PressWise was set up as a voluntary organisation in 1993 by ‘victims of media abuse’, supported by concerned journalists, media lawyers and Clive Soley MP, who had sought to establish an independent body to defend press freedom and adjudicate on complaints against the press with his Freedom and Responsibility of the Press. However, the Trust has always been concerned with ethical issues in ALL forms of mass media.

The PressWise Trust registered as a charity in 1999, and changed its name to The MediaWise Trust in 2005. It is funded by donations, grants and commissions.