The Society

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

Who's Who?

The Society is a members’ organisation with an elected president and board of directors

This year’s president is Ian MacGregor, Telegraph Weekend Editor. The Secretariat oversees the day-to-day management and direction of the Society from Cambridge, headed by executive director, Bob Satchwell. 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.



President: Ian MacGregor, Telegraph Weekend Editor

Ian MacGregorPresident of the Society of Editors, Ian is the 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. 


Executive Director: Bob Satchwell

Executive director of the Society of Editors since 1999, Bob started his career in journalism at the Lancashire Evening Post in 1970. He was Journalist of the Year in the British Press Awards in 1977, then went on to work at the heart of Fleet street as assistant editor for the News of the World.

He was editor of the Cambridge Evening News from 1984-98, Press Gazette’s Newspaper of the Year in 1993. He is  a member of the Defence Security Media Advisory Notice System (DSMA), and a non-executive director of the CPU, Media Trust and the London Press Club.  

Research Officer: Claire Meadows

Claire MeadowsClaire has worked for the Society of Editors for more than three years and conducts research for the Executive Director. She is an English Literature and Language graduate and is NCTJ qualified. Her interests include media law, press regulation and promoting diversity. 

Administrator: Angela Upton

Angela UptonA 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.  

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


JoinContact UsEmails