Secretariat Activity

In case you ever wonder what goes on in a normal week, we have started to publish a weekly summary of activity so that you can be aware that your membership contributions are being put to good use.  Thank you for your continuing membership and support.

Week commencing 17 February 2017

 

  • The Society has this week opposed proposals, put forward by the Law Commission as part of an overhaul of the Official Secrets Act, to jail journalists for obtaining leaked official documents as part of an updated Espionage Act. The Law Commission’s recommendations, which set out plans to increase custodial sentences from 2 to 14 years, are being consulted on and the Society will respond to the consultation before the deadline on 3 April in liaison with the News Media Association. Read more here.
  • The Society has this week attended the first meeting of a police and media forum aimed at discussing key issues and improving professional relationships between officers and journalists in a post-Leveson landscape.The planned bi-monthly meetings, which the Society has helped to organised alongside the National Police Chiefs' Council, will be attended by representatives of both the national and regional media. If you have any issues that you would like to see discussed at these meetings please email research@societyofeditors.org
  • Representatives of the Society attended a roundtable discussion on whether Section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act 2013 is a threat to investigative journalism. Organised by the Society of Editors, London Press Club and Stationers' Hall, the event heard from Sir Alan Moses, chairman of the Independent Press Standards Organisation, Jodie Ginsberg, Chief Executive of Index on Censorship, Will Gore, Deputy Managing Editor of the London Evening Standard and Pia Sarma, Legal Director for News UK. The panel was chaired by Roy Greenslade of The Guardian. The decision on whether to implement Section 40, which could see newspapers forced to pay both sides costs in privacy and defamation cases regardless or whether or not they successfully defend a case, is yet to be decided by the government. The Society has strongly opposed Section 40 - read our response to the official consultation here. Go to @socofeduk for coverage of the debate on Monday.   
  • The Society has this week announced the shortlist for the National Press Awards for 2016 which recognises excellence in the national news media. A shortlist for the Newspaper of the Year will be released next week after the judging on Wednesday. The awards, which are a vital source of funding for the Society's lobbying on behalf of its members, also raise much-needed funds for the Journalists' Charity. Individual tickets and table bookings are available by emailing office@societyofeditors.org. Follow @PressAwardsuk on Twitter for further updates. 

Week commencing 6 February 2017

  • The Society has strongly opposed attempts by members of the House of Lords this week to put pressure on the government to enact Section 40 by adding a mirror amendment that would effect digital publishers in the same way. The amendment, although later withdrawn, was added to the Digital Economy Bill, and proposed to force news websites to pay both sides' costs in legal cases. Read more here
  • The Society can now confirm that the first meeting of the police and media forum that it has helped facilitate will take place next week. The bi-monthly meetings will be attended by the Society and representatives of both the national and regional media and will discuss key issues. The forum has been introduced with the support of the Society of Editors and the National Police Chiefs' Council. If you have any views that you would like to be brought up at the meeting please email research@societyofeditors.org
  • The judging for the National Press Awards for 2016, organised by the Society to recognise the best national journalism published in 2016, has now been completed (the Newspaper of the Year category will be judged later in the month). The awards, which are a vital source of funding for the Society's lobbying on behalf of its members, also raise much-needed funds for the Journalists' Charity. A shortlist will be published at www.pressawards.org.uk next week. Follow @PressAwardsuk on Twitter for further updates. Individual tickets and table bookings are available by emailing office@societyofeditors.org 

Week commencing 30 January 2017

  • The Society has this week welcomed the announcement that the creation of 150 local democracy reporters and proposals set out in the BBC White Paper to support local journalism have now been given the go ahead to be rolled out across the country. The proposals, first announced by the BBC’s Director of News James Harding at a Society of Editors conference in Southampton in 2014 and supported by the Society of Editors, will also see the creation of a News Bank and a Data Journalism Hub. The Society has been actively involved, alongside other media representatives, in attending a working party set up in 2016 and led by Matthew Barraclough to look at the proposals. See our comment on the announcement here. The progress of the plans was also discussed at the SoE conference in Carlisle in October 2016 - to hear more about the NewsBank, reporters and data unit re-watch the session here
  • The Society has this week finished the first stage of judging for the National Press Awards for 2016. The next stage of judging will take place on 9 February 2017. Thank you to all our judges for giving up their time to read more than 650 entries. 
  • Entries are now open for the Regional Press Awards for 2016 and will close on Friday 3 March 2017. A full list of categories and guidance is available at www.regionalpressawards.org.uk. Good luck to all entrants! 

