Today’s news is delivered alongside an infinite range of media, both legitimate and illegitimate, verified and unverified. Recognising quality, trustworthy content can be difficult – especially when anyone is able to publish information and social media platforms are often doing little to ensure it’s factual.

That’s why it’s not enough to just consume the news. We must consume it critically. As custodians of news, we must ensure that everyone can:

VERIFY their news, DIVERSIFY their sources and TAKE ACTION.

Want to help your students in becoming better journalists? Impress is here to support you with guides & resources so you too can #KnowTheNews.

Impress in action

Building on our research findings that emerged from extensive public engagement work with the Universities of Leeds and Derby in which we surveyed over 3000 members of the public, Impress published the Impress News Literacy Report: Lessons in building public confidence and trust. This report presented a comprehensive view of the public’s news consumption habits, their trust levels, and the challenges faced by the news industry. It also proposed solutions that called for greater collaboration between various stakeholders, including regulators and publishers, to improve and enhance news literacy.

The publication of the report was a significant milestone for Impress. It served as a valuable resource for external stakeholders, offering insights into the importance of independent regulation as a solution to low public trust in the news. This report not only informed Impress’s media literacy initiatives but also became a key advocacy tool for ethical journalism standards. 

To celebrate the launch of the ‘Impress News Literacy Report,’ Impress organised an online event on November 30, 2022. The event featured presentations from expert researchers and panel discussions involving regulated publishers and news literacy experts. This event brought together key players in the journalism industry to discuss how they could collectively work towards rebuilding public confidence and trust in journalism. 

The event was a success, fostering collaboration and dialogue among industry experts, publishers, and the public. It highlighted the commitment of various stakeholders to address the challenges faced by the news industry. By promoting transparency and education, Impress and its partners took a significant step towards creating a more trustworthy and informed news ecosystem. 

In these success stories, Impress demonstrated how research, collaboration, and proactive initiatives can make a profound impact on journalism and public trust. Through their dedication to rebuilding trust in journalism, Impress set an example of how organisations can drive positive change in the media. 

Impress has consistently demonstrated its commitment to fostering trust in journalism through its annual Trust in Journalism Conferences. These conferences have evolved into a vital platform for media professionals, experts, and practitioners to come together and address critical issues within the journalism field. 

The inaugural Trust in Journalism Conference in November 2018 marked the beginning of this transformative series of events. It highlighted Impress’s dedication to supporting trust in journalism, laying the foundation for meaningful discussions. 

The second Trust in Journalism Conference in November 2019 continued this tradition, attracting leading media professionals from the UK and around the world. The sessions featured valuable insights into the future of the independent news sector, its sustainability, and its democratic value. These discussions emphasised the pivotal role trust plays in journalism. 

In November 2020, Impress adapted to the changing times by hosting its third annual Trust in Journalism Conference virtually. This event facilitated discussions on the challenges and opportunities facing contemporary journalism, proving Impress’s ability to adapt and thrive in unprecedented times. 

These conferences have not only showcased Impress’s dedication to its core values but have also served as a catalyst for promoting trust in journalism. They have created spaces for dialogue, collaboration, and the exchange of ideas among industry leaders. Impress remains committed to this annual tradition, using it as a vehicle to contribute to the ongoing evolution and improvement of journalism in the digital age. 

In a remarkable collaboration with the British Youth Council, Impress embarked on an engaging project in early December 2020, welcoming 12 young media advocates to its offices in Blackfriars. These advocates, aged 15 to 18, came together to contribute their valuable insights to the future of journalism standards and children’s media rights. 

Through a series of dynamic activities that explored their news consumption habits, perceptions of high-quality reporting, and trust indicators, these young advocates actively shaped a ‘gold’ standard set of rules for the press when reporting on young people. Their perspectives played a pivotal role in informing revisions to the Children’s clause of the Impress Standards Code. 

Following these workshops, the Impress Code Committee, armed with the input from these young advocates, embarked on drafting an updated Standards Code. This new code incorporated the issues and feedback gathered during the review process, ensuring that it reflects the dynamic and evolving landscape of journalism, especially concerning age and consent. 

This initiative stands as a testament to Impress’s commitment to inclusivity and responsiveness. It not only empowered young voices in shaping the future of journalism standards but also highlighted the importance of striking a balance between protecting young individuals from harm and upholding their right to free expression. By engaging with the future generation of media consumers and creators, Impress continues to demonstrate its dedication to fostering ethical and responsible journalism. 

