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PA boss to get second term as Society of Editors chief

Press Association editor Jonathan Grun is set to serve a second term as president of the Society of Editors, ten years on from the first.

Jonathan, who will become the first person to hold the post twice, is set to succeed BBC head of newsgathering Francesca Unsworth at the close of next week’s annual conference in Belfast, subject to the approval of its annual meeting at the start of the conference on Sunday.

Ian Murray, editor of the Southern Daily Echo, has been nominated as vice-president, meaning he is likely to take the presidency for 2013-14.

If so he will become the first regional newspaper editor to hold the post since Nigel Pickover, then at the Ipswich Star and now editing the Eastern Daily Press, in 2008-09.

Jonathan, 58, joined PA as a reporter in 1979 and has been editor of the national news agency since 2000.

He is a member of the Defence, Press and Broadcasting Advisory Committee and has served on many industry bodies as well as playing important coordinating roles in major national events.

Ian, 53, started as a trainee reporter with Berrows Newspapers in the West Midlands in 1979 and was editor at the Kidderminster Shuttle and Times and Stourport News at the age of 25.

He became managing editor of the Bournemouth Echo in 1997 and editor of the Southern Daily Echo the following year, later adding the role editor-in-chief of Newsquest’s Hampshire titles, which include the Hampshire Chronicle, Basingstoke Gazette, Romsey Advertiser, Andover Advertiser and Salisbury Journal series.

Said Fran:  “Jonathan Grun is highly regarded across all sectors of the media which PA serves so well. He is just the person to steer the society through turbulent waters against a background of continuing challenge and change in all media organisations.

“He will be supported by Ian Murray who is an editor of long experience in a part of the industry that has had an especially difficult time and which is adapting to a rapidly changing media playing field.  They will make a powerful team presenting the case for media freedom and the public’s right to know.”

The Society of Editors conference will be held from 11-13 November in Belfast. The annual SoE lecture will be delivered on Sunday evening by Lord Hunt, Chairman of the Press Complaints Commission with MP John Whittingdale also delivering a keynote address.

Debate is expected to centre on the media world post-Leveson, funding for investigative journalism and a clampdown on the flow of information between public authorities and journalists.