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PCC boss Hunt to deliver Society of Editors Lecture

Press Complaints Commission chairman Lord Hunt is to deliver the annual lecture at the start of this Society of Editors conference, it was announced today.

With Lord Justice Leveson’s report due in October or early November, the future of the press watchdog is bound to be near the top of the agenda at the media gathering, which takes place on 11-13 November.

Since being appointed to the role last year, Lord Hunt has fought a robust battle to preserve the system of press self-regulation and has proposed a new beefed-up PCC with the power to fine newspapers which break the editors’ code.

His speech will take place on the opening night of the opening night of the three-day conference to be held at the Europa Hotel in Belfast.

Lord Hunt follows a distinguished list of SoE lecturers who have included Lord Patten, Chairman of the BBC Trust, Alexander Lebedev, Paul Dacre, Gavin O’Reilly, Sir Christopher Meyer and Ben Bradlee of the Washington Post.

His predecessor as PCC chairman, Baroness Buscombe, delivered the SoE lecture in 2009.

Society of Editors President Fran Unsworth, Head of Newsgathering at the BBC said: “Lord Hunt has already made a major contribution to the debate about press regulation and the need for a system that enhances rather than diminishes the freedom and integrity of the press.

“We are sure his lecture will point to further steps forward.”