BBC Director General Tony Hall, Lord Hall of Birkenhead, will deliver the inaugural Satchwell Lecture, organised by the Society of Editors, at Stationers’ Hall on Monday 8 October.
Over a long and distinguished career in journalism, much of it spent tirelessly defending press freedom, Bob Satchwell (pictured below) devoted his professional life to the industry he loved.
After a career on regional and national newspapers, Bob was at the helm of the Society of Editors for almost two decades and became a nationally-known figure, fighting not just for the independence of the media but also the public’s right to know.
It is fitting then that Bob, who stepped down from his role as the Society’s Executive Director in March 2017 due to a life-changing illness, should be honoured with an annual lecture staged by the Society in his name.
In what is certain to become a must-attend annual event in the UK media calendar, the lecture will continue Bob’s tireless work in supporting the Society’s ambition to maintain and further press freedom, freedom of expression, high standards in media training, diversity in the media and the public’s right to know.
BBC Director General Tony Hall will deliver the first Satchwell Lecture on Monday, October 8 at Stationers’ Hall in London, an event which will also help to raise funds for Bob’s rehabilitation care following his debilitating aneurysm and stroke.
The Society’s current Executive Director Ian Murray said: “No one involved over the last few years in the battle to protect a free press and diverse media here in the UK can be in any doubt of Bob’s huge contribution to that cause. From Leveson to the creation of IPSO, from threats to Freedom of Information, to the countless other attempts to stifle free speech, Bob was always there in the fight. This is a chance not only to ensure his name remains at the forefront of that fight but enables on this first occasion the industry to say some small thanks to a man who worked tirelessly on its behalf.”
The event has a small registration fee of £10. Places are limited. Tickets can be booked via Eventbrite here.
Bob Satchwell biography
Bob Satchwell was executive director of the Society of Editors since its foundation in 1999. He was the award-winning editor of the Cambridge Evening News from 1984 to 1998. He was President of the Guild of Editors 1997-98, which became the Society of Editors in 1999.
He was previously chairman of the Guild of Editors’ Parliamentary and Legal Committee. He was also a member of the Editors’ Code Committee, which produces the newspaper and magazine industry’s Code of Practice that is policed by the Press Complaints Commission. He helped revise the code after the death of Diana, Princess of Wales.
He was a member of the Defence and Security Media Advisory Notice System and the Cabinet Office Media Emergencies Forum. He brokered the understanding between the media and the Chief of the General Staff that led to the news embargo during Prince Harry’s deployment to Afghanistan. He was a member of the Ministry of Justice Information Users’ Group, the Home Office Community Cohesion Media Practitioner Group, the Queen’s Jubilee Communications Committee and the Home Office advisory committee for the review of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act. He is a member of the College of Policing Undercover Policing Oversight Board. He was a member of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation Public Interest in Poverty Issues Advisory Board. He was an advisor to the Greater Cambridge Partnership and Cambridge Futures. He is a Trustee of the Cambridgeshire Communities Foundation and serves on a number of charity committees.
He was chairman of the judges for the British Press Awards and the Northern Ireland Press and Broadcasting Awards, organiser of the Regional Press Awards, a trustee of the CPU Media Trust and a director of the London Press Club. He is a former board member of the National Council for the Training of Journalists.
He is an Associate Press Fellow at Wolfson College, Cambridge, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. He regularly contributes to the Speakers for Schools programme and is a member of the Newspaper Qualifications Council. He was an external examiner at the London College of Communications and at the Department of Journalism, University of Central Lancashire. He is a member of the print industry advisory panel at the School of Journalism, University of Lincoln.
He started his career with the Lancashire Evening Post in 1970 where he rose from graduate trainee to associate editor. He was Journalist of the Year in the British Press Awards for 1977 and Crime Reporter of the Year in the same year. He went to Fleet Street as assistant editor of the News of the World before returning to regional newspapers as editor of the Cambridge Evening News in 1984. He was included in the Press Gazette Regional Newspapers 40 years Hall of Fame in 2006. He was awarded the Journalists’ Charity Chairman’s Award in the National Press Awards for 2012 and he was awarded an International Writer’s Award by the International Council of Jurists and Writers in 2014.
During his tenure the Cambridge Evening News was one of the most successful regional newspapers in Britain. It was Press Gazette Newspaper of the Year in its category for 1993 and Daily Newspaper of the Year in the BT Awards for the London and Homes Counties North region for 1994. It won Newspaper Society prizes for best circulation increases in 1993, 1995, and 1996. It was also named Community Newspaper of the Year for 1996. He retired from the editorship at the end of 1998 after 15 years.
He was a frequent broadcaster and speaker, debater and lecturer on media issues, press freedom, freedom of information, business ethics, leadership, business in the community and strategic public relations. He is an editorial consultant to various organisations including web sites. He chaired debates, seminars and question time sessions and has hosted awards presentations.
Satchwell, 70 this year, has two daughters and two stepsons. His wife Michele died suddenly in July 2013. He was educated at Lancaster Royal Grammar School (president of the Old Lancastrian Club 2004-2005) and the London School of Economics (BSc Econ. 1970). His interests include rugby union and offshore sailing.
Tony Hall biography:
Tony Hall – Lord Hall of Birkenhead – is one of the key figures in the United Kingdom’s media and arts industry.
As Director-General, Tony Hall is the editorial, operational and creative leader of the BBC. He oversees all the Corporation’s services within the UK and around the world, both public service and commercial.
He joined the BBC as a news trainee in 1973, and after a 20-year career as a senior journalist and editor, he became Chief Executive of BBC News and Current Affairs. He was responsible for all of BBC News’ output across the UK and the world.
In 2001 he left the Corporation and, for more than a decade, was in charge of the Royal Opera House which incorporates the Royal Opera, one of the world’s leading opera companies, and the Royal Ballet, the UK’s largest ballet company.
He re-joined the BBC in 2013 as its 16th Director-General.
He was previously a non-executive director, and Deputy Chairman, of Channel 4. In 2009 he was asked by the Government and the Mayor of London to join the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games and chair the Cultural Olympiad Board.
In 2006 Tony Hall was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for services to Opera and Ballet. In 2010 it was announced that Hall was to become a life peer, sitting in the House of Lords on the Crossbenches. He is a Trustee of the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, one of the largest independent grant-making foundations in the UK.
2013 – present – Director-General, British Broadcasting Corporation
2001 –2013 – Chief Executive, Royal Opera House
2009 – 2013 – Board Member, London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (LOCOG)
Chair of the 2012 Cultural Olympiad
2005 – 2013 – Board Member, Channel 4 Television; appointed Deputy Chair in 2012
1996 – 2001 – Chief Executive, BBC News and Current Affairs