AddThis SmartLayers

Plaudits for newspaper law legend who launched course

A special reception has been held at a London University to mark 35 years since journalism was first taught there.

During the event at City University in London a tribute was paid to legendary former editor and newspaper law expert Tom Welsh who launched the course in 1976 and was its first director of journalism.

Tom, who retired in 2005, began his career on the Westmorland Gazette and the Yorkshire Evening Press. He then subbed on the Oxford Mail, the News Chronicle and The Guardian.

Before joining City University in 1976 he had been a lecturer in journalism for three years at Harlow College.

He left the university in 1979 to become editor of the North-West Evening Mail and edited the paper for seven years.

Then for five years he was chairman of the law examinations board of the National Council for the Training of Journalists, and from 1979 to 2007 was joint editor, with Walter Greenwood, of 12 editions of McNae’s Essential Law for Journalists.

The reception was attended by 300 academic members of staff and alumni of City University.

Speaking at the event, current director at the university, Professor George Brock, said: “I stand, as Peter Abelard said, on the shoulders of the giants who went before me” – naming Tom as ‘the original giant’.

In 2007 Tom and Walter Greenwood were appointed Fellows of the Society of Editors in recognition of the contribution they had made to ‘the fight to maintain freedom of the media, freedom of expression and the public’s right to know’.

Tom also established and edited the Media Lawyer news service.

He retired in 2005 and the publication was acquired by the Press Association. It is now edited by Mike Dodd, and Tom remains an honorary consultant.