About us / Who we are
Our philosophy

Seven things Impress knows to be true

At Impress, we are passionate about creating a world where trusted information can thrive. Our vision is driven by two key principles:

  • Acknowledging the hard truth that we currently do not live in a world where trusted information is readily accessible.
  • Recognising the widespread support there is to bring about the change we desire.

Our mission is to build a news ecosystem grounded in accuracy, transparency, and accountability. While we call for transparency and accountability in the sector, we owe it to the sector and to the public to be transparent and accountable for our own actions. As we embark on our mission, we invite you to get involved, support our work, and hold us accountable for these principles.

Continue reading to learn our seven principles as we embark on this mission.

Public trust in the news is at

an all time low.

The ever-changing news landscape, alongside the growth in digital tech, has resulted in a steady decline of public trust in news media. In 2022, Impress conducted extensive public research and we found that, Public trust in the news media is split between those that trust it (49%) and those that distrust it (48%); the public hold even less trust in its practitioners, journalists, who are trusted by only 39% of the public. In addition to this, the rise of AI has given more space to misinformation, polarised isolation, and the undermining of a shared reality. Poor ethical standards have become more entrenched in recent years as a failing economic model for news has led the industry to cut corners, prioritise clickbait, and downplay the ethical challenges of publishing online.

Freedom of speech and responsible reporting

go hand in hand.

As the famous saying goes, “With great power comes great responsibility.” Free speech rights grant all of us the liberty to express ourselves. Such freedoms are best enjoyed when news reporters provide the public with reliable and accurate information and are accountable when mistakes are made. Free speech and accountability, together, can maintain a healthy and informed society. Hence, our Standards Code reiterates: “The purpose of the Code is to help journalists create high-quality work in the public interest, balanced with respect for the rights and interests of everyone involved. It is not intended to restrict freedom of expression.“

Independent press

self-regulation works.

There have always been concerns about the potential for partisanship and politicisation in press regulation. Impress, set up in 2015, has been subject to high levels of due scrutiny. That’s why we are proud to be the only press regulator that is recognised as independent and effective by the Press Recognition Panel, an independent non-government body established under the Royal Charter on Self-Regulation of the Press. Additionally, Impress is currently funded through a charitable foundation, the Independent Press Regulation Trust, which operates independently from government, political organisations, and commercial interests. Through independent governance and oversight, and uncompromised funding, Impress demonstrates a meaningful commitment to transparency, accountability, and the public interest.

Empowering diverse voices is

vital to democracy.

In a democratic society, it is crucial that all individuals, regardless of their background, have the opportunity to participate in public discourse and shape the decisions that affect their lives. Impress promotes inclusivity and plurality within the industry to ensure it reflects and represents diverse perspectives. We do this by establishing a regulatory framework that encourages fair and equitable treatment of all individuals and communities. Impress actively engages with different communities, organisations, and stakeholders to ensure their views and concerns are considered in the regulatory process. The complaints-handling mechanism at Impress allows individuals and communities from minority backgrounds to challenge misrepresentation, discrimination, and lack of inclusivity in newsgathering and reporting.

More fair, more fun.

In sports, there is a special emphasis on equity, where efforts are made to create a fair and level playing field by eliminating advantages or disadvantages so everyone playing can enjoy the game. By promoting fairness, diversity, and accountability, Impress seeks to create an environment where all news providers, regardless of size or influence, can thrive and contribute to a dynamic media ecosystem. We work to bridge the gap between established media organisations and emerging platforms, empowering smaller news providers and giving them a voice. By providing a level playing field, Impress helps foster competition and innovation, making the news industry more bold, exciting and ready to face the changes ahead.

Alone we can do so little;

together, we can do so much.

The crisis of public trust in news media is not something that can be overcome by one single person, group or organisation. It requires the coordination of multiple stakeholders, including regulatory bodies, news organisations, journalists and practitioners, civil society and the public. By recognising our collective power, we can build on our existing regulatory framework to build a self-regulatory system that is robust, fostering public trust in news. Impress is focused on achieving this through our commitment to public participation and consultation on our core governing articles, the Standards Code and our Regulatory Scheme. By collaborating with others and promoting co-created standards, Impress strives to empower a media landscape that reflects as many diverse perspectives as possible.

The time for action is now.

While Impress has consistently championed responsible public interest journalism, the need for responsible and ethical reporting has only grown since the Leveson Inquiry over a decade ago. Discrimination, inaccuracy and intrusion are rife throughout parts of the press. Today, proactive and decisive measures are needed to ensure the press self-regulate in an effective way, building public consensus around standards and newsgathering practices. Delaying action will only have harmful consequences for the industry and the wider society it serves. Making and accessing news today is marked by numerous challenges, including disinformation, fake news, declining trust, news alienation and ethical dilemmas. Impress acknowledges the need to confront these issues head-on, and will work to implement measures to mitigate the worst impacts, safeguarding the integrity of journalism. Our Standards Code, recently updated in 2023, provides the most relevant and up-to-date guidance to the media industry on how to tackle these issues.