News the former permanent secretary for government comms, Matt Tee, has been appointed as the first chief executive of the new media regulator, IPSO, has met with a mixed reaction.
The PR industry welcomed the appointment of Tee and said his previous comms experience would serve him well in his new role.
Francis Ingham, director general of the Public Relations Consultants Association, said: "IPSO faced a difficult choice in choosing someone who understands the press but is not in its pockets and Matt is a good choice in that regard. I think the mainstream media will be okay with this appointment. Matt, through his work at the COI, would have built up an in-depth knowledge of the newspaper industry and I think they will have confidence in this appointment."
The Chartered Institute of Public Relations also welcomed the appointment. Alastair McCapra, its chief executive, said the establishment of IPSO was a positive move for the future credibility and accountability of journalism.
He added: "In Matt Tee, as a CIPR Fellow, they have appointed a chief executive with a record of commitment to promoting and upholding the highest professional standards in public relations."
Ingham’s prediction of the media’s reaction was borne out by News UK, owners of The Sun and The Times newspapers, which also welcomed the appointment.
A spokesman for News UK said: "IPSO will be both tough and independent in bringing new standards of regulation to the press. It is good news that IPSO will have such an experienced CEO with a strong track record in communications with those key, but sceptical, audiences that will be watching its development very closely."
Others in the media, such as the veteran media commentator for The Guardian Roy Greenslade, were distinctly underwhelmed by Tee’s appointment.
Greenslade said: "To be frank... I’ve never heard of him."
Hacked Off, the campaigning group which has called for greater press regulation in the wake of the phone hacking scandal, described IPSO as a "bogus regulator".
Joan Smith, executive director of Hacked Off, said: "I'm delighted that Matt Tee agrees with signatories of the Leveson Declaration that a free press is a cornerstone of democracy.
"I wish he also agreed with us, and victims of the most appalling press abuse, that there needs to be a system of redress along the lines laid down by the Leveson Inquiry. IPSO fails that test on so many counts that Hacked Off continues to regard it as yet another bogus regulator."
Paul Vickers, the chairman of the body charged with raising the funding from the newspaper industry for IPSO, the Regulatory Funding Company, said the appointment was "another important step in establishing a tough, independent, voluntary self-regulatory system for the UK press".
This article first appeared on PR Week
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