Week commencing 23 January 2017

  • The Society of Editors has helped broker discussions to set up a new forum to improve relations between the police and the media. Following the discussions this week with the National Police Chiefs Council, it has been agreed that the six monthly meetings will bring together senior officers and journalists to discuss areas of concern. The national media will be represented by the Crime Reporters Association and Society members are invited to nominate regional representatives. They could be crime reporters, or executives with daily experience of dealing with the police. The first meeting is due to take place in February. Please email research@societyofeditors.org to nominate a representative. 
  • The Society has this week finalised the categories for the Regional Press Awards for 2016. Entries will open next Friday 3 February 2017. A full list of categories and guidance will be published at www.regionalpressawards.org.uk early next week. 

Week commencing Monday 16 January 2017

  • The Society has this week attended an exercise with the Metropolitan Police and other media organisations. 
  • The Society has this week finished checking more than 650 entries for the National Press Awards for 2016 and has now opened the first stage of judging. The Georgina Henry Women in Journalism Prize for Innovation is still open for entries. See details on how to enter here. Booking is now open for the ceremony on Tuesday 14 March and individual ticket sales and table enquiries should be directed to office@societyofeditors.org 

Week commencing 9 January 2017

  • The Society has this week submitted its response to the consultation on Section 40 stating that the legislation should be repealed in full on the basis that it unfairly targets the 95 per cent of the 'entirely innocent' newspaper industry. The Society has spent weeks working alongside industry bodies, newspaper executives and organisations that value freedom of expression to oppose the commencement of the legislation. The government will now take time to consider the responses before deciding whether it intends to implement the measures and commence the second phase of the Leveson inquiry.
    In the run up to this week's deadline for the consultations, industry bodies and newspapers have continued to voice their opposition. The News Media Association warned that Section 40 would cost the industry £100million a year while The Guardian and the Financial Times, both of which have chosen not to sign up to the Independent Press Standards Organisation, also called for the repeal of Section 40. The NUJs submission can be found here
  • The secretariat has been busy this week assisting national newspaper journalists to finalise their entries for the National Press Awards for 2016. The awards have now closed and the team is currently checking a record 700 entries. The first stage of judging will commence next week and a shortlist will be announced in February. Follow @PressAwardsUK on Twitter for updates and visit www.pressawards.org.uk
  • The Society attended a meeting at the Ministry of Justice to discuss the future provision of court lists and registers. 

Week commencing 2 January 2017

Week commencing 19 December 2016

  • The Society attended the annual Journalists' Charity christmas carol concert at St Bride's in Fleet Street. Outgoing chair of the JC and SoE board member Sue Ryan paid tribute to reporters around the world. Read her speech in full here.
  • The fight to Save Your Right to Know has continued the week and a new website Free the Press  has been launched to support the campaign. Karen Bradley has spoken about the consultation on Radio 4's Today programme and she said that she wants to defend a free press and protect victims of abuse in the wake of a legal challenge to the consultation. Read more here.Sir Alan Moses, chairman of the Independent Press Standards Organisation, has also written an op-ed piece in the Evening Standard this week in which he says that  readers will suffer if Section 40 is implemented. Read more here.
    Newspapers across the country continue to fight back against Section 40 with regional editors hitting back this week against claims by Hacked Off that regional papers are "scaremongering" over the impact of Section 40. Read what they have to say here.
     Bob Satchwell, Executive Director of the Society of Editors, has written a piece this week for the Wrexham Leader on Section 40. A number of newspapers have also published articles explaining the dangers of the Section 40 costs sanctions and called on readers to respond to the consultation.
    Papers spotlighting Section 40 this week include Kent Online, The Courier and the Bradford Telegraph and Argus

