PA creates trust to uphold principles

The Press Association is creating a trust to ensure the agency keeps to its principles of fast, fair and accurate reporting.

Editor-in-chief Tony Watson said that, as the company is becoming more global and diverse, the board decided new guidelines were necessary for all PA employees.

He told Press Gazette: ‘It is a strengthening of safeguards that were put in place back in 2002. At that time the board decided that certain guiding principles of reliability and impartiality ought to be enshrined formally within the group’s articles.

‘As the business began to grow there was a feeling on the board that there needed to be formal means of recording that and adhering to that.

‘As we become a much more broadly based information business beyond just a news agency and more international we needed to establish a trust.”

The trust will be made up of a consultative committee of three senior editorial figures. They will produce a report for the shareholders once a year and will be available to listen to any concerns in regard to the agency’s adherence to the principles of fairness, accuracy and impartiality.

Watson said PA plans to invest further in its multimedia operation in 2007: ‘You will see a big roll-out of our video operation over the next 12 months.’

Underlying operational profit at Press Association, excluding acquisitions and sales, was up by five per cent to £6.4m on a turnover up 15 per cent to £86.7m, according to the company’s annual report.

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