Both were presented during the Society’s Annual Gala Dinner at the Full Steam Ahead conference in Southampton over the weekend.
The Fellowship is strictly in the gift of the Society’s board of directors and can go to any editor, senior executive or other person who throughout his or her career has made a substantial or special contribution to the objectives of the Society.
Peter Cole spent more than 20 years in national newspaper journalism working for The Guardian as deputy editor and news editor. His career included his founding editorship of the Sunday Correspondent, a stint on The Sunday Times and positions in the Evening Standard and the Evening News.
He is a member of the Society of Editors Training Committee, a former chairman of the training committee, a trustee of the Press Association and a past Vice-Chairman of the NCTJ. He is now emeritus Professor of Journalism at the University of Sheffield, where he was head of journalism for nine years.
2014 saw David Meara celebrate 40 years as a priest in the Church of England. He was Archdeacon of London for 5 years and during his 14 years as Rector of St Bride’s the church has maintained and grown its links with the newspaper and wider media industry.
Ian Murray, immediate past President of the Society presented the awards and said that both had enjoyed illustrious careers.
He added: “It is not an award for simply being a good editor –or a good egg. It aims to recognise a significant extra contribution to the fight to maintain the freedom of the media, freedom of expression, the public’s right to know and the maintenance of high standards in journalism. This is not an award for long service but nonetheless, this year’s recipients are very deserving of the accolade for their persistent devotion to our causes.”