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Media law bible authors step down

The 19th edition of McNae’s Essential Law for Journalists has been officially launched – the last to be written by Tom Welsh and Walter Greenwood.

The media law bible was launched at a reception hosted by the National Council for the Training of Journalists and Oxford University Press on Friday, where it was announced that Mark Hanna, chair of the NCTJ media law examinations board, would take over from the long-serving authors.

He will work alongside co-author David Banks, who has helped to write the past two editions of McNae’s.

Tom and Walter will retain their links with the book as honorary editors.

The launch took place during the NCTJ’s law seminar, which was attended by journalism tutors and figures from the journalism and law industries.

Tom said media law had got more complex with every edition, and thanked all those who had offered help and advice in the production of the book.

These included Patrick Moloney QC, Heather Rogers QC, Professor Sir David Williams, Newbury Weekly News editorial director Brien Beharrell, the Society of Editors and the Newspaper Society.

The 19th edition includes a new chapter on online journalism.

Developments in defamation, breach of confidence and privacy laws are also covered, as well as the new offences of glorification of terrorism and stirring up religious hatred.

It can be bought online at

The book also has a companion website, which allows users to sign up to be notified of any updates. This can be found at:

  • The event also saw Sarah Newstead, from the Richmond and Twickenham Times, and Kate Skelton, from the Nottingham Evening Post, rewarded for their performances in the NCTJ preliminary Media Law examination.

    Sarah, who studied at noSWeat, received the Johnston Press Media Law Award for the best performance in section one.

    Kate, who studied at Nottingham Trent University, was presented with the Oxford University Press Media Law Award for her top performance in section two.

    Both journalists were presented with a framed certificate and £250.