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Editors annual conference kicks off in Cardiff

Editors from all over the UK were in Cardiff today at the annual conference of the Society of Editors.

The event began last night (Sunday) as delegates were welcomed to the Hilton Hotel by the Society’s President – and editor of the Western MailNeil Fowler and the Secretary of State for Wales, Paul Murphy. Click here for more

Ed Curran, Editor of the Belfast Telegraph, then chaired a discussion called The First Casualty – The Truth which asked if spin doctors and sophisticated political public relations were distorting news. Click here for more

An opening night dinner was hosted in partnership with the Wales Tourist Board with entertainer Max Boyce as the after dinner speaker.

Highlights today (Monday) included a speech by Leader of the Opposition, William Hague.

Tomorrow, on the third and final day of business, the Society will elect a new President at its AGM and the Society of Editors lecture will be given by Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Chris Smith.

Mr Fowler said the aim of the conference was to set the agenda for the progression of news in the 21st Century.

“There has been lot of concern about people’s consumption of news. People are getting choosy about the news, how they receive it, and when,” he said.

“News is an enormous part of the democratic process. We will be looking at ways of ensuring how people have access to the news in the future and how we will give it to them.

“On the agenda, we will be talking about news in a politically correct world, in the light of the Stephen Lawrence report and the ‘naming and shaming’ by the News of the World.

“We will look at how the quality of news is changing and how we need to respond to the public’s changing tastes in all this.”

The implementation of the Human Rights Act on October 2, had had an important impact on news journalism, on the conflict between the right to privacy and freedom of expression.

“A lot of people think news is just news. But there is enormous pressure on the industry that could prevent people knowing what is going on.”

To visit the Society of Editors website, click here.

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