The Society of Editors made an operating loss of £20,000 in the last financial year, compared to a surplus of £16,500 in 2004/5.
Treasurer Pat Pilton said factors behind the loss included increased costs and reduced income of the Society's last annual conference, held in the Lake District.
There was also a 13 per cent drop in membership income which Pilton claimed in the Society's annual report was: "due in no small measure to belt tightening and consolidation within thenregional press with some editor roles disappearing entirely."
He added: "initiatives such as quarterly payments, expanding membership among deputy/assistant editors and broadening our appeal to new media journalists will help address this issue." The Society's reserves total £90,500.
SoE editorial director Bob Satchwell (pictured)said in his report: "It is clear that the SoE is under funded, under resourced and unable to develop to its full potential."
He added that a review of the society's activities will be completed by the end of the year and added: "We have established a powerful reputation. The annual conference has played a huge part in establishing that reputation. But we cannot rely on a once a year conference to maintain it. Sustaining the standard of the conference, keeping it relevant against competing media events, is increasingly time-consuming."