Impress has become an approved UK press regulator set up in response to Lord Leveson’s recommendations. Convicted phone hacker Graham Johnson backs new regulator.
Reporter: Amie Stone | Sub-editor: Toby Walker
As a journalism student, preparing to step into a bullying news room culture can be daunting. You might wonder, ‘Is this for me? ’. There could be situations where you will be pushed to write stories that you believe to be unethical and inaccurate. Your hands will be tied because we are all trying to make a living and what the editor says goes. IMPRESS reckon they can change that.
Graham Johnson visited alongside Emma and said “I never knew there was a code of conduct”. Mr Johnson pleaded guilty for hacking a soap stars phone back in 2014. He explain him or his colleagues were just trying to please editors and were pushed to do things they didn’t want to. He mentioned ‘Mazhar’ [Mahmood] a fews times and said “He wasn’t doing anything different to anyone else but he put his toe over the line”. Johnson spoke about how young journalists are pushed to the limit and it is just about getting a story. He hopes that faith in journalism can be restored. There was an atmosphere of ‘if we could do it again’ about his attitude. He showed support for his partner Emma and believes IMPRESS is the way forward.
The official recognition of IMPRESS is seen as a threat to press freedom and an imposition of state power. Toby Walker, a third year journalism student said “This press regulation may prevent investigative journalists and whistle blowers from sticking up for themselves in law against the big companies they dish the dirt on. Publications will be less likely to pursue controversial stories”.