Week commencing 12 December 2016

  • The Society joined media executives at the Communications industry carol service at St Bride's on Fleet Street
  • The Executive Director and the President attended a meeting with other board members and SoE members with Damian Collins MP, Chair of the House of Commons culture, media and sport select committee. The topic of discussion was the consultation on the Leveson Inquiry and its implementation. 
  • The Society has this week continues its 'Save your right to know' campaign opposing the commencement of Section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act. Some of the papers spotlighting Section 40 this week include David Aaronovitch in The Times,  the Eastern Daily Press, the Watford Observer, the Herald Scotland, the East London and West Essex Guardian series and the Southern Daily Echo. Section 40 has also appeared in letters to the editor of The Times and in The TelegraphCulture Secretary Karen Bradley gave evidence this week to the Lords Communications Committee and said that she was keeping an open mind on whether to commence the legislation and would look carefully at the responses to the consultation. Watch the session here
  • Executive Director Bob Satchwell has appeared on BBC Radio Lancashire to discuss Preston Council's decision to support the 'Total eclipse of the S*n' campaign. Listen here. He also appeared on Radio Cambridgeshire to discuss the sale of Johnston Press papers to Iliffe media. 

Week commencing 5 December 2016

  • The Society participated in a meeting of the BBC Local Journalism Working Group. The group is putting together plans outlined in the government White Paper for the corporation to support local and regional journalism in the new Charter period. You can view the BBC's Matthew Barraclough and others discuss the progress of the group at the SoE October conference here
  • The Executive Director attended a memorial service for Mirror journalist Sue Carroll on what would have been her 63rd birthday. Sue lost her battle with cancer on Christmas day five years ago. See coverage of the memorial with Sue's friends, family and colleagues in the Mirror here
  • The Executive Director and Society board members attended the prizegiving for the British Journalism Awards organised by Press Gazette. Both the Executive Director and past SoE board members helped judge the awards. A list of winners is here
  • The Society discussed police and media relations with the Communications Advisory Group chair of the National Police Chiefs Council. Learn more about the NPCC here
  • The Society has continued its Save Your Right to Know campaign against the commencement of Section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act. IPSO chair Sir Alan Moses and Johnston Press' Chief Executive Ashley Highfield put forward their opposition to the legislation during a House of Lords Communications Committee evidence session. You can view the session in full here.  

Week commencing 28 November 2016

  • The Society attended a meeting concerning Section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act and the 'Leveson Inquiry and its implementation
  • The Society met with the Head of Media for the Metropolitan Police to discuss police and media relations
  • Entries opened for the National Press Awards for 2016
  • The Society attended a seminar at the University of Cambridge on the Investigatory Powers Act
  • The Society attended a Philip Morris International launch event for smokeless cigarettes. See coverage in The Standard here, the BBC and Reuters.  

Week commencing 21 November 2016

  • The Society of Editors conference is spotlighted in this month's issue of InPublishing which has been published this week. Read more here
  • The Society is mentioned in the current issue of Private Eye. See page 16. 
  • The Society has this week attended the annual reception of the Defence, Security and Media Advisory Notice System. Learn more about what the DSMA committee does and how the system is used by journalists' here
  • The Society was interviewed by the Financial Times about media reporting of the royal family. 

Week commencing 14 November 2016

The Society has continued campaigning against the implementation of Section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act and welcomed the move by the House of Commons to reject an amendment to the Investigatory Powers Bill that would have implemented similar measures in phone hacking cases. The Executive Director has done a number of radio interviews in relation to police and media relationships, proposals made with regard to crime reporters in the Henriques Review and comments by the Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan Howe which promote secrecy rather than transparency. 

Week commencing 31 October 2016

The Society has responded to the announcement of a public consultation on 'Leveson and its implementation' and will be responding in due course to oppose the commencement of Section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act. We continue to encourage editors and the public to write to their local MPs to oppose introduction of costs orders and encourage all to formally respond to the consultation. The Society has also welcomed a call for more consistent media access in coroners' courts. This has been published as part of updated guidance by the Chief Coroner. 

