Phone-hacking victim and former journalist joins IPSO advisory panel for readers

Ipso

Phone-hacking victim and former journalist Tom Rowland has joined an advisory panel at the Independent Press Standards Organisation.

Rowland, who was a staffer at the Daily Telegraph for ten years as well as writing for a number of national titles, is one of six members of the newly launched Readers’ Advisory Panel.

The panel met for the first time last month.

Its roles includes reviewing the Editors’ Code of Practice, providing comment to IPSO about issues on which it is consulting or developing guidance and acting as a point around which the public can feed back their experiences of the regulator.

Panellists include former private sector manager Connie Henry, academic Dr Kate Sang, PR manager Michael Curran, solicitor Nabila Zulfiqar and marketing agency owner Samantha McFarlane.

None of the panelists are employed by a publisher that is or could be regulated by IPSO.

Charlotte Urwin, IPSO’s head of standards, said: “Their input as readers will help inform IPSO’s important work around press standards and they will provide us with invaluable advice and expertise.”

IPSO has also set up a Journalists’ Advisory Panel to offer advice from the perspective of journalists. The panel is expected to meet for the first time next year, with members to be confirmed in January.

Rowland, who was the first national newspaper journalist to be exonerated after a Press Complaints Commission Inquiry, claimed his phone was hacked by staff at the News of the World.

He only becoming aware of the fact in August 2011 after his mobile phone provider told him it had given evidence to Met police about his account.

Calls from the NoW’s phone hub were made to his mobile number and remote voicemail access number, he said in a witness statement to the Leveson Inquiry.

“This activity was carried out on a huge scale, some days there were up to nine calls to my mobile number. In total, the hub was used to call my mobile more than 60 times.”

Rowland wrote about celebrity property for the Mail on Sunday from 2003-4 and spoke with a number of high profile individuals for a series of feature articles in the Times from 2004-6.

This together with his work writing about yachts and the world’s most expensive stamps led him to conclude that his phone had been hacked by the paper “to gleam information” about his high-profile contacts.

“As a journalist I am deeply unhappy that I had my phone hacked,” he told the inquiry.

But, he added: “Whilst the conduct of some tabloid journalists has been appalling, I am concerned about the impact this will have on press regulation.”

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