PCC's Meyer to stress need for solidarity at SoE lecture

Meyer: internal squabbling is dangerous

Press Complaints Commission chairman Sir Christopher Meyer is expected to stress the need for solidarity within the industry over self-regulation when he delivers the Society of Editors lecture on 12 October.

He is likely to use the lecture – at the start of the society’s annual conference in London – to suggest that the biggest danger now is squabbling within the press.

Soon after he took over as PCC chairman earlier in the year, Meyer appeared before Gerald Kaufman’s Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee inquiry into privacy.

He has toured the country taking views from inside and outside the industry and he will report back on his findings and on the implementation of his proposals for improvements in the PCC.

Earlier this year he outlined proposals for the development of self-regulation to meet criticisms.

Since then, the PCC has come under fire from broadsheet editors over its ruling against The Guardian for paying a prisoner for his diary on life behind bars with Jeffrey Archer, while clearing the News of the World over paying a conman in the Beckham kidnap story.

The lecture will be delivered at St Bride’s Church in Fleet Street on the evening of Sunday, 12 October. It will be followed by a reception.

At the annual conference – Heroes or Villains? – Ray Snoddy, media editor of The Times, will review the media year. Editors from all sectors will discuss the proposition that, despite all its faults and criticism, the media is a force for good rather than bad.

During Monday, 13 October, editors from national and regional print and broadcasting will discuss a series of issues ranging from the war in Iraq and its aftermath to legal restrictions on reporting and media coverage of gun and gang crime.

Lord Justice Judge will speak about sentencing policies. Chris Moncreiff, the Press Association’s former political editor, will be the main speaker at the society’s annual gala dinner at the Imperial War Museum.

Daily Mirror editor Piers Morgan will join the panel for the final session of the conference at a breakfast seminar – Why Don’t They Trust Us? – on the morning of Tuesday, 14 October.

SoE president Jonathan Grun, editor of PA, said: “We have a fascinating range of speakers who will address many of the key issues facing the media. “Our job is to convince a sceptical and sometimes cynical public that we are more heroes than the villains that politicians would have them believe.”

Grun will hand over the presidency of the society to Neil Benson, editorial director of Trinity Mirror’s regionals division, at the end of the conference.

To book a place at the Society of Editors lecture, annual dinner or breakfast seminar, call Amanda on 01827 714555.

By Jon Slattery

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