London,
10
January
2017

Section 40 "unnecessary and ill-conceived" - CIPR President

The Chartered Institute of Public Relations' (CIPR) newly elected President has slammed Section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act 2013 ahead of the closure of the public consultation on the Leveson Inquiry.

If invoked, Section 40 would compel publishers who fail to join the regulator Impress to pay the legal costs of both sides, regardless of whether they win or lose court disputes. The cost of legal fees would pose a significant threat to the existence of local and national newspapers.

Jason MacKenzie FCIPR Chart.PR, CIPR President
Free speech and freedom of expression are vital components of our democracy. Make no mistake, Section 40 represents a threat to those freedoms. It is unnecessary, ill-conceived, and must be stopped.
 
In an era where fake news can be as influential as genuine news, responsible and credible journalism can play an important role in reporting facts and holding senior public figures to account.
 
As PR professionals, we’re in the reputation business. Successful reputations can only be sustained through honest and trustworthy communication. National and local newspapers often play a key role in that process and their freedoms must be protected.
Jason MacKenzie FCIPR Chart.PR, CIPR President

Britain is currently ranked 38th in the World Press Freedom Index.

Notes to editors

About the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR)
Founded in 1948, the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) is the Royal Chartered professional body for public relations practitioners in the UK and overseas. The CIPR is by far the biggest member organisation for PR practitioners outside of North America. By size of turnover and number of individually registered members, we are the leading representative body for the PR profession and industry in Europe.

The CIPR advances professionalism in public relations by making its members accountable to their employers and the public through a code of conduct and searchable public register, setting standards through training, qualifications, awards and the production of best practice and skills guidance, facilitating Continuing Professional Development (CPD), and awarding Chartered Public Relations Practitioner status (Chart.PR).

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