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Impress launches new initiative

Impress has launched a new initiative to encourage the questioning of MPs and parliamentary candidates on matters relating to the media and journalism.

Impress launches new initiative

Independent press regulator Impress has announced the launch of a new initiative to encourage the questioning of MPs and parliamentary candidates on matters relating to the media and journalism. As such, it says it has provided six key questions to help ensure a range of aspects remain at the top of the agenda, including press freedoms, misinformation, SLAPPs, media plurality and news literacy.

Readers will be encouraged to get in touch with their local candidates and put the questions to them. Impress says it is their hope that this will lead to a vibrant and productive conversation on a number of factors that are in need of addressing.

After heading to the polls in 2019, a lot has happened, much of which left the public upset, angry, confused, apathetic or maybe even all four to some degree, added Impress. But many are likely eager to have your say once again, they continued.

Impress says the media landscape has also transformed over the half-decade. The COVID-19 pandemic shone a light on the financial frailties many publishers face, the spectre of SLAPPs continued to limit freedom of the press, and Artificial Intelligence rose to prominence, threatening to single-handedly transform the industry.

Section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act – introduced in the wake of the Leveson Inquiry into phone hacking and intrusion by the press – has been abandoned by the Government, leaving a void for new incentives for publishers to take up independent press regulation.

Impress says it knows there is still a serious hunger for improvements to the media – both from the public and those in the industry. They say they hear it and see it every single day from publishers and other stakeholders. This election offers the perfect opportunity to demand some solutions that work from those that have the power to implement them.

The questions outlined by Impress are below:

1. How will you work to balance publisher’s right to freedom of expression with the public’s right to access justice if they are wronged?

2. Will you personally commit to improving transparency between the government and publishers, so the public can access information that is important to their lives?

3. What steps will you take to improve news literacy levels among the British public if you are elected?

4. How will you help to build a thriving, competitive media sector that welcomes innovation and new publishers?

5. Now that the Online Safety Act has become law, what future steps do you plan to take to ensure younger generations are not exposed to damaging content or misinformation?

6. How will you assist news outlets in diversifying income avenues and discovering incentives, in turn helping them move away from tactics such as clickbait?

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