CIoJ Press releases

CIoJ support for Paxman

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NEWS RELEASE

RELEASE DATE: 15 August 2013

CIoJ support for Paxman

The Chartered Institute of Journalists has offered its full support to Jeremy Paxman in the growing controversy over his beard.

Paxman’s facial hair has been the subject of much comment, criticism and mockery since it first appeared in public on Tuesday’s Newsnight.

The Institute said that much of the comment has been insulting and sexist, some of it from female commentators who would (rightly) be scrambling to condemn male colleagues who made similar remarks about a female broadcaster’s hairstyle.

The Institute’s (bearded) president, Charlie Harris, said: “I know this is the silly season, but with all the hard news around ‘man grows beard’ hardly merits the acres of print and broadcast minutes it has received.

“While some of the coverage has been jokey, some has been downright nasty, usually from people who should know, and behave better.”

Harris admitted that the Institute was currently firmly in the hands of the Bearded Tendency, with himself, the Immediate Past President Norman Bartlett; the general secretary Dominic Cooper, and the editor of The Journal, Andy Smith, among others, all sporting beards.

He said: “We stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Mr Paxman at this very difficult time, and assure him of our full support in the onslaught of the silly criticism he is enduring.

“We hope he stands firm and keeps his beard, which is discreet, well-kempt and distinguished.”

ENDS

‘Private eye’ laws may cause spin-off harm to journalism

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NEWS RELEASE

RELEASE DATE: 3 August 2013

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GOVERNMENT proposals announced this week to force-regulate private investigators may have serious spin-off implications for investigative journalism, the Chartered Institute of Journalists has warned.

Chair of the CIoJ’s Professional Practices Board, Amanda Brodie, said: “We are aware that the Home Secretary has said journalists will be excluded from regulation to allow them to carry out legitimate investigations in the public interest, but we would ask who defines what is in the public interest and what is or is not a legitimate investigation?

“Whilst there may be no overt intention to muzzle journalists, our concern is that this legislation may be used in the future to interfere with the free flow of information which should be part of any democratic society.”

This would not be the first time such legislation has had unforeseen fall-out for journalists. The Protection from Harassment Act 1997 was created to deal with stalkers, but was used in civil law against press photographers.

Ms Brodie added: “There needs to be very careful wording of any new legislation, especially where it relates to the exemption clauses concerning journalism.

“We welcome the Government’s stated intention to conduct a public consultation on the full range of data protection proposals and the CIoJ will be giving our views on their impact on journalism and how any changes might be approached.”

 

 

Ends

 

Note to 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.

 

Hacked Off the unacceptable face of lobbying

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Hacked Off the unacceptable face of lobbying

News Release

Release Date: 30 July 2013

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In its submission to Committee on Standards in Public Life’s consultation on lobbying, the Chartered Institute of Journalists (CIoJ) has highlighted the secretive Hacked Off as the very reason things need to change.

The Institute has also drawn attention to the willingness of senior politicians to grant privileged access to the group as hypocrisy which needs to be addressed urgently.

The full submission may be downloaded here:

CIoJ submission to the Committee on Standards in Public Life consultation on Lobbying

 

Ends

CIoJ condemns betrayal of local broadcast news

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CIoJ condemns betrayal of local broadcast news

NEWS RELEASE

RELEASE DATE: 25 July 2013

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The Chartered Institute of Journalists has condemned plans to reduce regional news output on ITV as a “total betrayal” by Ofcom of viewers around the country.  And it’s suggested that a new body that is “properly fit for purpose” should take over the media regulator’s role.

Ofcom has approved what the Institute says are “dramatic reductions” in the length of regional lunchtime and late evening bulletins, and agreed that the early-evening round-up of the day’s news can now include ten minutes of events from outside the region.

The Chairman of the CIoJ’s Broadcasting Division says the planned cuts take coverage of news in the regions to a new low. Paul Leighton – a long-serving BBC producer and former Radio 2 newsreader – commented “Viewers at weekends will see the 10 minute regional slots reduced to a paltry five minutes and lunchtime output more than halved.

“As a regulator, Ofcom was put in place to protect the interests of the consumer – the viewer – not to pander to an industry which made £464m pre-tax profits last year and still has the gall to plead poverty.”

Leighton said he welcomed the broadcaster’s plan to revert to greater localisation by operating 14 regions rather than the 8 to which it was reduced in 2009. “But with such a major reduction in the length of bulletins, the exercise looks suspiciously cosmetic.

“If Ofcom won’t do its job as a regulator, perhaps it’s time the job was given to an organisation that will!”

Ends

 

Note to 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.

INSTITUTE BACKS PUBLICITY CODE CRACKDOWN

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INSTITUTE BACKS PUBLICITY CODE CRACKDOWN

NEWS RELEASE

RELEASE DATE: 18 July 2013

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GOVERNMENT proposals to limit the publication of local authority publications should be backed in full and made law as soon as possible, says the Chartered Institute of Journalists (CIoJ).

