The Chartered Institute of Journalists’ submission on the Editors’ Code consultation.

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The CIoJ has submitted its suggestions as to how the Press Complaints Commission’s Editors’ Code may be improved in order to help journalists go about their duties as the eyes and ears of the public.

The CIoJ’s submission may be viewed here

Law alert

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There is a COMPLETE BAN on reporting future pre-trial proceedings of the Dale Cregan case.

The ban has been made under s4 of the Contempt of Court Act and SUPERCEDES the media’s usual right to report preliminary proceedings under the Magistrates Court Act 1980.

Also, TAKE GREAT CARE with backgrounders about Cregan and the murders of the two policewomen in Manchester last week.

The Judge has indicated ‘a real risk of prejudice’ with this case, and will be watching press coverage carefully.

  1. You CAN report the grief angles, funerals etc BUT not the crimes themselves.
  2. Close message boards relating to the Dale Cregan case, from NOW until after the trial.
  3. Make sure automatic ‘Related stories’ links do not refer to previous stories about Cregan.
  4. Do not run any stories or features about Cregan, his past, his alleged involvement in last week’s murders and other background information about him.
  5. You CANNOT report Cregan’s future remand hearings.
  6. Take great care with stories saying the trial is about to start.
  7. You can report the trial, unless the judge imposes further legal restrictions.

Marie Colvin memorial service at St Martin in the Fields: May 16

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A new date has been set for the Marie Colvin memorial service.  It will take place at St Martin in the Fields on May 16 at 11.00am.

Former IoJ Deputy General Secretary, Jim Paterson, dies

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Jim Paterson

Former Institute Deputy General Secretary, Jim Paterson, has died aged 88.

Members of the Chartered Institute of Journalists remember with great fondness, the 17 years’ service that Jim Paterson gave to the organisation as its Deputy General Secretary.

Above all, he will be remembered for his loyalty and dedication to the IoJ and his sheer mental and physical energy at chapter meetings and annual conference, where his mantra of ‘recruit – recruit – recruit’ is still remembered today.

Jim’s commitment to fighting the closed shop during the 1970s played no small part in bringing about change to the law on union membership. Similarly, his diplomacy and sound advice when handling disputes won him admiration among his peers.

He was a human dynamo who was equally loved by members and staff for his strength, kindness and boundless good humour.

The Institute is now on Facebook

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This allows us to keep in touch with members who use the leading social networking site, and also to recruit new ones.

Our Facebook page is open to all users, whether members of the CIoJ or not.

Updated daily, it carries information about the Institute as well as links to news about our profession and the industries in which we work.

Each day we trawl through dozens of news sources looking for items of interest, including trade publications, the daily press and the websites of media organisations, both in the UK and abroad.

Anyone logged onto Facebook can see the page, read information posted there and follow up the links. Those who register as “fans”, in the Facebook jargon, see all posts and links on their own pages without having to switch to the CIoJ page.

The page was set up in late July, and at the time of writing has 23 fans, about a third of them Institute members.

The Facebook group is “closed”, which means that people can become members only by applying to its administrators, or by being invited to join.

It carries far more information about the Institute than the page, as well as links to other organisations which members might find useful, such as the NCTJ, Insi, the PCC and Mediawise; campaigns, such as Save the Observer, Frontline and Article 19, and blogs, including Gentlemen Ranters (memories of the “golden days” of Fleet Street).

The group can also be used to get debates on important issues going. The current one is “are bloggers journalists?”, a question which is exercising council as more and more bloggers apply to join the institute.

The group also carries photographs of the elected officers of the Institute.

Both the page and the group are new creations and work in progress. We will add more and more useful information over the coming weeks and months.

We hope all CIoJ members who are on Facebook will become fans of one, and members of the others, and draw them to the attention of friends and colleagues through Facebook’s networking tools.

Please let the administrators (general secretary Dominic Cooper and council members Alun Hill and Charlie Harris) know what you think of this new resource so far, and offer suggestions of what you would like to see posted.

How to find us

Our Facebook page

Our Facebook group

What price democracy? Audit Commission can’t answer…so who will?

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Release time: 30 July 2009

The Audit Commission’s inquiry into local authority newspapers, ordered by the Government in its Digital Britain report, will not include an examination of their effect on traditional local newspapers.

Steve Bundred, chairman of the Commission, told the Chartered Institute of Journalists that it does not have the expertise to examine that contentious area.