Hear from our board

Headshot of Richard Ayre, Chair of Impress
Richard Ayre
Chair

Richard has had a career in journalism spanning forty years, beginning in the early 1970s at the BBC in Belfast and going on to become the corporation’s controller of editorial policy and deputy chief executive of BBC News. He is a former member of the Ofcom Content Board and chair of its Broadcast Review Committee, and also chaired Article 19, the international freedom of expression charity. For fourteen years he was the Law Society’s freedom of information adjudicator before returning to the BBC as a member of the BBC Trust and chair of its editorial standards committee.

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David Robinson
Treasurer and Senior Independent Board Member

David is Chair of the Board of Forester Life (UK) and Trustee of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. He is a former Governor and Audit & Risk Committee Chair of Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, former Chair of the charity ‘Smalls for All’ and former Trustee of board diversity charity ‘Changing the Chemistry’. An actuary, he was the founder and Chief Executive of life insurer Bright Grey (Royal London).

Cordella Bart-Stewart OBE

Cordella has over 30 years’ experience as a solicitor and established her own general legal practice in North London in 1990. She has a strong interest in equality and human rights issues and has specialised in family and immigration law for over 25 years. She has been a fee paid Judge of the First Tier Tribunal since 2000. Formerly an independent Governor of Staffordshire University, which awarded her an Honorary Doctorate. She is a Chartered Manager and Companion of the Chartered Management Institute. She is a serving Director and founding member of the award winning Black Solicitors Network.

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Headshot of Debrah Harding, Impress Board member
Debrah Harding

Debrah has worked on behalf of the research sector for over 20 years. As Managing Director of the Market Research Society (MRS), Debrah leads on its standards, policy and public affairs activities, working extensively with government departments and global institutions. Debrah has a wealth of knowledge of ethical Codes, quality standards, guidelines and data protection/GDPR and their enforcement. Debrah is also Chair of the Global Business Research Network (GRBN), Vice-President of the European Research Federation (EFAMRO), a member of the BSI Standards Policy & Strategy Committee.

Headshot of Shelina Janmohamed, Impress Board member
Shelina Janmohamed

Shelina is an author, public speaker and newspaper columnist. She has written for publications such as The Telegraph, The Guardian, the BBC and Campaign Magazine, and is a regular opinion columnist in The National UAE. She works in the advertising and branding industry and has worked with some of the world’s biggest companies such as Coca-Cola, Unilever and Nestle. She sits as an advisor on WPP’s Inclusion Board as well as the Inclusion Board for Ogilvy. She is a globally recognised expert on Muslim consumer trends. She has been named one of the UK’s 100 most powerful Muslim women.

Headshot of David Leigh, Impress Board member
David Leigh

David was Anthony Sampson professor of reporting at City, University of London 2006-18. Until he retired from the paper in 2013, he was investigations editor at The Guardian for 13 years. In a journalism career spanning over 40 years he also worked for The Observer, The Times, The Scotsman, Granada TV, Thames TV and the Washington Post. He has won numerous journalism awards including Investigation of the Year 2015 (British Journalism Awards), Lifetime Achievement Award 2013, Global Investigative Journalism Network, and awards at the British Press Awards in 1979,1996 and 1997. His latest book is Investigative Journalism – a survival guide.

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Headshot of Pam Vick, Impress Board member
Pam Vick

Pam is a highly regarded commercial business development and strategic consultant to boards. She is an Ambassador for Women on Boards UK and one of Boardroom Advisors’ most experienced Advisors, an organisation that provides part-Time CEOs, exec directors and NEDs internationally. Pam is also a NED on the board of Hendeca, a specialist health and safety provider, a Trustee of The British Ecological Society, sits on an Advisory Board for the charity DEBRA, is a member of the Chairman’s Network, and has contributed to advertising effectiveness textbooks and articles including IPA Advertising Effectiveness Awards.

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Headshot of Andrea Wills, Impress Board member
Andrea Wills

Andrea has exceptional experience in broadcasting regulation, standard setting, and investigating serious editorial failings in the UK and Australia. She was Independent Editorial Adviser to the BBC Trust and investigated over 60 complaints about BBC content over the decade it existed. She began her career as a journalist and news editor in local radio, moved to television as an executive producer, before joining the BBC’s Editorial Policy team as its Chief Adviser. In Australia she worked for the ABC in Sydney, conducting independent reviews of broadcast content, developing editorial and media ethics standards, and training senior journalists.

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    Together, let’s build a community that values informed discussions and empowers us to navigate the news landscape with trust.

    Impress Standards Code

    Our membership network of around 100 publishers and 200 publications represents a diverse range of communities and interests, enabling publishers, journalists and content creators to connect while benefitting from expert regulatory services, resources and support.

     

    We represent our members in our conversations with government, parliament and other stakeholders and they have access to a network of like-minded journalists and content creators.
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