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SoE Conference:News in brief

On the day that the Tomlinson report on exam reform was published, Michael Howard outlined the Conservatives’ proposals for exam standards in a keynote speech at the Conference.

He said: “The work the Society of Editors undertakes is of huge importance to the success of our free and vibrant media.

“You stand up for press freedom, which should never be taken for granted. You scrutinise Government legislation that might have an impact on your industry. And, where necessary, you challenge it with great skill.

“You play a very important role in the task of education and training that helps raise your own professional standards ever higher. Long may you continue to thrive. The next Conservative Government will want to help ensure you do.”

Terrorists could soon be using live news channels as their own propaganda tools, warned Sky News associate editor Simon Bucks and ITV news chief executive Clive Jones.

Developing policy on how rolling news channels will deal with hostage situations is one of the biggest challenges to face the nation’s broadcasters, according to the panel at today’s ‘Big Year for Broadcasting’ session.

Britain’s top policeman said that the media must work hand in hand with the police and local communities to fight the threat of terrorism.

Sir John Stevens, Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, told the Society of Editors’ annual conference terrorists in this country were “sophisticated, highly motivated and well trained beyond what we have experienced with the IRA”.

He said: “The dynamics of terror have been transformed but we can overcome the threat. We must not allow our concentration to lapse. The moment we do will be the moment they get through. We must not be alarmed – we must be alert.”

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