-News Bulletin-
From Executive Director Dawn Alford, pictured above:

The Society of Editors’ Annual General Meeting took place on Wednesday November 17. After serving a double tenure at the helm Alison Gow, stepped down and Martin Breen was voted as the Society’s new President.

In her speech Gow said: “I want to acknowledge how grateful I am that we remain, still clear in our aims and purpose, as a Society – albeit one that is, I believe, more considerate and reflective of our mission and place in this industry.”

Breen, Deputy Editor-in-Chief at Belfast Telegraph and Sunday Life, said: “Five years after joining the Society of Editors board, it truly is an honour to be now taking over as president.”

Kamal Ahmed, Editor-in-Chief and Co-founder of The News Movement was unanimously elected as Vice President.

Alison Phillips, Editor at the Daily Mirror and Ian Brunskill, Assistant Editor at The Times will also be joining the Society’s board of directors.

Ian MacGregor, Emeritus Editor of the Telegraph, remains as Chair of the Society. He said: “I passionately believe that the future of the Society of Editors has never been more important.

“The value of a strong, cross-industry body fighting to protect media freedom and maintain high journalistic standards cannot be under-estimated.”

CPU Media Trust launches journalist competition

In honour of Patsy Robertson (pictured) the CPU Media Trust is launching a competition for young journalists.

Patsy Robertson was a ground breaking journalist from Jamaica who, in the late 1960s joined the newly established Commonwealth Secretariat in London. Robertson went on to work at the UN in New York but always maintained her close Commonwealth links.

Roberson was a Trustee of the CPU Media Trust for many years until her death in 2020. Throughout her life she actively encouraged and mentored many young journalists throughout the Commonwealth.

Competition entrants should submit an essay of 1000 words or less on Gandhi’s proclamation: “Freedom of the press is a precious privilege that no country can forego.”

The prize will be £500 and entrants must be under 25 years old and from a Commonwealth country.

Those interested should submit their entries at by December 31 2021.

Scottish government urged to save local media A new report produced by the Holyrood-commission Public Interest Journalism Working Group has called for the Scottish Government to help to make community takeovers and staff buy-outs of at-risk local newspapers more viable.

The group has also called for the launch of a Scottish Public Interest Journalism Institute which would look to support the cost of such community or staff-led buyouts.

The report cited the example of the Eskdale & Liddesdale Advertiser which was taken over by community group Muckle Toon Media in 2017 after the CN Group put the title up for sale for a nominal amount.This was contrasted with the family-owned Nairnshire Telegraph, which ceased publication at the end of last year.

The group said: “The working group recognises that it would be inappropriate to force proprietors to dispose of assets at a lower price than they could otherwise achieve, but believes that conditions for community takeovers and staff buy-outs could be improved to make these options more viable.

“It should be emphasised that public interest news includes not only the scrutiny of local administration and judicial processes, but also the wide-ranging coverage of social, sporting and cultural events, which are essential in maintaining community life, citizenship and civic responsibility.”

Sunday Express secures £50 million grant for motor neuron disease research 

The Sunday Express has won its campaign ‘Fund the right to cure MND’ which called on the government to grant £50 million to conduct research into a cure for motor neuron disease.

The campaign, started by the Motor Neurone Disease Association, was first carried out by the Sunday Express four months ago. For the past 18 weeks, stories were run weekly to raise awareness and keep momentum going. The publisher joined forces with leading patients, campaigners and charities to call for the money to create an MND Research Institute.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced the new funding in a column in the latest edition of the Sunday Express and expressed his delight in “wholeheartedly backing” the campaign’s crusade.

Birmingham Mail renews #Brumwish campaign 

The Birmingham Mail has renewed its annual #Brumwish campaign to help thousands of children living in poverty this Christmas. The #Brumwish drive was launched last year with the aim of providing as many Christmas presents as possible to vulnerable children and young people.

According to the End Child Poverty movement there are an approximately 110,000 children in Birmingham growing up in poverty and thousands more are in crisis across Solihull, Sandwell and the Black Country.

Mail politics and people editor, Jane Haynes said: “Where kids are born will determine how long they live. That’s the shocking reality of poverty.

“This Christmas Day, we want as many kids as possible to know we care about them – irrespective of faith or background.

“For the second year running, we are asking our generous readers to buy new gifts from this Amazon Wishlist. It is a way to show you care, if you can afford to.

“This year we have also buddied up with our friends behind Toys4Birmingham who will identify the kids in need and ensure they are reached – whether they are in a B&B room or a tower block, a room for rent or an overcrowded house.”

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