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Regional press news in brief

Ann Treneman, the award-winning journalist both feared and respected by Britain’s MPs, gave an illuminating talk to Kentish Times Newspapers’ editorial staff.
The former foreign editor of The Observer, and now political sketch writer with The Times, discussed her current role uniquely exposing today’s parliamentarians.
The journalists asked for her opinions about the role of some local MPs and gleaned some ideas about more effective ways of challenging them for answers to ongoing issues relevant to the communities they represent.

Journalists on the Derbyshire Times and Buxton Advertiser are preparing to ballot for industrial action over pay.
Their current offer is 2.75 per cent and National Union of Journalists employees at the company say this is not enough.

Frangois Nel, the founding programme director of the Journalism Leaders Programme at the University of Central Lancashire in Preston, has become the first academic accepted as a member of the World Editors Forum of the World Association of Newspapers.
WEF president George Brock, Saturday editor of The Times, welcomed such involvement of senior academics saying: “Rapid changes in technology and in societies create new dilemmas for editors all over the world. The World Editors Forum is the meeting-place for editors to exchange experiences and expertise and to defend editorial excellence – and those engaged with supporting this agenda though education and training should participate in this discussion.”

The Association of Online Publishers board has agreed a new mission statement for the association, to “create excellence in multiplatform digital publishing”.
The move, to ensure that the AOP is completely focused on the “here and now”, is one of several recommendations made by AOP director Alex White resulting from a series of 17 interviews conducted with board representatives between November 2005 and February 2006.

A baby girl with a rare medical condition spurred staff from the Liverpool Echo to swap their newsroom for the football pitch in a fundraising tournament.
Year-old Alex Ava Morley has frontal plagiocephaly, which results in her head becoming flattened at the front, and will undergo a correct operation at Alder Hey children’s hospital, which will benefit from the event proceeds.