Commenting on the Local Authority and Accountability Bill, which was debated in the House of Lords yesterday, (Wednesday July 17) Amanda Brodie, chairman of the CIoJ’s Professional Practices Board, said: “We fully support Communities Secretary Eric Pickles in his attempts to limit the publication of local authority newspapers to no more than four times a year.

“We are astonished that the NUJ has come out against the proposed legislation, which is aimed at supporting local newspapers, and can only help to safeguard journalists’ jobs. This is not a political issue, as the NUJ seems intent to make it.

“We believe there is no viable alternative to backing the Code with legislation. Many LAs have continued to flout the guidelines, proving they are unwilling to comply voluntarily, and must now be forced to do so.

“The CIoJ has been campaigning vigorously for some time on this issue, and we were proud to be part of the process which led last year to this proposal to put the Publicity Code guidelines on the statute book. We lobbied MPs and made representations to Parliamentary inquiries on this subject.

“Our members have become increasingly concerned at the creeping impact of these town-hall ‘Pravdas’ on local newspapers. These council publications promote their own version of local authority ‘news’ which is often biased in its reporting, giving local residents a skewed version of the facts behind the way their local council is run, and failing to highlight any shortfall in standards.

“Only local media, which is independent of political or other influence, can hold local authorities to account for the way they handle taxpayers’ money. “

Some LAs claim that their own publications can be justified because local papers no longer have the high circulation figures they once did, so advertising in them is not cost-effective.

This is based on a false premise. All local newspapers now have a web presence and increasing use of the internet by all sections of the community means the effective audience of local papers is as high, if not higher, than it has ever been. In addition, many local papers are either free, or have free editions, which are delivered to virtually every home in the local area.

The CIoJ is also pleased that Lord Tope’s amendment, calling for an end to the requirement for councils to publish public notices in local papers, was yesterday (Wednesday) withdrawn.

Ms Brodie added: “Our local papers are an important part of the communities they serve, yet many are struggling to survive financially – they deserve to be supported in every possible way.”

ENDS

Note to editors:

  • Research by GfK for the Newspaper Society found that the reach of local newspapers was much greater than council websites: 67% of the respondents to that survey had read or looked at their local newspaper for at least a couple of minutes within the past seven days, compared with 9% who had viewed their council website. Some 34% of adults questioned had not accessed the internet at all in the last 12 months.

 

  • 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.

Journalism students’ unique chance to mark 40th year of Britain in Europe

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Journalism students’ unique chance to mark 40th year of Britain in Europe

 

NEWS RELEASE

RELEASE DATE: 22 July 2013

 

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Journalism students are being offered a unique opportunity to showcase their work to mark the 40th anniversary of the UK joining the European Community.

The competition is being run by the Chartered Institute of Journalists (CIoJ) on behalf of the European Parliament. Students are invited to submit a short video (3-5 minutes) which captures any aspect where the UK’s membership of the European Union has impacted on the lives of British citizens.

These can range from those fighting for jobs or justice through to protecting the natural environment or creating sustainable living in contemporary Britain.

Dominic Cooper, General Secretary of the CIoJ, said: “We are hoping for a range of ideas which can stress the positive effects or challenge the EU’s role in UK affairs. The tone can range from hard-hitting to humour or satire, but each entry will be judged on originality.

“This is a great opportunity for students to demonstrate their journalistic skills to the industry and being a finalist will look great on their CV and do wonders for their prospects for future work.”

Entry is open to any university or college student on a journalism course.

The competition will be judged by a team of experienced journalists to select the best entry but all the short-listed entries will be available on the EU website.

The winners work will be showcased at Europe House in London to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the UK’s entry into the Union. The winner will get an all-expenses paid trip to visit the European Parliament in Brussels.

ENDS

 

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.

Press contacts:

CIoJ president Charlie Harris 07956 094640 / CIoJ general secretary Dominic Cooper 020 7252 1187

 

2 Dock Offices Surrey Quays Road London SE16 2XU

t: 020 7252 1187 | f: 020 7232 2302

e: memberservices@cioj.co.uk | w: www.cioj.co.uk

CIoJ wins EU contract

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NEWS RELEASE

RELEASE DATE: 10 July 2013

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The Chartered Institute of Journalists has won the contract to run a European Parliament competition for broadcast journalism students marking the 40th anniversary of the UK joining the EU.

It is open to third year journalism students at university or college or those on a post graduate diploma in journalism course.

Entrants will produce short video reports detailing the impact that the UK’s membership of the EU has had on any aspect of life in the areas in which they live or study.

There will be prizes and winner’s work will form part of a showcase event to mark the anniversary.

More information will be available on www.cioj.co.uk by the end of the month.

