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Regional media issues top agenda at spring conference

The Society of Editors is to stage a second one-day spring conference focusing specifically on the concerns of regional and local media.

CN Group chairman Robin Burgess, Press Complaints Commission boss Lord Hunt and Sunday Post editor Donald Martin will be among the speakers at the 15 April event, which follows the successful launch of a regional editors’ conference last year.

Among the issues to be highlighted are whether going weekly is the answer to the problems of daily newspapers, what the industry can do about council newspapers, and whether local TV is a way forward for newspaper publishing groups.

There will also be a discussion on why the Leveson Report may have more impact on the regional press than some may think, and expert scrutiny of how newspapers and others are handling community news on the web.

The conference, sponsored by HoldtheFrontPage and Marriott Hotels, will take place at the Marriott Forest of Arden Hotel in the West Midlands.

Cost of attendance is £35 and for an additional £120, delegates will be able to attend a conference dinner on the Sunday evening with an overnight stay at the hotel.

Other speakers will include Ed Asquith, who took the Scarborough News from daily to weekly last year, and Sarah Hartley who is community strategist for Guardian group who specialises in setting up local websites.

Oldham Evening Chronicle editor Dave Whaley, East London Advertiser editor Malcolm Starbrook, and Helen Pidd, Northern Editor of The Guardian, are also among the line up, with more top speakers will be announced shortly.

The conference will run from 9.45am to 4.30pm and the cost includes lunch and refreshments.

SoE executive director Bob Satchwell said:  “The conference will focus on issues of central concern to all regional editors.  Last year showed the demand for topics specific to local and regional editors and this year we aim to build on that.”

HoldtheFrontPage publisher Paul Linford added:  “The introduction of a Spring conference focusing exclusively on regional media matters is a great innovation by the Society of Editors which HoldtheFrontPage is proud to support.

“The conference will be a great opportunity for regional editorial executives to discuss issues of particular concern to them and we are confident it will be well supported by the industry.”

To book your place, please email [email protected]