Barbara Beatrice Hutchinson 1920-2015

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Barbara Hutchinson

The word that first comes to mind when thinking of Barbara is “indomitable”. When over 90 and suffering from arthritis and a badly damaged leg among other things, she declared that she was going to book herself into the Grand Hotel at Eastbourne and get herself there by train – and she did. Rejecting all offers of help. lt was typical of how life went for her.

We first met on the Bournemouth Times (later taken over by the Evening Echo). She wrote as Roberta Fearn, on fashion and the social scene active in Bournemouth at the time. She left on the spot when she discovered that her name was being used in an advertising tie-up with a local department store. Hard as it was then – early Fifties – for women to make their way without the right contacts, off she went to London!

She worked on London weeklies before moving into the women’s magazine world, and finally to the Press Association first as fashion writer and later on general news.

After her retirement in the early 1980’s fate took an unkind turn. She was determined to find other work and on her way to an interview was knocked to the ground by one of the “oddbods” who used to frequent Fleet Street. A hip replacement and arthritis resulted. But she continued covering the Paris fashion shows until about 2010 for various publications including some in Australia.

One of her great regrets was that she would not be able to go to Ascot again…

Barbara, a long-time member of the Chartered Institute of Journalists, died on July 2, within a whisker of her 95th birthday. She was recognized at Pickering House, Dorking, run by the Journalists Charity, as the character she had always been.

Barbara Hutchinson’s funeral details:

Leatherhead Crematorium, July 24, 3.30pm and afterwards at Pickering House where she had received such excellent and devoted care.

Vera King

IOCCO views on RIPA welcomed

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DATE:  6 February 2015

A call by the Interception of Communications Commissioner, Sir Anthony May, for judicial authorisation to be sought before journalists’ communication data is accessed is welcomed by the Chartered Institute of Journalists (CIoJ).

CIoJ logo

But will those in charge act responsibly and heed this advice?

In recent months there have been numerous examples of a vociferous tightening grip which is undermining the way journalists work. All of which has left eye witnesses and whistleblowers out in the cold, says the CIoJ.

Statements by Metropolitan Police, the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Chief Executive of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), all agreed that they would keep using undercover surveillance on journalists’ phone records, and, keep prosecuting journalists in courts.

Bitter arguments keep being used against journalists, with little justification,” said CIoJ President, Paul Leighton. “Four journalists have been jailed for an outlay of more than £33.5 million by the Metropolitan Police – the equivalent sum would put an extra 600 police officers on duty or fund 20 investigations into serious crimes like murder, we are told. Now, with no sense of humility, the CPS is seeking to spend more money on retrials.

“At the same time Hogan-Howe has defended the use of RIPA to secretly seize journalists’ phone records, and to what ends? So that the Police may sack their own staff for talking to journalists – nothing to do with terrorism measures, which is what the law was, allegedly, brought in to protect.

“With no hint of irony Hogan-Howe recently revealed to the Police and Crime Committee that the Met is in talks with news organisations about ensuring live coverage does not undermine their response to a future terrorist siege. Now we see that he wants co-operation from media outlets as he does his best to undermine them in his next breath.”

Recently Hogan-Howe said: “When police and security services respond we want to make sure our ability to respond is not restricted by

Please specify media url


“Welcome to our world, Mr Hogan-Howe,” said Leighton, “because the media need to know that when we respond to an incident, or anything else in the public interest, we will not be hounded by law enforcement agencies fulfilling a political vendetta.

“When the legal services start behaving in this way, it starts to ring alarm bells for the freedom of information.”


Notes for editors:

  • In Croydon the police issued an harassment order against a journalist who door-stepped someone who was convicted of fraud and eight months later that is still in place and being defended.
  • 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.


Peter Greste release welcomed

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Peter Greste’s release from prison is welcome news. It is an important step for the Egyptian government to make as a demonstration of commitment to free speech.

We should not forget, however, that two of his colleagues are still in jail simply for doing their jobs. We urge the Egyptian government to free the remaining Al-Jazeera colleagues and bring to an end this travesty of justice for all concerned.

