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IPSO Chair Sir Alan Moses: The public don't care about rulings and corrections

Do the public actually read IPSO rulings? Apparently not according to chair Sir Alan Moses at The Media Society's annual summer drinks yesterday.

"But that's up to the public", he explained. "If they're concerned and interested in press regulation rather than just knocking it all the time then they would. But ordinary readers don't read the correction."

The former Lord Justice of Appeal and Court of Appeal Judge spoke to a packed room at Reed Smith's offices at Broadgate Tower, detailing his experiences during the first 20 months of the Independent Press Standards Organisation.

2,700 complaints in the first five months

Since its inception in the wake of the Leveson Inquiry the new regulatory body has dealt with more than 2,700 complaints in the first five months of this year alone.

But it has faced harsh criticism from the likes of campaign group Hacked Off.

However, Sir Alan remained upbeat about the IPSO's work on a daily basis.

"The debate goes on as it has done, long before we were ever formed, as to what regulation should be and how far it should go.

"The one thing that can be predicted is that it won't be a debate that finishes, it won't be a quarrel that can be easily solved."

He added: "In the meantime we at IPSO believe that protection from abuse [...] are things worthwhile protecting the public from. That is what we at IPSO try to do. I don't know what organisation would be in place if we weren't here."

'Indefensible in its current form'

Dr Evan Harris, however, a leading voice in the Hacked Off campaign, remained skeptical. Referencing the recent IPSO ruling on The Sun's Queen Headline, he said the regulator was 'indefensible in its current form', adding there was nothing the body could to do prevent editors selling papers 'on the basis of a false and misleading headline'.

Moses though, was keen to stress the benefits he believed the new organisation had brung, adding it was the first time in the 'history of journalism', publishers have had to put in annual statements, accounting for how they deal with complaints.

He added: "I'm proud of the meetings we have in relation to transgender, in relation to youth justice, in our standards department where we discuss with them the dangers and the vices of unattended language and produce what we hope will form a body of guidance."

But does he think the new body has made a difference to the world of journalism regulation? In short, no.

"I don't know," he told the audience. "I think it would be very very dangerous to say that we have, though I do detect from time to time greater caution. Nobody was going to hold them to account to the editors code of practice if we had gone away. "

You can listen the full recording of the evening here:

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