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SoE to stage special conference on regional press

The Society of Editors is organising a special mini-conference next month focusing on the problems of the regional press.

Liverpool echo editor Alistair Machray, Manchester Evening News boss Rob Irvine and former newspaper entrepreneur Chris Oakley will be among the speakers at the one-day event in Manchester on 10 May.

Chris, the former head of Regional Independent Media which owned the Birmingham Post and Mail, will give a presentation entitled ‘Five Minutes to Midnight’ on the industry’s current difficulties.

He will discuss why in his view the industry’s “catastrophic” problems are largely self-inflicted, but also how a new generation of entrepreneurs is experimenting with “rebuilding regional publishing from ground zero.”

Also taking part will be Mike Rawlins,  editor of PitsnPots, a website launched in September 2008 to promote discussion about politics in Stoke-on-Trent which has now spawned a print edition.

Newly-appointed MEN editor Rob will chair a discussion session on the future of the industry, while Alastair will speak on how his paper is co-ordinating a grant-giving scheme helping small businesses create new jobs.

The event, which will also include a presentation by SoE executive director Bob Satchwell, is aimed at all regional editors and their senior colleagues from across the country not just the north of England.

The event is free and special overnight rates at Manchester’s Marriott Victoria & Albert Hotel have been organised along with dinner at a subsidised rate.  More information from Angela at


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  • April 23, 2012 at 11:06 am

    Oakley says the industry’s problems are self-inflicted? As one of the men who held one of the knives which caused the wounds, this is a little ironic. Rewriting history again.

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  • April 23, 2012 at 12:36 pm

    I agree with 20:20 – pot calling kettle…..
    However Oakley does have a very good point.
    Years and years of hiking prices with very little re investment.
    Lagging way behind on “new media” platforms.
    Then just trying to make them in print mk2 etc.
    The really sad thing is that many of the publishing groups had enough home grown talent – they just paid huge amounts to “consultants” who tended to get it wrong anyway!
    Sadly I have had first hand experience of this on more than one occasion.

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