Impress appoints International Federation of Journalists general secretary as chair of appointments panel

The Impress Project, which is establishing the Independent Monitor for the press as an independent press regulator has announced that former International Federation of Journalists' (IFJ) general secretary Aidan White has been appointed to chair its appointments panel.

White, who is director of the Ethical Journalism Network, has previously worked as a journalist for national and regional newspapers including The Guardian and the Birmingham Post and Mail.

He also campaigned for the National Union of Journalists before joining the IFJ, where he worked for 24 years.

He is chair of Internews, a media development charity, and a trustee of Statewatch, which monitors security and justice policy in the UK and Europe.

White said in an announcement posted on the Impress Project website: "I'm delighted to accept the position of chair of the appointment panel. Impress aspires to be a leader in providing independent regulation of the press for the digital age.

"I look forward to working alongside the rest of the Panel as we select the Board of Impress that will play a crucial role in helping to build public confidence in journalism after the scandals of recent years."

The appointment panel will select the members of the Board of the Independent Monitor for the Press, which says it will be independent of newspaper owners and politicians.

Impress founding director Jonathan Heawood said: "I'm glad to welcome Aidan to this role. He is an outstanding example of a campaigning journalist who has dedicated his career to defending the freedom and integrity of professional journalism.

"With his understanding of press freedom, both in the UK and internationally, he is the ideal person to lead the work of the appointment panel as they select an independent Board for Impress."

White will select the remaining members of the appointment panel together with the Impress Project Board. The full appointment panel is due to be announced in August.

The Impress Project was launched in December last year, and claims the support of leading journalists and free speech campaigners.

The majority of national and regional newspapers have signed up to Ipso, the Independent Press Standards Organisation.

The Guardian and Independent have not yet announce which, if any, regulator they will join, while the Financial Times has announced that it is going it alone and will regulate itself.

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