In the blogosphere random observers quite independently latch on to a topic which quickly takes on a life of its own to become an issue. It is a common enough PR headache, but for an organisation, sticking that head in the sand is not an option. Sometimes, you need to be seen to be doing something to address it. A good and topical example is IPSO, the new independent press standards (complaints) organisation. It’s been operational as people’s champion for exactly three months TODAY. I say operational, but to the outside world there seems to be nothing happening. And so a few tweets remarking on the resounding inactivity, grow into little stream of online comment, and spontaneously IPSO gets dubbed ineffective, based on nothing but its own silence. Don’t take my word for it; glance at their website www.ipso.co.uk and twitter feed @IpsoNews. I count two tweets (about job vacancies) and a couple of press releases.
In his (November 9th) lecture to the SOCIETY OF EDITORS’, IPSO’s Chairman the urbane SIR ALAN MOSES, who incidentally got little coverage except in a paper which is not (as yet) signed up to IPSO, said “I am not frightened to speak to and argue with those who doubt the ability of IPSO to regulate. But words and expressions of intent are like beating the wind, something more, far more is needed.” Indeed, even a bit more would be an improvement. I am well aware that this wise man, with years of experience as one of our most senior judges, is not going for the showy trial, the big bang, knock media heads, fine ‘em, make ‘em bleed approach, but I do consider it time to kick the tyres and start the engine. Why give Hacked-Off and those so quick to dismiss IPSO as the lacky of Barons, more ammo they don’t deserve. I see Hacked-Off are now asking us crowdfunding folk to cough up for an anti IPSO cinema advert http://hackinginquiry.org/how-you-can-help/donate/fund-cinema-advert/ which I have no intention of doing and nor should you without a very clear understanding of what Hacked-Off actually stand for.
But IPSO, the fact is there is constabulary duty to be done, to be done.