Dominic Cooper, general secretary of the Institute said: “Although Digital Britain has encouraged an assessment to determine the value-for-council taxpayers’ money of these publications, this is only part of the equation. These council newspapers and magazines are more cover-up than cover-all and rarely, if ever, report anything other than council propaganda. What effect these publications have on democracy is just as important as how much taxpayer’s money they waste.

“We have seen how they have affected the performance of traditional local newspapers – leaving the public without independent scrutiny of local authority actions.”

Mr Bundred told the Institute: “The Commission is the champion of value for money in local public spending, and regulator of local public services. We plan to carry out research that examines the value achieved by council spending on communicating with the public and allows us to spread good practice and make recommendations about improving value for money in this area. This research would include council newsletters and newspapers, income derived from these newspapers, and spending on recruitment advertising.

“The Commission’s role and expertise do not lend themselves to examining the health of local newspapers or isolating the impacts of specific local authority practices on commercial bodies. This element of Digital Britain invitation appears better suited to regulators with a specific competition remit.”

Mr Cooper said: “While we welcome the inquiry because we believe it will show the exceptionally poor value for money that taxpayers get – only last week a council publication in Cornwall closed after 11 months at a cost of £700,000 to taxpayers – but unless their overall effects are studied the question still remains: What price democracy?


For further information please contact:

Dominic Cooper: 020-7252-1187, or by e-mail at;

Robin Morgan: 01226-203778, or by e-mail at

Notes for Editors:

Formed in 1884, the Chartered Institute of Journalists (CIoJ) is the world’s oldest established professional body for journalists, and a representative voice of media and communications professionals throughout the UK and the Commonwealth.


Posted on by CIoJ in Alerts, CIoJ Press releases, Freedom of Information, Press Freedom, World Press Freedom Day | 1 Comment

ON THE OCCASION of World Press Freedom Day, the Chartered Institute of Journalists (CIoJ) challenges the media industry to unite against police interference when professional press photographers attempt to record news events.

New Anti terrorism rules mean that press photographers now face jail for taking pictures of police or the armed forces. In addition to this, there has been an increasing record of attempts by the police to restrict what is recorded at public order incidents.

Incidents at the recent G20 summit highlight the vital role of photographers and cameramen who act as the public’s eyes and ears at these incidents.

For years our members have been stopped or hindered in their attempts to record incidents by Police either acting as moral arbitrators or, latterly, abusing anti-terrorism laws. Now, after a change in those terrorism laws, Press photographers can face jail for taking a picture that shows a policeman or member of the armed forces.

Although it may be a defence for a person charged with an offence under this section to prove that he or she is a professional news-gathering journalist carrying a National Press Card or other acceptable identification, the CIoJ believes this is not enough.

On World Press Freedom Day we are calling for the Police to recognize the law they uphold and accept that it is the right of photographers to take pictures in any public place. Britain should be leading the world in ensuring true democracy and open speech and not curtail the free press which is fundamental to our human rights.

A photographer carrying Press accreditation should be allowed to do his job in the same way as the police officer.

It is simply not acceptable to clear the matter up afterwards when cameras have been seized or photographers have spent hours in a police cell instead of filing the pictures which capture the news.

1. World Press Freedom Day (May 3) is a day to celebrate the fundamental principles of press freedom; to evaluate press freedom around the world, to defend the media from attacks on their independence and to pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the exercise of their profession.

2. May 3 was proclaimed World Press Freedom Day by the UN General Assembly in 1993 following a Recommendation adopted at the twenty-sixth session of UNESCO’s General Conference in 1991. It serves as an occasion to inform citizens of violations of press freedom – a reminder that in dozens of countries around the world, publications are censored, fined, suspended and closed down, while journalists, editors and publishers are harassed, attacked, detained and even murdered.

ALERT…Magazines facing online ‘Magster’ piracy threat

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The Publishers Licensing Society (PLS) recently reported that magazine publishers need to be aware of a website,, which is infringing a number of UK based magazines’ intellectual property rights.

Dubbed ‘Magster’, encourages users to upload scanned copies of magazines – without the permission of a large proportion, if not all of the magazine publishers, and then makes them freely available to view online. In addition to uploading, allows users to browse, share, archive and customise magazines free of charge.

Publishers are encouraged to check that their content has not been uploaded without authorisation. Should you find that your content appears on – and you wish to have it removed – the most prudent course of action is to issue a cease and desist letter (also known as notice and takedown). To view the site please click here ( to check your content is not being used without your authorisation.