Peter Preston, Pioneering Editor and Press Freedom Champion Dies Aged 79

This weekend, we learnt with sadness of the death of Peter Preston, former pioneering editor of The Guardian and great champion of press freedom.  Many Commonwealth colleagues will remember Peter from his attendance at CPU Conferences over the years and from his long standing involvement with the International Press Institute and the cause of press freedom His obituary appeared across the media but  The Guardian, inevitably, published the most perceptive. It can be read here.Read more

UK Editors’ Code of Practice revised

The Editors’ Code of Practice, under which the vast majority of Britain’s newspaper, magazine and news website journalists work, has been revised. The revised Code, came into effect on 1 January 2018, and  includes a change that offers increased protection to children accused of crime. In a move that goes further than the law requires, the Code will now state that editors should generally avoid naming children after arrest for a criminal offence but before they appear in court. The Society of Editors, which will look to republish and distribute its pocket-sized version…Read more

Distinguished UK Journalist Robin Esser Dies

It is with the greatest regret and sadness that we record the death of CPU Trustee Robin Esser. As well as being a distinguished journalist, Robin was a tireless campaigner for press freedom not just in the UK but throughout the Commonwealth. We will greatly miss his wisdom, his energy and his passionate support for free media. The greatest tribute we can pay him is to continue our work to protect and promote press freedom wherever it is under challenge.Read more

UK Foreign Secretary announces free speech funding

UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has today (Thursday) committed UK support for freedom of expression projects in countries where press freedom is curtailed. Today, on the International Day to end impunity for crimes against journalists, Mr Johnson has committed to spending £1m over the next financial year on projects that will enable journalists and media professionals to promote their own free press and uphold human rights. Funding will be available for press freedom projects in countries where media freedom is under significant pressure. Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said: Freedom of expression is a…Read more

UK: Rudd’s plans to criminalise viewing of extremist content another threat to journalists

Reporters Without Borders  is deeply concerned by UK Home Secretary Amber Rudd's announcement on 2 October 2017 of plans to criminalise the viewing of extremist content. The new laws would reportedly see anyone "repeatedly" viewing extremist content online jailed for up to 15 years. Rudd's announcement was delivered during her keynote speech at the Conservative party conference in Manchester. "This will close an important gap in legislation", she stated. In responding to a question from a member of the audience, she said "I don't need to understand how encryption works to understand how…Read more

UK: Poll shows that the press still wins the election debate

A YouGov poll for the London Press Club has shown that traditional news sources of newspapers and television remain more influential among voters than social media. The survey just carried out among 1,600 adults in Britain showed that 23 per cent of people said printed publications helped them choose who to vote for, compared to 18 per cent who believed social media swayed them. The results were revealed at a standing-room only London Press Club and Society of Editors debate at the Reuters building in Canary Wharf. Andrew Rawnsley, political columnist for the…Read more

Concern over media restrictions on Australia’s asylum seeker policy

International Federation of Journalists The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins its affiliate, the Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance (MEAA) in raising strong concerns about the media restrictions that surround Australia's asylum seeker policy and its offshore immigration detention centres. The IFJ and MEAA call on the Australian government to end the restrictions on media access and access to information. Since the launch of the government's militarised Operation Sovereign Borders in September 2013, the media's access to detention centres in Australia has been severely restricted, as well as at the two offshore centres…Read more

SoE Conference 2015 Highlights

The Society of Editors returned to London for this year’s annual conference with a clear focus on the business of journalism and how editors can make the best use of digital news platforms. Full details of the Conference can be found here: SoE Conference 2015Read more

UK online FOI petition launched

At the UK Society of Editors Conference in London, an online petition was launched to urge the Government not to detract from the Freedom of Information Act which established the broad principle that public bodies must release information if the public interest in doing so outweighs the public interest in it remaining secret. The SoE encouraged anyone with an interest in FOI to sign the petition FOI Online PetitionRead more

The British Society of Editors puts freedom of information at top of agenda

Society of Editors The new President of the Society of Editors has put freedom of information at the top of his agenda for the year ahead. Nick Turner, who is poised to take over at the Society’s helm, said the fight to protect the Freedom of Information Act from government reform would be “one of the biggest issues of the year”. It followed the launch of the Society’s ‘Hands Off FOI’ campaign in conjunction with Press Gazette and HoldtheFrontPage yesterday. Mr Turner, digital strategy manager at the CN Group and founder of the…Read more
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