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04 August 2015

DA-Notice System Relaunched

The voluntary DA-Notice system which allows news media to seek advice to prevent inadvertent public disclosure of information that would compromise UK military and intelligence has been relaunched following an independent review.

Chaired by Professor Anthony Forster, University of Essex vice-chancellor, the review team included former editor of The Guardian Peter Preston, and Peter Wright, editor emeritus at Associated Newspapers.

Responding to the review, the Government said it would implement a number of its recommendations for modernising the system, including renaming it the Defence and Security Media Advisory-Notice System, and widening the DSMA committee membership to include representatives from digital media to join the national and local newspaper, magazine and broadcast members. The News Media Association and other organisations recommend the industry members, but they sit independently.

DSMA-Notices are intended to provide news media with general guidance on those areas of national security which the Government considers it has a duty to protect.

The secretary or deputy secretary of the committee is available at all times to Government departments and the media to give advice on the system and how DSMA-Notices should be applied to a particular set of circumstances.

Simon Bucks, Sky News associate editor, is vice-chair of the committee and chair of the media side.