In a speech to the organisation’s Annual General Meeting this week, Alison Gow said that it had been a privilege to have served a double tenure as president of the Society of Editors.
In her outgoing speech, she said: “I want to acknowledge how grateful I am that we remain, still clear in our aims and purpose, as a Society - albeit one that is, I believe, more considerate and reflective of our mission and place in this industry.
“As a board we haven’t been together in the same room for a long time but I am proud that we were still able to twice find a way to celebrate the best and brightest achievements and achievers in the industry with the Press Awards and Regional Press Awards.
"Our annual Conference moved to virtual as well and proved one of the most successful events we’ve held with important debates around online abuse of journalists, diversity and inclusion, and mental health issues. These are challenging topics which are fundamental to the future of the industry, at all levels, and it’s vital we continue to press for considered action to address them.
“I am delighted we have moved forward with our plans for our Diversity and Inclusion hub and funding of a place on the NCTJ course through the Journalism Diversity Fund; these are only the first steps, with more initiatives to come.
“Among our campaigns, I’m proud of the Society’s work in helping shape the draft Online Safety Bill, and for taking a stance against the growing number of political publications masquerading as local newspapers.
“It has been a pleasure and a privilege to act as president of the Society of Editors; I wish Martin Breen every success in the role, I know he will be brilliant, and I look forward to the next 12 months.”
Gow, Audience and Content Director for Reach Plc northwest, has been President since 2019 and will remain on the Society of Editors board of directors. The new President is Martin Breen, Deputy Editor-in-Chief at Belfast Telegraph and Sunday Life.
Ian MacGregor, Emeritus Editor of the Telegraph remains as Chair of the Society. He said: “I passionately believe that the future of the Society of Editors has never been more important.
“The value of a strong, cross-industry body fighting to protect media freedom and maintain high journalistic standards cannot be under-estimated.
“Having senior representatives from national and local news organisations united in the battle to support properly-edited journalism is something that is truly invaluable in our democracy.
“No other such organisation exists.”
Executive Director Dawn Alford said: "The Society of Editors is indebted to Alison who has given her time and expertise to the Society over the past two years. She has consistently offered her invaluable counsel and assisted in implementing legislative change by giving evidence in Parliament for the draft Online Safety Bill.
“We are delighted that she will remain a member of our senior team.”
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