Media law course booking form

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CIoJ training

Deadly sins of media law and ethics course

After you have booked please pay by following the link below…


Terms and conditions

I agree to pay the course fee of £75 (for non-CIoJ members), £55 (for CIoJ members).  Note: these prices have been discounted by £125 due to kind sponsorship from the Journalists Copyright Fund.

I confirm that I will be able to attend the course on December 16, 2014.

I accept that if I am unable to attend the course that no refund will be issued.

I understand that if the date is cancelled by the organisers then a full refund will be issued and that no liability beyond the refund will be accepted by the organisers.







Media Law Course – Seven Deadly Sins of Media Law & Ethics

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Seven Deadly Sins Media Law & Ethics Course

with David Banks

Yes you learned about media law at the steps of McNae’s, but how does that fit you for the real rapidly changing freelance world

Does a click on the mouse still have the benefit of the raised eyebrow of a senior sub or the chance to do a quick change before anyone notices?

Media law and ethics are now deeply entwined for all journalists and the CIoJ’s Seven Deadly Sins to be Avoided by Journalists Course is a great way of making the real difference to your work.

David Banks has been a journalist for 26 years starting on regional newspapers in North Wales and the North West. Now as well as delivering training to most national newspaper groups, he continues to write as a freelance for The Guardian, Mirror Group and The New Statesman.

He will take you through from understanding the overview of legal risks using social media, libel and the new Defamation law, through to Copyright and even the dangers of retweets in a lively but structured conversational course.

All in one afternoon and at half price thanks to sponsorship from the Journalists Copyright Fund!

The course is open to all journalists and costs just £75 ( £55 for CIoJ members and students). The course will run on 16 December from 12.30pm – 5.30pm at 2 Dock Offices, Surrey Quays Road, London, SE16 2XU.

Yes Christmas has come early and doubly so if it helps avoid the costly time and money of fighting a court case for freelance journalists everywhere.



Full list of topics to be covered:

Understanding social media

o The various platforms we use

o Overview of legal risks

o How the law has been broken

Libel and other laws protecting reputation

o What is libel – Reforms of the Defamation Act 2013?

o Who can sue you?

o How libels happen on social media

o Repetition rule – the dangers of a retweet

o When third parties place libels on your sites

o Defences available

o Malicious falsehood and slander

Intellectual property

o Copyright overview

o What is protected

o Who owns copyright on social media and filesharing sites

o How is it breached?

o Penalties

o Defences

o Trademarks, passing off and other IP laws

o Protecting your own IP

Privacy, Confidentiality and Data Protection

o Privacy law and recent cases

o Data Protection, what is covered

o Who has a right to privacy and when?

Other legal issues

o Contempt of Court

o Laws protecting children

o Laws protecting victims

o RIPA, Bribery Act, Misuse of Computers Act


David Banks – Biography
David Banks has been a journalist for 26 years starting on regional newspapers in North Wales and the North West. Now as well as delivering training to most national newspaper groups, he continues to write as a freelance for The Guardian, Mirror Group and The New Statesman as well as contributing to a variety of TV and radio programmes.





2014 CIoJ AGM – emergency motion

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Emergency motion

As you will know, we sadly lost our President, Charlie Harris, earlier in the year. As a result of his death our Vice-President, Paul Leighton, stepped up to the role of President a year earlier than was expected. This has caused a difficulty with forthcoming elections for Council and Vice-President.

Although elections for both would, under normal circumstances, take place at the end of this year (2014), the Vice-President would have to take up office in one-year’s time, necessitating an election for a new VP at the end of next year (2015), too. This would then mean the elections would be out of sync and, therefore, financially inefficient.

One way to resolve this issue, and the one adopted by Council, is for the current Council to remain in office for a further year (until the end of 2015) and then conduct elections for VP and Council at the same time. We would still potentially need an election for VP at the end of this year, but it would mean that from 2016 onwards the VP and Council elections would happen at the same time.

