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Editors' conference to focus on trust in the media

Media experts are to explore trust in the media this weekend at the Society of Editors’ annual conference.

More than 150 delegates from across all forms of the media will meet in Manchester for this year’s event.

Since the society announced the title of the conference at the end of last year, trust has become a major issue, especially in broadcasting.

The House of Commons Select Committee on Culture, Media and Sport produced its latest report – Self-Regulation and the Press – following the imprisonment of a journalist.

Speakers from a range of backgrounds will give their perspective on the importance of trust in the media.

The conference will open on Sunday with the Society of Editors’ Lecture, delivered by Gavin O’Reilly, group chief operating officer of Independent News and Media, in Cloud 23, on the 23rd floor of the new Hilton Hotel.

Former regional newspaper editor Neil Fowler – now editor of Which? – will speak the following day on the 50 years of trust built up by his magazine. Matters for debate will include what lessons there are for editors in how other sectors polish their brands and build up trust, and how the consumers’ champion itself maintains its enviable reputation.

Samira Ahmed, of Channel 4 News, will chair a session on building trust among print, TV and radio. It will investigate how traditional media organisations have worked hard over many years to develop their trusted brands, and how new media platforms – going free, blogging and citizen journalism – will affect public trust in those brands.

Journalism training will also go under the microscope, with a focus on journalism standards building further trust for the future. A session led by Peter Cole will debate the value of high calibre entrants and top quality training that is easily recognised by editors, potential journalists, and the public.

The discussions will be followed by the annual gala dinner for hundreds of media guests at the Lowry Centre in neighbouring Salford, future home of the much anticipated Mediacity:uk. Paddy Harverson, Communications Secretary for HRH the Prince of Wales, will speak.