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President of journalists’ union dies from cancer

The president of a journalists’ union and a former weekly newspaper editor has died after a fight with cancer.

Charlie Harris, left, was president of the Chartered Institute of Journalists and was a former editor of the Harrow Times, where he was the title’s launch editor in 1997.

He began his journalism career 40 years ago, working on local newspapers and magazines until 2006 in north London, Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire, including the Hendon Times and the Watford Free Observer, and since then has been involved in journalism training.

Charlie’s death has been announced on the website of the CIoJ, of which he was a member for around four decades.

The organisation said: “We are sorry to inform you that Charlie has died.

“He died peacefully at 8.50pm on Saturday (4 January) in St Luke’s Hospice, Harrow, where he had been admitted just after Christmas suffering from the advance effects of bowel and liver cancer.

“Charlie’s death is a great loss to the Institute.”

His involvement in journalism training saw him serve on the National Council for the Training of Journalists for many years as one of the CIoJ’s representatives and he was also chairman for a year in 1990, remaining on its board until 1993.

NCTJ chief executive Joanne Butcher said: “Charlie was committed to professional journalism training and editorial standards and is a great loss to journalism and journalism training.

“He was a stalwart of the NCTJ and he will be very much missed by me and my team who knew him and appreciated his loyalty, kindness and good humour.”

Charlie has taught on journalism courses accredited by the NCTJ since 2007, teaching newswriting, sub-editing and public administration, including at Press Association Training in Victoria and NoSweat Journalism Training.

His funeral details have yet to be announced.

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  • January 8, 2014 at 10:20 am

    As an Institute member for nearly 40 years and a former NUJ officer I remember Charlie well. Whatever he did was always done with pride and perseverance. It’s not always applicable but “well done thou good and faithful servant.”

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