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Trustee Tom Clarke receiving a cheque for £500 from EDF energy at their East of England Media Awards last week.

Trustee Tom Clarke receiving a cheque for £500 from EDF energy at their East of England Media Awards (February 2015)

AGM: May 13th at 12.45

Farringdon Room

St Bride Foundation

Bride Lane

Fleet Street

London EC4Y 8EQ

The Wales Media Awards 2015

Latest News – the Shortlisted Winners!

We’ve had a fantastic response for entries to the Wales Media Awards 2015, with over 150 entries from journalists in all sections of the media right across Wales.

The final winners will be announced at the Wales Media Awards 2015 gala dinner at the Cardiff Marriott on Thursday March 19th 2015, sponsored by Comtek. We’ll also be announcing the judges’ choices for Journalist of the Year and Outstanding Contribution.

The evening promises to be a great occasion. Hosted by Huw Edwards and in aid of the Journalists’ Charity which has organised the awards, it will bring together some of the top names in the media in Wales to celebrate the country’s journalistic excellence.

Tickets for the black tie dinner are selling fast. A table of 10 costs £650, individual places are £70 (discounted to £60 for those who buy their tickets early). Tickets for the shortlisted candidates are £35. To buy yours, click here (https://www NULL.eventbrite NULL.co NULL.uk/e/journalists-charity-wales-media-awards-tickets-15391172411).

Our distinguished panel of judges have had a tough job but have now made their initial selections. We’re delighted to announce the shortlisted winners are:

News Reporter of the Year (Print) – Ciaran Jones, Media Wales; Liz Perkins, South Wales Evening Post; Martin Shipton, Media Wales.

TV News Reporter of the Year – Aled Huw, Newyddion 9, BBC Cymru Wales for S4C; Carl Edwards, ITV Cymru Wales; Huw Thomas, BBC Wales.

Radio News Reporter of the Year – Alun Thomas, BBC Radio Cymru; David Grundy, BBC Radio Wales; Lauren Jones, Global’s Wales Newsroom.

Online News Reporter of the Year – Ciaran Jones, Media Wales; Sally Williams, Media Wales.

Political Reporter of the Year – David Williamson, Media Wales; Martin Shipton, Media Wales; Owain Phillips, ITV Cymru Wales.

Business Reporter of the Year – Douglas Friedli, Wales Business Insider; Brian Meechan, BBC Cymru Wales.

Feature Writer of the Year – Carolyn Hitt, freelance for The Western Mail; David Owens, Media Wales; Kirstie McCrum, Media Wales.

Sports Reporter of the Year – Chris Wathan, Media Wales; Delme Parfitt, Media Wales; Paul Abbandonato, Media Wales; Simon Thomas, Media Wales; Steve Tucker, Media Wales.

Young Journalist of the Year – Ciaran Jones, Media Wales; Gareth Hill, Caerphilly Observer; Geraint Thomas, BBC Radio Cymru.

Photographer of the Year – Craig Colville, Rhyl Journal and Evening Leader; Mike Lewis, South Wales Argus; Richard Williams, Media Wales.

Daily Newspaper of the Year – Western Mail, South Wales Argus, Flintshire Leader.

Weekly Newspaper of the Year – County Times, Western Telegraph, Cambrian News.

Community Outlet of the Year – RoathCardiff.net, Caerphilly Observer, Port Talbot Magnet.

News Website of the Year – South Wales Argus, Wales Online, South Wales Evening Post, BBC Cymru (Cymru Fyw).

TV Programme of the Year – Wales This Week, Wales at Six, Newyddion 9.

Radio Programme of the Year – Post Cyntaf, Good Morning Wales.

Scoop of the Year – Ciaran Jones, Media Wales; Gareth Evans, Western Mail; Gareth Hill and Richard Gurner, Caerphilly Observer

Student Journalist of the Year – The judges decided to make no award this year.

Camera Operator of the Year – The judges decided to make no award this year.

Jonathan Grun, editor-in-chief of The Press Association and chair of the judges, said: “The revival of the Wales Media Awards has shown the strength of Welsh journalism and the vital role it plays in the life of Wales. Choosing the shortlists has been a tremendously difficult job.

