Alison Gow, former Audience and Content Director at Reach plc, has been awarded a fellowship of the Society of Editors (SoE).
Alison, who stepped down from the Society’s board earlier this month to coincide with her departure from Reach, had been on the board of directors for the Society since 2014 and served as its President between 2019 until 2021.
Announcing her fellowship award, Dawn Alford, Executive Director of the Society said: “Over many years, Alison’s unwavering support for the work of the SoE has meant that she is well-known and widely respected across the industry not least because of her tireless championing on behalf of young journalists and those working in the regions.
“Her leadership as President of the Society during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic saw her oversee a virtual conference which proved to be one of the most successful events the Society has held with important debates around online abuse, diversity and inclusion, and mental health issues and she has diligently supported our parliamentary and legal work around the Online Safety Bill and the safety of journalists more widely.
“It has been a privilege to work alongside her and this fellowship recognises the exceptional and vital contribution that she has made both to our work, and press freedom more generally, over many years.”
A former Editor of Wales on Sunday and the North Wales Daily Post, Alison stepped down from Reach earlier this year after 19 years with the company. Prior to her role as Interim Audience and Content Director for Video and Audio, she worked as the Digital Innovation Editor at Reach and was also responsible for overseeing the launch of Laudable, a Google-funded project involving Reach and JPIMedia aimed at turning podcasts and other audio content into a sustainable revenue stream.
Responding to the fellowship award: Alison said: “I’m deeply honoured by this accolade – it was a lovely and very unexpected surprise!
“It has been a privilege to be involved with the Society’s work over the years. The SoE plays a vital role in upholding high editorial standards, ensuring press freedom and the public’s right to know and championing the importance of news media to democracy – tenets that are more important than ever today.
“While there have been challenges, it’s great to see the Society now flourishing, membership growing, and the Media Freedom Awards proving ever more popular. I am excited to see what the Society achieves in the coming years and I wish the board, the wonderful policy and admin team, and Executive Director, Dawn, the very best for the future.”
The fellowship announcement comes ahead of the Society’s annual Media Freedom Awards, which are open for entries until 2 August 2023. The high-profile awards, which remain entirely free to enter and celebrate excellence in public interest and campaigning journalism, include 21 new and returning categories and are open to journalists and news organisations working across all platforms including national and regional print media, broadcast, digital and magazine journalism. Full guidance and how to enter can be found here.