The Society of Editors has nearly 400 members. They are as different as the publications, programmes and websites they create and the communities and audiences they serve. But they share the values that matter:
- The universal right to freedom of expression
- The importance of the vitality of the news media in a democratic society
- The promotion of press and broadcasting freedom and the public’s right to know
- The commitment to high editorial standards
These values give the society the integrity and authority to influence debate on press and broadcasting freedom, ethics and the culture and business of news media.
Its members are editors, managing editors, editorial directors, training editors, editors-in-chief and deputy editors in national, regional and local newspapers, magazines, radio, television and digital media, media lawyers and academics in journalism education.
Membership is open to people who work in or with any part of the news media in senior editorial or policy making roles. Membership also extends to those who work within publications, broadcasting, digital media, journalism education, media law, aspiring journalists and all those who support the objectives of the Society.
View the list of membership categories here.
Membership is subject to approval by the Board of Directors, so if you are wondering about your eligibility, sign up, give us your details and we will get in touch.
As a member, you agree to pay the annual membership subscription appropriate to your level of membership. Membership fees are set by the board each year.
Can you afford to miss this?
The Society provides members with monthly news updates, full access to its brand new website, regional networks and events, opportunities to meet key players from the industry and government, in addition to its first class advice and support. Members also enjoy discounts on conference attendance, publications and books, as well as Commonwealth Press Union Media Trust membership.
The Society is a members’ organisation with an elected president and board of directors
This year’s president is Ian MacGregor, Emeritus Editor at the Telegraph Media Group. The Secretariat oversees the day-to-day management and direction of the Society from Cambridge. The secretariat is overseen by Ian Murray, who was appointed Executive Director of the Society of Editors in October 2017 following the standing down of Bob Satchwell due to ill health. Two standing committees spearhead the Society’s parliamentary and legal campaigning and training activities.
Fellowships are awarded to those who have supported the aims and objectives of the Society over many years.
The Society was formed by a merger of the Guild of Editors and the Association of British Editors in April 1999.
The Society produced this video in 2009 to highlight its achievements in its first 10 years.
Executive Director: Ian Murray
Ian was appointed to the position of Executive Director of the Society of Editors in October 2017 following the stepping down of founding Director Bob Satchwell due to ill health. Ian is the former Editor of the Southern Daily Echo and the Editor in Chief of Newsquest’s Hampshire titles. He stepped down from the role in 2017 after 20 years in the position. Alongside editing the Daily Echo, he was also in charge of the weekly free News Extra Series in the Southampton region, the New Forest Post, and Hampshire Society magazine series. He was the president of the Society of Editors for 2013-2014 and has been a member of the Society since its formation in 1999.
Ian formerly sat on the Editors’ Code Committee which oversees the industry’s Code of Practice
Research Officer: Claire Meadows
Claire has worked for the Society of Editors for five years and her main focus is on the Society's campaigning on behalf of press freedom. She is an English Literature and Language graduate and is NCTJ qualified. Her interests include promoting freedom of expression in the UK, Europe and more widely; press regulation and promoting diversity.
Administrator: Angela Upton
A member of the team for ten years, Angela primarily administrates the Society’s membership. She is also responsible for planning and booking for the Society’s annual conference and awards, and assists with CPU admin.
President: Ian MacGregor, Emeritus Editor, Telegraph Media Group
President of the Society of Editors, Ian is the Emeritus Editor of the Telegraph. He is the former Weekend Editor of the Telegraph and has previously worked for the Southern Evening Echo, South West News Service, the Press Association, Daily Express and Daily Mail. He was launch editor of the Metro newspapers, editor of the Scottish Daily Mail, and deputy editor of the Evening Standard. He moved to the Telegraph group in 2007, and has been deputy editor of the Daily Telegraph, editor of the Sunday Telegraph, and Weekend Editor. He was appointed Emeritus Editor in June 2017.
Why join the Society of Editors?
The Society of Editors works to protect the freedom of the media that is part of the universal right to freedom of expression and champions the importance of a vital news media to a democratic society
The Society represents members in national, regional and local newspapers, magazines, broadcasting, digital media, media law and journalism education. It campaigns for media freedom and is motivated by a desire to promote the public’s right to know and a commitment to high editorial standards and integrity. It strives to preserve editorial independence.
It is not all talk. The Society of Editors has achieved the following:
Assisted in the setting up of the Journalism Diversity Fund. Launched at the 2005 annual conference, the diversity fund aims to support and encourage the training of journalists from ethnically and socially diverse backgrounds
Campaigned tirelessly for long overdue reform of defamation law in the UK which saw the passage of the Defamation Act in 2013
Successfully lobbied the Attorney General for a review of contempt laws and regular liaison between the government and the media
Successfully campaigned to open up the family courts and the Court of Protection to public scrutiny resulting in new guidelines coming into effect in 2014
Worked with the Judicial College, News Media Association and the Media Lawyers Association to twice update guidelines on open justice and reporting restrictions in the criminal courts
Worked with the Association of Chief Police Officers to update police media guidelines
Emphasised the dangerous impact of CFAs upon the media
Ongoing campaigning alongside the Campaign for Freedom of Information on the need to protect the Freedom of Information Act from the Commission on Freedom of Information's proposals
Stood up for self-regulation of the press
Oversaw the agreement between the Ministry of Defence and the media which enabled Prince Harry’s deployment to Afghanistan in 2007 and 2013
Worked with other media organisations to counter the increasingly worrying trends of sports organisations and arenas imposing draconian conditions on press attendance at sports and music events
Worked with the Defence Security and Media Advisory Notice System to improve reporting of security issues
Organised the National Press Awards and Regional Press Awards and special regional seminars highlighting UK journalistic achievement
Worked to maintain the highest standards in journalistic training through the NCTJ, as well as publishing an online guide for aspiring journalists
Represented editors on the Media Emergencies Forum, taking part in exercises to help plan for reporting and following up lessons learnt from major terrorist incidents, a possible flu pandemic and other potential incidents. Collected feedback from the media after major incidents to feedback into the forum
Promoted responsible reporting by supervising the publication of guidelines on reporting HIV, human rights and young people and produced good practice guides for the media on Reporting Diversity, Reporting Poverty, Dealing with the stigma of drugs and A guide to Online Moderation
Successfully lobbied in 2014 against implementing proposals in the Criminal Justice and Courts Bill that would have given the attorney general the power to order media organisations to remove articles from their online archives
Campaigned for and on behalf of newspapers and broadcasters for the implementation of cameras in court rooms with Sky News becoming the first organisation to broadcast live from the Supreme Court in 2013
Campaigned strongly against calls to implement pre-charge anonymity and any form of secret justice
Successfully campaigned for judicial oversight to protect journalistic sources in respect of police use of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act
Can you afford to miss this?
The society provides members with monthly news updates, full access to its brand new website, regional networks and events, opportunities to meet key players from the industry and government, in addition to its first class advice and support. Members also enjoy discounts on conference attendance, publications and books, as well as Commonwealth Press Union membership