Scott Trust discusses Guardian joining new IPSO press regulator as time runs out for the PCC

The owner of Guardian News and Media, the Scott Trust, is meeting today to discuss regulation ahead of the launch of the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO) on Monday.

All the main UK national newspaper publishers have signed up to new regulator IPSO, with the exception of Guardian News and Media, the Financial Times and Evgeny Lebedev’s Independent/Evening Standard titles.

The Press Complaints Commission closes at the end of this week to be replaced by IPSO from next Monday. 

The Financial Times has previously announced that it will set up its own regulator rather join IPSO.

As it stands, after Friday The Guardian, FT, Independent, Standard and a number of other titles currently regulated by the PCC will have no external complaints handling process.

A Guardian spokesperson told Press Gazette: "As Guardian News & Media has previously stated, we have not ruled out joining an industry regulator that demonstrates independence from politicians and credibility with the public.

"It remains to be seen whether IPSO is that regulator. The Guardian already has an independent readers' editor, who is appointed by and reports to The Scott Trust. It’s already a tried and tested model – last year the Guardian published 3,000 corrections online and in print – but we're constantly exploring how it can be further enhanced and supplemented to provide even stronger and more efficient independent redress for complainants.

“The Scott Trust meets on 3 September and will discuss a range of proposals. We will confirm our plans thereafter.”

Update, 4 September: A Guardian spokesperson has told Press Gazette that editor-in-chief Alan Rusbridger "will make our position clear in the coming days".

The Evgeny Lebedev-owned titles – The Independent, Independent on Sunday, i and Evening Standard – have also not signed up for IPSO. In a series of appointments announced last week, managing director Andrew Mullins said the titles would be having a new “group readers’ liason” to work under deputy managing editor Will Gore, who handles complaints.

Press Gazette has asked around 50 different publishers, magazines and newspapers whether they will be signing up for IPSO.

The Economist, agency Thomson Reuters, Guido Fawkes and the New Statesman magazine are among those to have said they are not currently planning to sign up to IPSO. Private Eye has previously said it will not be signing up.

But the publishers of The Sun, Times titles, Telegraph, Mirror, Express, Star and Mail titles have all signed up, as have all the major regional newspaper publishers, and many magazine publishers.

Press Gazette understands that Press Association, the Spectator magazine, and magazine publishers Shortlist Media, Dennis, Hearst, Immediate Media, Bauer, William Reed and Conde Nast will be signing up to IPSO. But B2B publishers RBI and Incisive Media will not be doing so at this stage.

Despite itself publishing news stories, press reform group Hacked Off will not be signing up for a regulator, citing “Leveson's test for publications” – published here by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. Full Fact, a website which holds the media to account by investigating the accuracy of stories, will also not be signing up for IPSO.

Mumsnet, a popular news website, told Press Gazette it was not clear whether it is classed as a “relevant publisher” under the Leveson guidelines. A spokesperson said: "We won't be signing up next week because at the moment it's not clear whether Mumsnet is classed as a 'relevant publisher' or indeed whether IPSO is the relevant regulator."

The National Union of Journalists, which also publishes news and The Journalist magazine, said it will not be signing up to IPSO either.

The following publications have so far failed to respond to Press Gazette’s questions about whether they will be signing up to IPSO, with some still deliberating: Huffington Post, Buzzfeed, Politics Home, Money Week, the Oldie, Monocle, the New Scientist, Standpoint, Prospect, MSN News, Future Publishing, City AM and Vice.

Press Gazette was unable to make contact with anyone at Yahoo News, one of the UK’s most popular news websites.

No publisher that Press Gazette has spoken to has indicated it will be signing up to rival regulator Impress.

Last week Press Gazette revealed that it would be signing up to IPSO. Editor Dominic Ponsford said: "In practical terms I have no doubt that IPSO will provide an effective and fair way of settling complaints that can’t be resolved in-house."

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