“Young journalists are clearly learning their craft in a news rich environment in Wales and we were impressed by the quality and enthusiasm of the entrants for that award.

“Sports reporting has always been a great strength in Wales and the judges have had a particularly difficult task in selecting this shortlist.

“Now that we have shortlists for the awards, we will start the job of choosing winners. Having seen the quality of entries already, this will be great fun – and very difficult. I look forward to celebrating the best in Welsh journalism.”

Wales Media Awards Sponsored by COMTEK

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Cyhoeddi Rhestr fer ar gyfer Gwobrau Cyfryngau Cymru 2015 Elusen y Newyddiadurwyr

Mae’r rhestr fer ar gyfer Gwobrau Cyfryngau Cymru 2015 Elusen y Newyddiadurwyr yn cael ei chyhoeddi heddiw (12 Chwefror 2015).

Dewisodd y beirniaid, dan gadeiryddiaeth Jonathan Grun, prif olygydd y Press Association, ymgeiswyr o blith dros 150 o holl sectorau’r cyfryngau ar hyd a lled Cymru.

Dyma nhw:

Newyddiadurwr y Flwyddyn (Print) Ciaran Jones, Media Wales; Liz Perkins, South Wales Evening Post;  Martin Shipton, Media Wales.

Newyddiadurwr y Flwyddyn (Teledu) Aled Huw, Newyddion 9, BBC Cymru Wales ar gyfer S4C; Carl Edwards, ITV Cymru Wales; Huw Thomas, BBC Wales.

Newyddiadurwr y Flwyddyn (Radio) Alun Thomas, BBC Radio Cymru; David Grundy, BBC Radio Wales; Lauren Jones, Global’s Wales Newsroom.

Newyddiadurwr y Flwyddyn (Ar-lein) Ciaran Jones, Media Wales; Sally Williams, Media Wales.

Newyddiadurwr Gwleidyddol y Flwyddyn David Williamson, Media Wales; Martin Shipton, Media Wales; Owain Phillips, ITV Cymru Wales.

Newyddiadurwr Busnes y Flwyddyn Douglas Friedli, Wales Business Insider; Brian Meechan, BBC Cymru Wales.

Awdur Ysgrifennu Nodwedd y Flwyddyn Carolyn Hitt, newyddiadurwr llawrydd ar gyfer y Western Mail; David Owens, Media Wales; Kirsty McCrum, Media Wales.

Newyddiadurwr Chwaraeon y Flwyddyn Chris Wathan, Media Wales; Delme Parfitt, Media Wales; Paul Abbandonato, Media Wales; Simon Thomas, Media Wales; Steve Tucker, Media Wales.

Newyddiadurwr Ifanc y Flwyddyn Ciaran Jones, Media Wales; Gareth Hill, Caerphilly Observer; Geraint Thomas, BBC Radio Cymru.

Ffotograffydd y Flwyddyn Craig Colville, Rhyl Journal a’r Evening Leader; Mike Lewis, South Wales Argus; Richard Williams, Media Wales.

Papur Newydd Dyddiol y Flwyddyn Western Mail, South Wales Argus, Flintshire Leader.

Papur Newydd Wythnosol y Flwyddyn County Times, Western Telegraph, Cambrian News.

Allfa Gymunedol y Flwyddyn  RoathCardiff.net, Caerphilly Observer, Port Talbot Magnet.

Gwefan Newyddion y Flwyddyn South Wales Argus, Wales Online, South Wales Evening Post, BBC Cymru (Cymru Fyw).

Rhaglen Deledu y Flwyddyn  Wales This Week, Wales at Six, Newyddion 9.

Rhaglen Radio y Flwyddyn  Post Cyntaf, Good Morning Wales.

Stori Newyddion y Flwyddyn  Ciaran Jones, Media Wales; Gareth Evans, Western Mail; Gareth Hill a Richard Gurner, Caerphilly Observer.

Myfyriwr-Newyddiadurwr y Flwyddyn   Penderfynodd y beirniaid beidio â rhoi gwobr eleni.

