13th December 2023
Impress Insights: Elections, legal threats, and big opportunities: What does 2024 have in store for publishers?

Lexie Kirkconnell-Kawana: Elections, legal threats, and big opportunities: What does 2024 have in store for publishers?

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A lot of people ask me about the publishers that join Impress. I know no two publishers are alike, rather what unites them is their shared commitment to ethics.

I also know from many of them first-hand, that the reason they went into news is because they didn’t see themselves, their views, or their communities represented and believed they could do things differently and have an impact.

They may well feel that purpose all the more acutely with the upcoming 2024 super elections (the greatest voting event in human history). The United States, Mexico, South Africa, India and, potentially, the United Kingdom, will all head to the polls in what is sure to be a huge test of publishers across the globe.

As our members, and the wider media industry, prepare to cover one of the most consequential political periods of our time, the stakes are higher than ever: they are the caretakers, responsible for providing news that will ensure electorates are well-informed. This includes sourcing accurate information, fact-checking political claims, reporting on polling and public opinion and holding powerful institutions to account.

Journalists and publishers will also have their own (sometimes strong) opinions on policies and political actors, and in expressing those views must ensure they strike the right balance: continue to clearly label opinion, accurately represent the facts, and correct (quickly and prominently) to set the record straight if a mistake is made. It’s what’s required to uphold the integrity of news. And as distribution networks, awash with synthetic media and deepfakes, begin to determine the public’s information experience, ethics in practice is what will distinguish journalists and journalism from falsity and subterfuge.

2024 is also unlikely to see a letup in instances of those in positions of power seeking to use legal intimidation to deter journalists from pursuing critical stories. Impress will continue to protect our members from the exorbitant cost of litigation and the powerful entities that seek to stifle dissent; we will be improving and expanding our resolution services, so disputes do not get in the way of you getting on with the business of reporting the news.

Thank you to those members I’ve managed to connect and speak with over the course of the year as I’ve been finding the rhythm of the Chief Exec role. I know it has been a while since Impress hit the road and met you to hear your concerns and do more to support you in your work. So first thing in January, Impress will be hosting lunch events up and down the country, led by our new Education Manager Dr Beth Parkes, so we can learn more about our members’ needs, and so our network can get together and chat shop with one another. More details on this will follow soon.

As I look toward 2024 my hope is that we, as a diverse group committed to the same values and the same standards of journalism, rise to those high stakes, continue to have impact, and be of service to the public providing news that can be trusted.

By Lexie Kirkconnell-Kawana
Chief Executive, Impress


About Lexie

Lexie has been CEO of Impress since April 2023, having previously occupied the role of regulatory manager from 2019. Lexie has an encyclopaedic knowledge of the regulatory industry. is a New Zealand qualified barrister and solicitor who has worked in all forms of media regulation. She has previously worked at the Advertising Standards Authority in the investigations team and at the New Zealand Office of Film and Literature Classification, an independent state media regulator, in a research and semi-judicial capacity.

About Impress 

Impress is a champion for news that can be trusted. We are here to make sure news providers can publish with integrity; and the public can engage in an ever-changing media landscape with confidence. We set the highest regulatory standards for news, offer education to help people make informed choices and provide resolution when disputes arise. 

Media enquiries

Louie Chandler: louie@impressorg.com / 02033076778