Thomson role to be divided into two jobs

The combined job of secretary to Pressbof and the Code Committee is to be split when Grahame Thomson retires this month.

Jim Raeburn, director of the Scottish Newspaper Publishers Association, representing local newspapers and the Scottish Daily Newspaper Society, and director of the Scottish Print Employers’ Federation, takes over Thomson’s Pressbof role on 1 October, in addition to his other responsibilities. Pressbof finances the Press Complaints Commission.

Ian Beales, former editor of the Western Daily Press, becomes secretary of the Code Committee, which issues voluntary guidelines subscribed to by newspapers and magazines, on the same day.

Thomson is retiring after 13 years as the founding Pressbof secretary and treasurer. He was involved in talks on industry financing of the PCC, ahead of the Calcutt report and the start of Pressbof in 1991. Thomson, an accountant, was then director of the Scottish Daily Newspaper Society.

Raeburn was secretary of the Electrical Contractors Association of Scotland before taking on the first of his newspaper trade association roles in 1983. He has been on the board of Pressbof since its inception.

He believes Philip Graf, the incoming director of Pressbof in 2004, was instrumental in his appointment.

“It’s an additional responsibility that I welcome taking on board,” he said. “I think it’s important that the structure we have of the PCC, the Code Committee and Pressbof working together to ensure the self-regulative system continues to serve readers and I will have a small part to play in that.”

Beales’s involvement with the Code Committee pre-dated its inception in 1991, and he has sat first as a member and then as a consultant ever since.

An editor of the WDP for 20 years, he feels he has a lot of experience to bring to the committee secretary role.

“I will be helping to bring some experience of what has been happening in the past as to why we made the decisions we did,” he said. “I have also done quite a lot of work on self-regulation around the Commonwealth.

I will be reasonably proactive on helping to face the challenges the committee is now facing.”

By Jean Morgan

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