To do this, however, the proposal would have to be put before the members at the AGM, and the members would have to formally adopt the proposal. The final wording of the motion will be available in the next couple of weeks but if you have any observations or queries about what is being proposed you may contact the General Secretary on 020 7252 1187 or

Proposed motion:

Because of extenuating circumstances, Council proposes that its tenure for 2013-14 be extended for a further 12 months, to be terminated at the end of 2015.  After which period the situation would revert to standing order 16.

Tribunal claims down 70 per cent

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RELEASE DATE: 16 September 2014

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Warnings that Government changes to the tribunal system were a charter for bad employers have come shockingly true, says a media union.

The IOJ, the trade union arm of the Chartered Institute of Journalists, is responding to a report issued (Sept 11) by the Ministry of Justice, showing that the number of applications to employment tribunals has fallen by 70% in the first quarter of this year, compared with the same period last year.

“This coincides directly with the introduction of fees for tribunal claimants, a move which we robustly opposed in a consultation with the Government last year,” said Amanda Brodie, chairman of the Institute’s Professional Practices Board.

“We warned that charging would have the effect of putting off genuine claimants, and of introducing a justice system which would be used only by those who can afford to pay, and sadly we have been proved right.”

She said: “The Government predicted a fall-off of between 25-40 per cent in tribunal applications but it has come out at nearly twice that figure. No doubt many employers will see this as good news but the truth is, it shows that too many people are being denied access to justice because they simply cannot risk losing out financially.

“At the time we told the Ministry of Justice: ‘The system is already heavily weighted in favour of employers, who often have considerable resources to employ expensive lawyers to fight their cause, while the complainant is either unrepresented, or relying on support from a trade union or similar body. The funds available for legal representation from such bodies are limited.’

“The Government claimed the new charges would help to weed-out vexatious claims. At the Institute of Journalists we have many years experience in representing our members at employment tribunals. In our experience it is highly unusual for anyone to put themselves through the stress and potential costs of taking an employer to tribunal, unless they feel they have a genuine grievance. “


Note to editors:

“In employment tribunals, the number of single claims received in April to June 2014 was 3,792 – 70% fewer than in the same period of 2013, and a third lower than last quarter.” Source:


Scottish courts to deny journalists access to information

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RELEASE DATE: 3 September 2014

The Chartered Institute of Journalists (CIoJ) has criticised a decision by courts in Scotland to withhold details from journalists before cases start.

The Institute claims the ruling goes against long-standing principles of open justice.

The Scottish Lord Justice General, Brian Gill, announced the decision in a circular to journalists last month.

In the past, journalists in Scotland have been able to see complaints and indictments for note-taking purposes before cases begin in court.

But Lord Gill reviewed the arrangements because of ‘significant concerns’ about revealing sensitive and personal data under the Data Protection Act (DPA) 1998.

He said: ‘The current practice gives journalists an opportunity to attend and report on noteworthy cases. But it is now clear that the information being disclosed is excessive for this purpose.’

The decision means journalists will be unable to report the charges faced by an accused person, often at indictment level, before they reach court. Cases may be missed entirely if they call in court with no prior notice.

CIoJ Scottish representative, Campbell Thomas, said: “It’s absurd that journalists are being prevented from seeing information that is going to be made freely available in court anyway.

“It has already been established under the DPA that in current cases, the clerk will normally release information to the media if it’s been given in open court, unless there are any unfair implications for an individual.

“Up to now, the unfairness test has only been used when deciding whether to release information on cases after they had finished some time ago.’

Thomas added: ‘Lord Gill’s ruling goes against the century-old common law rule of open justice, where justice must be seen to be done. It will hinder journalists’ ability to cover court cases thoroughly and accurately on behalf of the public.

“We also do not believe it is acceptable for Lord Gill to mention the risks of the media breaching the Contempt of Court Act. This will create a chilling effect.

“It is up to editors to decide which pre-trial details to publish, and accept the consequences if they get it wrong. It is wrong of Lord Gill to introduce the hint of prior restraint.

“The decision sets a dangerous precedent in a democratic society.”

The CIoJ also believes that the decision goes against the spirit of transparency and accessibility for reporting set out in the 2012 Court of Appeal ruling involving the Guardian and Westminster Magistrates Court.