Week commencing 22 August 2016

The Society has written on behalf of its members to the Chief Coroner and Gareth Morgan, Deputy Chief Constable of Avon and Somersey Constabulary to express concern about the quality of information that is being released to the media by local coroners and local police officers. The Society would like to hear from members about their experiences of police and media relations in their circulation areas and of their relationship with the local coroner. Please email research@societyofeditors.org 

Week commencing 15 August 2016

The Society would like to hear from members about their experiences of police and media relations in their circulation areas and of their relationship with the local coroner. Please email research@societyofeditors.org 

Week commencing 25 July 2015

Bob Satchwell, the Executive Director of the Society of Editors has done a number of number of radio and newspaper interviews discussing The Sun and Hillsborough, Le Monde's decision to stop publishing photos and names of terrorists and the state of the news industry following the closure of the new newspaper for the North. 

Week commencing 18 July 2016

  • The Society attended an event hosted by Pagefield communications
  • A meeting was held of the Board of Directors to discuss the work the Society has and plans to undertake
  • Ongoing preparation for the Society of Editors conference in Carlisle

Week commencing 11 July 2016

  • The secretariat attended a meeting with the secretary of the Defence, Security and Media Advisory Notice System
  • Various media interviews including comment to the Daily Mail
  • Started planning for a regional editors' seminar for early 2017 

Week commencing 3 July 2016

  • The Society attended the local journalism working group at the BBC in Birmingham
  • The Society responded to the College of Policing's consultation on draft media guidelines. A copy of the response can be found here
  • The Society continued to campaign against the Investigatory Powers Bill ahead of committee stage on 11 July. 

Week commencing 27 June 2016

  • Attended a meeting to discuss police and media relations with the Metropolitan Police.
  • Attended the launch of the Information Commissioner’s Office’s Annual Report 2015/2016
  • Represented the Society at the All-Party Parliamentary Media Group Reception. The event was attended by Members of the House of Commons, House of Lords and Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport John Whittingdale MP
  • Wrote to several members of the House of Lords to discuss ongoing campaigning on the Investigatory Powers Bill
  • Attended a meeting of the Commonwealth Press Union
  • Various radio and other media interviews
  • Advice to members, journalism students and other organisations

Week commencing 20 June 2016

  • Facilitated a media relations and police ethics workshop at Scotland Yard. This explored particularly the use of intrusive powers by police where journalists are involved
  • Written to Security Minister John Hayes MP, the RT Hon Earl Howe and members of the House of Lords outlining the Society’s concerns about the lack of journalistic safeguards in the Investigatory Powers Bill ahead of its scheduled second reading the House of Lords on Monday 27 June. The Society’s campaign has been picked up and covered by The Sun, Press Gazette and HoldTheFrontPage
  • Met the Defence, Security and Media Notice Advisory System secretariat
  • Various radio and other media interviews
  • Advice to members, journalism students and other organisations

 Week commencing 13 June 2016

  • Represented members at the IBC legal conference on defamation and the law
  • Attended the House of Commons discussion on Freedom of Expression in the Arab World
  • Attended an event at Buckingham Palace to support the launch of the Start Up Britain Bus tour of the UK which provides free business advice to aspiring and early-stage entrepreneurs
  • Met the Defence, Security and Media Notice Advisory System secretariat
  • Various interviews and responses to media enquiries
  • Advice to members, journalism students and other organisations

Week commencing 6 June 2016

  • Highlighted the amendments tabled to the Investigatory Powers Bill ahead of its return to the House of Commons
  • Campaigned for further amendments covering prior notice and the right of appeal to be added to the Investigatory Powers Bill when it returns to the House of Lords
  • Coordinated an ethics workshop to be held in June 16 with the Metropolitan Police and newspaper and broadcast representatives
  • Launched the Society of Editors’ 2016 conference to be held in Carlisle, the biggest gathering of industry figures in the media calendar
  • Attended the Chartered Institute of Public Relations Excellence Awards
  • Attended the reception for the National Council for the Training of Journalists’ McNae’s Media Law revision launch
  • Attended a meeting on shaping research on Muslims in Britain training for journalism
  • Attended the Independent Press Standards Organisation’s parliamentary reception
  • Various interviews and responses to media enquiries

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The small team at the Society of Editors’ carry out a great deal of work to support the aims of the organisation - campaigning, commenting, supporting associated organisations, as well as networking to support the Society’s aims, encourage membership and seek sponsorship, plus a plethora of administrative and events planning work.

BS and JW