Society of Editors launches campaign for real news platforms


The Society of Editors has launched a new initiative for 2020, calling on editors and those in the news industry to help it expose attempts to restrict and impinge on media freedom in the battle against fake news.

The Society’s Campaign for Real News, launched today, intends to turn a spotlight on attacks on press freedom, particularly through the use of fake newspapers and news sites and the rise of unbalanced, partisan non-media operations.

The raison d’être of the campaign is to support both the mainstream media and emerging new media that also recognise high standards of editorial excellence, in the battle to combat fake news.

The Society’s campaign follows ongoing issues around fake news, journalistic access to central and local government and fake newspapers that ape mainstream, trusted platforms. All of these issues, the Society says, restricts the ability of legitimate news platforms to report, and be heard, by the public.

Writing to editors across the UK, the Society’s executive director Ian Murray has asked for their help in calling-out attempts to restrict the ability of their reporters to do their jobs and to highlight any misleading publications and so-called news operations on their patch.

Meanwhile, West Dunbartonshire Council’s SNP administration and the West Dunbartonshire and Argyll and Bute branches of the SNP continue to support the boycott and ban on their members speaking to The Dumbarton Democrat, which is a 21st century digital platform.

“They appear to consider themselves beyond scrutiny or criticism,” said our editor, Bill Heaney, who is an emeritus member of the Society. “I hope people know that’s anti-democratic and they will let them know they not pleased about it.”

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