About us / Further information

Find answers to frequently asked questions about Impress below.

News is changing fast. New waves of content creators and media networks have permanently altered the way information is delivered, read and shared, giving the public ever-greater choice.

At Impress, we’re leading the charge to make sure that standards remain high, promoting confidence in news so the sector can thrive.

We do this through the regulatory role we provide for our members, with our Standards Code supporting and inspiring excellence in publishing.

Our education programmes empower the public to make informed decisions about news, while we’re also here to resolve disagreements and handle complaints when it’s needed.

Impress aims to build trust in journalism to the benefit of us all. We provide journalists and publishers with the protection and the support they need to do their job, hold the powerful to account, and speak with confidence and security. We provide the public with the reassurance that they can rely on the news sources that inform them, entertain them and represent their interests.

Membership of Impress is available to all UK news publishers.

Joining Impress can cost as little as £50 a year for organisations with up to £100,000 annual turnover, with a sliding scale for larger organisations based on turnover above that. You can apply online to join IMPRESS here.

>> If you wish to discuss joining IMPRESS, contact compliance@impressreg.org.uk

  • Protection from legal costs. Our low cost arbitration scheme means your business will be protected from the threat of legal action in response to investigative reporting.
  • Support as part of the future of journalism. Be a part of the future of news media, building on the core principles of the past, while innovating to deal with the challenges of the digital age.
  • A network. Our members join group of dynamic, innovative organisations that is continuosly growing. Through this network, they can share expertise and experiences.

You can learn more about the benefits of joining Impress and other services on our Join Impress page.

Impress offers regulated publications affordable fees. Impress charges members an annual subscription fee based on 0.1% of turnover measured by the net sales generated by the business in activities of, and related to, news publishing, in the publisher’s most recent 12 month accounting period.

Impress consulted on its fees structure in 2019. Impress held a consultation with participating publishers which ran from to 1 February to 1 March 2019; followed by a consultation with potential members and the public from 15 March to 15 April 2019.

Impress does not currently offer membership to individual journalists.

Through our progressive Standards Code, we help journalists take the steps to protect themselves and to ensure accuracy, in an age where they are under more pressure than ever from economics, technology and new competitors.

We also have a whistleblowing hotline.  Please refer to our dedicated Whistleblowing page for more information.

Impress provides the public with the reassurance that they can rely on the news sources that inform them, entertain them and represent their interests.

Find out more on the different Impress services available to members of the public.

In addition to investigating complaints made by members of the public, Impress has powers to initiate independent investigations into any of the publications it regulates, through a fair and impartial process as required under the system of approved regulation. Further, Impress has powers to assess evidence of serious or systemic breaches of its Standards Code.

Key to our role as an effective, independent and transparent regulator is our governance and structure.

Our Board is made up of journalists, experts and specialists with a wide range of experience and skills. They are selected by an independent Appointment Panel. We also maintain a Code Committee, that is responsible for advising the board on our Standards Code.

Impress also has a small staff team, based in central London.

In 2015, Impress entered into an agreement with the Independent Press Regulation Trust (IPRT) for £3.8m in funding over a four-year period. In 2018, this was replaced with a new agreement with the IPRT for additional funding of £2.85m until 2022. In 2022, Impress entered into an agreement with the IPRT for further funding of £6.45m over an eight-year period.

The IPRT’s funding has been guaranteed by the Alexander Mosley Charitable Trust.  Both the IPRT and AMCT are registered charities that support public benefit causes.  These funding arrangements are scrutinised by the Press Recognition Panel and have been reviewed by the courts to ensure that they fully protect the independence of Impress’ governance and regulatory decision making as required by the Royal Charter on self-regulation of the press.

Impress also receives funding from annual regulatory fees paid by a growing number of regulated publishers and is in the process of developing a sustainable business model for the future, based on a growth in its membership, regulatory services, donations and grants from a broader portfolio of trusts and foundations.

We are growing quickly. Our membership is currently made up of 100+ publishers (publishing 200+ publications) from across the country, collectively reaching more than 18 million people every month.

Impress is a Leveson-compliant regulator and is currently the only organisation that has applied for recognition by the Press Recognition Panel (PRP). The PRP was set up at arm’s length by the Government in response to Lord Justice Leveson’s recommendations. Impress was recognised by the PRP on 25 October 2016 as the first independent press regulator in the UK. The Chair of the PRP, Dr David Wolfe, has said: ‘The Panel works in the public interest by supporting and promoting a free press in a free and fair society.’

Section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act 2013 gives publishers a choice: to join a recognised press regulator and take advantage of a low-cost arbitration scheme or not to join a recognised regulator, in which case they may be liable for the claimant’s costs in any legal action for libel, breach of privacy or harassment.

Publishers which join a recognised regulator will thereby be able to pursue more investigative journalism, confident that they cannot be deterred by the chilling effect of legal threats. Whilst the majority of provisions in the Crime and Courts Act have come into force, the Government has not yet commenced section 40.

Being regulated by Impress means operating ethically. Being an ethical publisher under an approved system of self-regulation of the press means a publisher is operating transparently; has satisfactory systems in place to deal with complaints and compliance; and adheres to the Impress Regulatory Scheme and Standards Code. To make sure regulated publications continue to be compliant with our scheme, we run interim compliance checks throughout the year and an annual compliance return check at the end of each financial year.

We haven't covered your question?

If you cannot find the answer to your question in the FAQs, please contact us via the form below.