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Editor calls for vigilance after he is "doorstepped"

An editor has spoken about his treatment at the hands of the press after his brother-in-law was shot and killed in South Africa.

Neil Fowler, editor of the Western Mail in Cardiff, said: “It made me wonder whether the way I and my family were treated was typical of how not only my newspaper operates but the profession in general.”

Mr Fowler told his story to delegates at the Society of Editors’ annual conference – as he stood down as outgoing President.

Mr Fowler said: “We weren’t treated badly. I had a press release ready. We had a photograph on hand to issue and my elderly father-in-law was primed to refer any enquiries back to myself.”

But Mr Fowler said there were “little issues” that may have caused concern to someone who did not understand the way the media operates.

Mr Fowler told his story – you can read it in full by clicking here – to illustrate the need for vigilance about the “basics” in the face of increased and increasing government internvention, he explained.

“Our future, and the future of news, depends on us being able to interact with our public. We must be accessible, but at all times we need to be sympathetic and understanding,” he said.

“We can maintain our standards and ethics – but we must be continually aware of the effects – both intentional and unintentional -that the way we operate can have,” he added.

Mr Fowler will be succeeded as President by the current vice president, Ed Curran, editor of the Belfast Telegraph. New vice president will be Liz Page, editor of the York Evening Press.

  • Click here for the Society of Editors website.

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