Impress announces new appointments

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IMPRESS, the UK’s only independent, Leveson-compliant press regulator, two new board members and a new member of its Code Committee, following an open recruitment process.

Board members

David Leigh is Anthony Sampson professor of reporting at City, University of London. Until he retired from the paper in 2006, 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. He is the author of numerous books building on his investigative reports.

Andrea Wills has exceptional senior experience of broadcast journalism regulation, standard-setting, and investigating serious editorial failings both in the UK and Australia. She was Independent Editorial Adviser to the BBC Trust until its closure in April, investigating over 60 complaints about BBC content over 10 years. She began her career as a radio journalist and news editor and then executive producer of television programmes, before serving for 7 years as the BBC’s Chief Adviser, Editorial Policy. 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.

Commenting on their appointments:

David Leigh said:

I am delighted to be joining the board of IMPRESS. Its commitment to voluntary, genuinely independent press standards has been one of the most important outcomes of the Leveson inquiry into the culture, practices and ethics of the press. IMPRESS is growing as a champion of free speech coupled with decent ethics. I believe this is the way to restore trust and protect the future of honest journalism.

Andrea Wills said:

I am pleased to join IMPRESS having followed its creation with much interest and I look forward to the exciting challenge of working with such a young regulator. I am confident that my experience in broadcast journalism and complaints handling can support IMPRESS as it seeks to increase its influence and rebuild public trust in the important work of journalists. I am also committed to helping IMPRESS uphold journalistic values, particularly those of accuracy and fairness, and to be accountable to people who feel a publisher has breached its Standards Code.

Code Committee member

Jonathan Collett is an experienced media and communications professional with a strong background in the news industry and press regulation, having worked in high-ranking positions for News International, the Press Complaints Commission and the Advertising Association. Earlier in his career he held senior roles in the Conservative Party, as spokesman for Michael Ancram on foreign affairs and subsequently for Michael Howard as party leader. For six years he was director of the Bruges Group, the pro-Brexit think-tank founded by Margaret Thatcher. He now runs his own consultancy, Jonathan Collett Public Relations Ltd.

Collett said:

I am delighted to join the code committee of IMPRESS. As a keen observer of the Leveson Inquiry and a supporter of Lord Justice Leveson’s recommendations I appreciate the importance of IMPRESS’s work as a rigorous, independent and effective arbiter of media standards in a digital age. I look forward to contributing to its work of developing and encouraging high standards of journalism, ensuring freedom of expression, and safeguarding and protecting the public.

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