'We need more funds to thrive': Society of Editors

Page: Society of Editors in profit

The Society of Editors has turned around its finances and made a profit of £34,651 in the 12 months to the end of June, compared with a loss of £23,599 in the previous year.

But president Liz Page warned in the annual report: "The society continues to punch way above its financial weight and we need all the support we can get if our work is to thrive."

A financial surplus from the society’s successful conference in Belfast last year, as well as the support of Associated Newspapers, Guardian Media Group and Trinity Mirror, have helped it into the black.

The Newspaper Society has also contributed by providing support services to the Society of Editors’ parliamentary and legal committee.

Executive director Bob Satchwell warned in his report: "Make no mistake, the society remains under- funded for the agenda and work load that it sets itself."

He added that its main focus remains lobbying and campaigning on parliamentary and legal matters.

"There can be no relaxation of vigilance required to resist those who threaten the media’s freedom to report and the wider public right to free expression."

Some of the surplus is being used to replenish the society’s reserves, which had been depleted.

Membership of the society has risen to 450 and subscription income is said to be stabilised.

Page also said in her report: "Membership continues to grow, thanks to the broad, media-wide appeal of the society’s work and the efforts made by many to enlist new recruits. We are making efforts to encourage ethnic diversity following comments at last year’s conference about the overwhelming number of white male faces which made up the vast majority of the delegates."

The number of women members of the society has grown to 14 per cent of the membership. The board has gained a second female member, Hannah Walker, editor of the South London Press.

Jonathan Grun, editor of the Press Association, is proposed as president to succeed Liz Page at the society’s conference next month. Neil Benson, editorial director of Trinity Mirror Regional Newspapers, is proposed as vice-president and would be expected to follow Grun as president.

By Jon Slattery

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