powerful can be held to account without fear. With this freedom comes responsibility, which media organisations must take seriously. There now exists a strengthened, independent, self-regulatory system to ensure that the press adheres to a wider set of clear and appropriate standards, and to offer individuals a means of redress where these are not met. The government supports this system of press regulation.

The majority of traditional publishers—including 95% of national newspapers by circulation—are members of the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO). A small number of publishers have joined Impress, while others, including the Financial Times and The Guardian, have chosen to stay outside either self-regulator with their own detailed self-regulatory arrangements.

IPSO and Impress enforce codes of conduct which provide guidelines on a range of areas, including discrimination, accuracy, privacy, and harassment. If they find that a newspaper has broken the code of conduct, they can order corrections. IPSO can also order critical adjudications and Impress can levy fines. Both regulators also offer arbitration schemes for legal claims relating to defamation, privacy and harassment. These schemes are free [Impress] or low-cost [IPSO] for claimants.

Ofcom is the independent regulator for broadcasting in the UK, including content standards. Ofcom is required under Section 319 of the Communications Act 2003 to independently draw up a code for television and radio, covering standards in programmes. Ofcom is also responsible for investigating potential breaches of the code and taking enforcement action against broadcasters where Ofcom believes this is appropriate.

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport