Will Moses lead the press out of the darkness?

Say IPSO to most people, and the best you can probably hope for is that they think you’re talking Latin.

Most editors haven’t yet had a letter from the new press regulator and some reporters will probably not even have heard of it at all.

We got an idea of the cut of its jib when its chair, retired judge Sir Alan Moses, addressed the Society of Editors at the weekend.

The sort of leadership he shows and the confidence he inspires will be crucial.

The main reason that IPSO had to be created is that its predecessor, the Press Complaints Commission, was pretty much craven in its unwillingness and inability to tackle one of the worst excesses of the profession it monitored.

Its record on phone hacking was shameful, even when you allow it the excuse that it’s not a law enforcement agency.

But what we need to cling to is that the editor’s code passed from the PCC to IPSO could not be clearer on the sort of subterfuge that phone hacking represents.

There is nothing wrong with the code.

As I guide reporters through NCTJ exams which rightly place increasing emphasis on ethics, it’s important to acknowledge this.

The code is the best set of rules possible for an ethical, sensitive, accurate, responsible – but also lively and effective – press.

We just need someone to make those rules stick to keep those who would muzzle a free press at bay.

Let’s hope Moses can lead us out of the darkness.


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