IPSO’s Annual Report for 2019 [pdf] reveals that in that year it had 9,766 complaints and inquiries which it received and assessed.  Most of these were summarily dismissed for a variety of reasons.  IPSO investigated  621 complaints and upheld only 55 (that is, 9%). There was a report in the Press Gazette.

Article 19 has released its World freedom of expression rankings for 2019/20.  It suggests that more than half of the world’s population is now living in a country in which freedom of expression is categorised as “in crisis”. The group said that “many governments have used the global pandemic as a pretext to further restrict expression online, in the media, and on the streets.” The report [pdf] noted that some governments, including in the UK, have “made efforts to undermine public trust in public service media, and have limited their appearances on those media, thereby minimising opportunities to be held to account”.  The top rated country is Denmark with the UK at number 31 and North Korea as the worst country in the world for freedom of expression.  The Press Gazette had a piece.

The Jewish Chronicle, its editor and a senior journalist have been ordered to pay damages to a councillor and teacher accused of inviting an anti-Semitic activist to a political event.  There was a Press Gazette report.

CoinGeek had a piece “Tether pulls support for Peter McCormack in Craig Wright libel case following discovery”.  However, Coin Telegraph reported that Stuart Hoegner, general counsel for Tether and cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex, is pushing back against these claims saying “Tether supports Peter McCormack and believes he’s in the right”.

Police have dropped their investigation into an interview in which historian Dr David Starkey made controversial comments about slavery in an interview with conservative commentator Darren Grimes, who was also investigated. The Metropolitan Police opened the investigation at the end of September, almost three months after an allegation of a public order offence was passed to them by Durham Police.    The BBC had a piece. The Society of Editors had a piece “Society welcomes police decision to drop Grimes investigation”.

ASA had a news “Consultation on new strengthened rules and guidance for gambling ads to protect children and young people”.

As usual, updates on the Coronavirus guidance can be found on the Courts and Tribunal Judiciary.

Internet and Social Media 

Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter’s Jack Dorsey will be ordered to testify over alleged censorship of a controversial New York Post article.  The article revealed emails and photographs that the New York Post claimed were copied from the laptop of Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden. Twitter said the story had violated its “hacked materials” policy, but later changed its stance. Facebook had limited its spread in the news feed while it was fact-checked. The move prompted accusations of censorship and pro-Biden bias from Republican lawmakers and 12 Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee have voted to compel the two chief executives to testify about their handling of the matter. The BBC had a piece.  The Guardian had a piece “The Hunter Biden story is a crucial moment: does Twitter care more than News Corp about fact-checking?”

Google, Facebook and YouTube have increased their already substantial share of the digital advertising pie in Australia, leaving less than 20% for news and other websites, according to a new report from the competition regulator. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission report was released on Friday as the government puts the final touches on its legislation to force the digital platforms to share revenue with Australian media companies. The Guardian had a piece.

Data Privacy and Data Protection

The ICO had a piece “Simplifying subject access requests – new detailed SARs guidance”.

Mishcon de Reya Data Matters had a piece on the ICO slashing the fine to British Airways from the initial £183m to £20m for the cyber attack in 2018. The financial impact of COVID-19 was not a significant factor in the ICO’s decision.

Inforrm had a post “Data Protection: ICO fine for British Airways lands at £20m – Marcus Pilgerstorfer QC”.

Mondaq had a piece “Data Protection And The End Of The Brexit Transition Period”.


Eurowire had a piece on a report titled “Global Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance Market 2020 by Company, Regions, Type and Application, Forecast to 2025” which researches and evaluates the impact of Covid-19 outbreak on the Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance industry, involving potential opportunity and challenges, drivers and risks.

Newspapers Journalism and Regulation

The Press Gazette had a piece “Police investigating whether gun found in Spanish drug trafficking raid is same weapon used to murder journalist Veronica Guerin”.

IPSO has published one rulings  since our last Round Up:


The judgment of Nicklin J in the case of Ward v Associated Newspapers [2020] EWHC 2797 (QB) was made available on Bailii.

Last Week in the Courts

On 23 October 2020 Nicklin J heard the trial of a preliminary issue in the case of Junejo v New Vision TV Ltd.  The claim form and particulars of claim are available on Lawtel [£]

On the same day Saini J heard an application in the case of Banks v Cadwalladr.

 Media Law in Other Jurisdictions


The Victorian government is recruiting intelligence and data experts to analyse which workplaces to target for enforcement and surveillance operations, in a significant escalation of its capacity to punish employers who fail to comply with Covid-19 restrictions. The Guardian had a piece.


CBC had a piece “Former Thunder Bay mayor launches $11M lawsuit after being found not guilty of extortion”.


The brother of a man involved in the deaths of 39 migrants found in a container in England last year has initiated defamation proceedings against senior police officers who investigated the matter. The case is being taken in the High Court in Dublin. The Belfast Telegraph had a piece.


The Times had a piece “They Accused a Pakistani Megastar of Sexual Harassment. Then They Were Sued for Defamation”.

United States

USA today had a piece “Rudy Giuliani’s ‘Borat 2’ scene: What can he do about it legally? Not a lot, experts say”.

A U.S. judge said he will consider without hearing arguments whether to excuse President Donald Trump from a defamation lawsuit by a former Elle magazine columnist, after the coronavirus pandemic unexpectedly derailed the government from presenting its case. Reuters had a piece.

Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump have threatened to sue the Lincoln Project for libel, if the anti-Trump Republicans do not remove two huge billboards from Times Square in New York City, in which they accuse the senior White House advisers of showing “indifference” to Americans suffering and dying under Covid-19. The Guardian had a piece.

Roc Nation, Jay-Z, and Meek Mill must continue defending against defamation and false light claims from a former Philadelphia police officer whose photograph was included in a segment of the 2019 “Free Meek” documentary on Amazon. Bloomberg had a piece.

 Research and Resources

Next Week in the Courts

On 27 October 2020 there will be a trial of a preliminary issue in the case of Haji-Ioannou v Telegraph Media Group before Collins-Rice J.

On the same date there will be a hearing of an application before Nicklin J in the case of Hewson v Times Newspapers.

On 29 October 2020 there will be an application in the case of HRH Duchess of Sussex v Associated Newspapers which will be heard by Warby J.  The claimant is making an application to adjourn the trial presently listed to begin on 11 January 2021.


The following reserved judgments after public hearing in media law cases are outstanding:

Depp v News Group Newspapers, heard  7 to 10,13 to 17, 20 to 24 27 and 28 July 2020 (Nicol J)

Gubarev v Orbis Business Intelligence, heard 20 to 24 July 2020 (Warby J)

Nwakamma v Umeyor, heard 13 to 16 July 2020 (HHJ Lewis)

Onwude v Dyer, heard 6-8 October 2020 (HHJ Parkes QC)

Qatar Airways v Middle East News, heard 14 to 16 October 2020 (Saini J)

Wright v Granath, heard 15 October 2020 (Moylan, Singh and Popplewell LJJ)

Please let us know if there are other reserved judgments which we should be listing.

This Round Up was compiled by Nataly Tedone who is a media and entertainment paralegal.