 

Ends

 

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.

 

Press contacts:

CIoJ president Charlie Harris 07956 094640 / CIoJ general secretary Dominic Cooper 020 7252 1187

 

CIoJ calls for Hacked Off to be excluded from talks

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CIoJ calls for Hacked Off to be excluded from talks

NEWS RELEASE

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RELEASE DATE: 17 June 2013

The Chartered Institute of Journalists has called for Hacked Off to be excluded from talks to end the impasse over press regulation.

It welcomes the refusal of Hacked Off to take part in such talks, but has called on MPs to reject the group having any further formal role in the framing a new legal framework for regulation.

Talks should involve MPs and representatives of journalists and publishers, it said.

CIoJ president Charlie Harris said: “There should be no place at the table for a secretive, self-appointed organisation that has shown contempt for the democracy and the public’s elected representatives by refusing to answer questions from the Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee about its financial backers.

“Hacked Off says its wants transparency and openness in the press.

“But it undermines its claim to the moral high ground by stubbornly refusing to be open and transparent about who backs it with cash and in other ways.

“It was a scandal that the cross-party proposals for a new press regulator were forged at a secret meeting of three senior members of the Coalition and opposition parties and four members of Hacked Off.

“At a time when the Coalition is promising to clean up the lobbying industry, Hacked Off’s privileged access to the corridors of power must be ended.”

The Institute broadly welcomes the suggestion that a respected senior media figure be asked to act as a mediator to hammer out a compromise between the rival proposals for regulatory reform, but wants representatives of journalists, not just publishers, to be included in the talks.

Ends

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.

Press contacts: CIoJ president Charlie Harris 07956 094640 / CIoJ general secretary Dominic Cooper 020 7252 1187

CIoJ highlights hypocrisy of lobbying bill

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CIoJ highlights hypocrisy of lobbying bill

NEWS RELEASE

RELEASE DATE: 17 June 2013

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The Chartered Institute of Journalists (CIoJ) has written to the leaders of the three main political parties to complain about the gross hypocrisy of the proposed bill affecting lobbyists.

In recent months, the secretive lobby group Hacked Off has been granted unprecedented access to government meetings regarding regulation of the Press. This privileged access was given despite little being known about who backs and funds the organisation.

Recent reports have identified a few of Hacked Off’s supporters, many of whom have had, or still have, connections to political parties. It is this murky side of lobbying that the new bill seeks to make more transparent, the side that the Coalition claims to be against. Yet one of the most secretive lobbying groups still has unprecedented access to MPs and government.

“It is hypocritical for the Government and Opposition to be so intimate with a secretive lobbying group on the one hand, and then propose a bill seeking to bring transparency to parliamentary lobbying,” said Institute President, Charlie Harris.

“It is journalists, and only journalists, who have exposed the murky world of lobbying and the willingness of some MPs and peers to be bought, and it is only the latest scandals which have forced the Government’s hand in finally keeping a promise that David Cameron first made years ago and then forgot.

“The proposed register of ‘licensed’ lobbyists will do little to stamp out MPs and peers putting themselves up for sale, but will make it easier for them to check if an approach is from a real lobbying firm or part of a journalistic investigation and so avoid their corruption being exposed.”

“For a secretive organisation to be allowed a major role in reaching a cross-party deal for the Government Royal Charter is exactly why lobbying rules need to be changed.”

“We have written to ask the leaders of the main political parties to stand by their promises and to stop their double dealing on this matter.”

 

Ends

 

NOTE: Harris teaches government on National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ) training courses.

 

Journalists condemn closure of ERT

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Journalists condemn closure of ERT

NEWS RELEASE

RELEASE DATE: 12 June 2013

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The Chartered Institute of Journalists condemns the sudden closure of the news service of the Greek state broadcaster ERT as a blow against democracy.

Silencing broadcasters is one of the first actions of those staging coups against democratic regimes, it said.

And it congratulates ERT journalists on their determination to resist the Greek government’s action by refusing top leave the station’s HQ and continuing to broadcast via the internet.

CIoJ president Charlie Harris said: “We are appalled by the summary closure of ERT’s one-air services.

“Greece’s economic problems in no way justify silencing a national broadcaster. On the contrary: at a time of national crisis it is vital that the public has access to as many sources of news as possible.

“The Greek economics professor, Yanis Varoufakis, who described his government’s action as ‘totalitarian’ was right. It was, as he said, ‘a blow against democracy’, which is especially poignant in the country widely seen as the cradle of democracy, and which gave us that word.

“The Institute sends its best wishes to all the journalists at ERT who, it is reported, have worked unpaid since November.

“We wish them success in their fight to keep ERT’s news service running and to get it back on air – in the face of threats by the police to evict them from their offices and studios.

“And we note the heartening, massive show of support they are receiving from the Greek public.”