The court decided that journalists covering court hearings should be able to see case material to aid that coverage.

But the ruling does not apply to Scotland.



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.

Tribute to a much loved broadcaster – James Alexander Gordon

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James Alexander Gordon

A warm tribute’s been paid to broadcaster James Alexander Gordon who has died, by the journalists organisation of which he was an active member for thirty years. The Chartered Institute of Journalists said he would be greatly missed by his many colleagues and friends – but especially by all those who worked with him at Radio 2 and in the Institute.

President of the Institute, Paul Leighton who read news alongside “JAG” for many years at Radio 2, said he would always be remembered as a “loyal friend, a true gentleman and a thoroughly professional broadcaster”. ” He was always a consummate professional on air, but off duty he had a wicked sense of humour and was a marvellous raconteur” Leighton said that James was was famous -r possibly notorious – for his story of his chilling night-time encounter with the “Langham Ghost” – the Langham being a former Hotel opposite Broadcasting House where newsmen and announcers had bedrooms for covering “split-shifts”

After an early career in the music business, James started work as a newsreader/announcer at the BBC in the seventies – and began reading the classified football results in 1973. His unique cadences meant that listeners knew the outcome of a match after hearing only the first score. James joined the Institute of Journalists in the early eighties and soon became Vice-Chairman of the Institute’s Broadcasting Division and an active participant in Institute meetings and events. He was also in much demand as an after-dinner speaker and compere.

Although he formally retired from the BBC in 1992, he went on reading the soccer results for Radio5 Live until he had an operation for cancer on his larynx in 2013.

James leaves a wife Julia, son David and two grandchildren Molly and Martha.

Leighton said ” James was a one-off. No other broadcaster will ever be quite as instantly recognisable – or as much loved. Our thoughts go out to Julia and his family”



Seminar: Health for Journalists

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Health for Journalists

The Freelance Division, CIoJ, will present an Interactive Seminar at HO on 11 July, 2014

Our health and fitness expert, Chris Field, will discuss the social implications of health, and the importance of looking after ourselves, before he opens the floor to questions.

Main Presentation

The seminar will include various aspects of nutrition and practical fitness, from simply walking upstairs to much bigger challenges. However, the emphasis will be on finding a “way of life”that works for you. You are welcome to ask about topics like metabolism and disease; nutrition v. supplements; finding the right routine; the blood sugar cycle, food groups, and the influence of advertising on both children and adults, to name just a few.

Chris Field

 Chris Field 

Father, Personal Trainer, Nutritional Advisor, Corporate Health Consultant.

“As an advisor to Barclays, BMW, pharmaceutical groups and a variety of retail groups, I have built an understanding of the need for relevant fitness training for the professional.”

Chris cut his teeth with military applicants, uniformed services and the “lose weight, tone- up” brigade, as well as appearing on television to help those in need of extreme weight loss. He found that the best results were achieved through taking advantage of natural movements and training for life situations.

He says, “Life is stressful enough without having to worry about missing opportunities because you didn’t keep moving.”

Health for Journalists will run for about five hours, starting at 11am on 11 July. There will be a light, healthy lunch for those who attend and a practical hand-out at the end of the day.

A one-off event, this is open to all members of the media. Cost: £35 for CIoJ members, and £50 for non-Institute members. To ensure your questions are covered, send them in advance to:


Vivienne DuBourdieu, Chairman, Freelance Division.

This one-off session, Health for Journalists, is open to all journalists. Cost £35 for CIoJ members, £50 for non-members.


VENUE:  The Chartered Institute of Journalists, 2 Dock Offices, Surrey Quays Road, LONDON, SE16 2XU

By tube:  Canada Water (Jubilee and London Overground lines).

By bus:  188, 1 and 47.

How to get to CIoJ offices:  Dock Offices is about 70 yards from Canada Water Underground Station; a walk of approximately four minutes. As you exit Canada Water tube station, look down the road for a clock tower. The clock tower is part of the Dock Office building. Walk around to the back of the building into the courtyard, via the path at the side of the building, and Number 2 can be found in the corner.


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