The Society of Editors ended its fiscal year with a loss of £23,000 and retiring president Ed Curran has pleaded with the "big hitters" of the media world to support more liberally a body which is influencing the Government and other organisations.
Regretting that the society, founded in 1999, was not financially sound, Curran said its work in the past year as a watchdog for the media on legislation could not be sustained unless its finances were on a more secure long-term footing.
"Here we are representing an industry which has a public image of cash-rich businesses, media moguls and huge corporations and yet we struggle to make ends meet," he said in his annual report.
"And we will continue to do so unless and until our contribution to defending press freedoms and editorial rights is given more financial backing by some of the big hitters in the media, for media fees alone cannot sustain the society’s position."
The society valued the support of those that did back it, said Curran, and stressed it was not asking "for megabucks" but simply the means to carry on playing "a crucially independent role on behalf of editors everywhere".
The billions who read coverage of the terrorist attacks on New York, Curran thought, provided proof, if it were needed, of the importance of the media.
"This was arguably the most-read, most-watched and listened-to story of our times. It was also a measure of the value, often dismissed or derided, which the public still places on the role we play as editors and journalists," he said.
By Jean Morgan