Former Daily Mail Editor Paul Dacre has been named the first “journalist laureate” at the London Press Club Ball last night.
Dacre, now Editor-in-Chief and chairman of Associated Newspapers, donated his £5,000 cash award to the Journalists’ Charity and said that he was delighted to be presented with the award.
Paying tribute to Fleet Street he said that he had no doubt the industry would continue to flourish and paid tribute to his late father who he said was chairman of the Press Club between 1975 and 1976.
As reported by Press Gazette, he said: “Well today Mail Online, a total digital operation, is the world’s biggest newspaper website.
“So, yes, much water has flown through the river Fleet since those days – and print journalism has had to cross many perilous bridges.
“But make no mistake, this is still a great industry that still punches way above its weight and still sets the news agenda for a BBC that still plunders our journalism while missing no opportunity to denigrate the press and, by implication, our millions of viewers.
“Well tonight, I salute you Fleet Street.
“Yes Fleet Street is going through a challenging time at the moment, but I promise mankind’s need for information… is as old as time itself.
“And authentic, as opposed to fake news, that obeys the law, that is self-regulating and is produced by brilliant, creative minds will survive and flourish.
“But also as old as time itself is the compulsion for the rich and powerful to control the free press, as we have seen so worryingly in Britain over the past few years as politicians – particularly in the second chamber – try to impose statutory regulation on newspapers.”
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