Gweithredwr Camera y Flwyddyn   Penderfynodd y beirniaid beidio â rhoi gwobr eleni.

Meddai Jonathan Grun: “Mae cynnal Gwobrau Cyfryngau Cymru unwaith eto wedi dangos pa mor gryf yw newyddiaduraeth yng Nghymru, a’i rôl hanfodol ym mywyd Cymru. Mae llunio’r rhestr fer wedi bod yn dasg anodd iawn.

“Mae newyddiadurwyr ifanc yn amlwg yn dysgu eu crefft mewn amgylchedd llawn newyddion yng Nghymru, ac roedd safon a brwdfrydedd yr ymgeiswyr yn y categori hwn wedi creu cryn argraff arnon ni.

“Mae adrodd am chwaraeon wedi bod yn gryfder yng Nghymru erioed, ac mae’r beirniaid wedi cael tasg arbennig o anodd wrth lunio’r rhestr fer hon.

“Nawr ein bod wedi cael rhestr fer ar gyfer pob gwobr, byddwn yn dechrau ar y dasg o ddewis yr enillwyr.  Ar ôl gweld safon yr ymgeiswyr yn barod, bydd hyn yn llawer o hwyl – ac yn anodd iawn. Rwy’n edrych ymlaen at ddathlu’r gorau ym myd newyddiaduraeth yng Nghymru.”

Cyhoeddir enwau’r enillwyr yn swper gala Gwobrau Cyfryngau Cymru 2015 yng ngwesty’r Marriott, Caerdydd ar ddydd Iau, 19 Mawrth 2015. Hefyd, bydd enillwyr gwobrau Newyddiadurwr y Flwyddyn a Chyfraniad Eithriadol yn cael eu cyhoeddi.

Huw Edwards fydd yn cyflwyno’r noson, sydd er bydd Elusen y Newyddiadurwyr (www.journalistscharity.co.uk), a bydd rhai o enwau mawr y cyfryngau yng Nghymru’n dod ynghyd i ddathlu newyddiaduraeth ragorol y wlad.

Mae tocynnau ar gyfer y swper ar gael yn https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/journalists-charity-wales-media-awards-tickets-15391172411 (https://www NULL.eventbrite NULL.co NULL.uk/e/journalists-charity-wales-media-awards-tickets-15391172411). Mae bwrdd i 10 yn costio £650, ac mae llefydd unigol yn £70 (£60 os ydych chi’n prynu’n gynnar, a £35 ar gyfer ymgeiswyr ar y rhestr fer).

Comtek yw prif noddwr Gwobrau Cyfryngau Cymru 2015. Prifysgol Fetropolitan Caerdydd a Western Power Distribution a’r partneriaid Quadrant Media & Communications, Cleartech a Cymen yw’r noddwyr eraill.

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The leading charity supporting journalists has re-launched the Wales Media Awards to honour the best in journalism.  The Journalists’ Charity is looking for entries for the awards from print, broadcast and online journalists across Wales.  Tim Rogers, chair of the charity’s Welsh branch, said the awards would be an opportunity for Welsh journalists to share their best work and for the quality of Welsh journalism to be recognised.

Book your places now : https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/journalists-charity-wales-media-awards-tickets-15391172411 (https://www NULL.eventbrite NULL.co NULL.uk/e/journalists-charity-wales-media-awards-tickets-15391172411)

He said: “There are awards across the UK for journalists but Wales lost its own awards some years ago. The Journalists’ Charity is driving this forward to fill the gap.”

The Journalists’ Charity was founded in 1864 by a group of journalists, including Charles Dickens.  It is the only charity run by journalists. As well as operating a number of residential care homes in Dorking, Surrey, for journalists and their dependants from England and Wales, the charity provides financial assistance to those finding it difficult to cope for a variety of reasons.

Tim Rogers

Tim Rogers

Tim Rogers said: “Last year alone we distributed nearly £400,000 in grants to journalists and their families in England and Wales and the figure is expected to rise as more people working in the industry suffer from redundancies, ill health or just misfortune.”

The Wales Media Awards will include sections for student and young journalists, camera operators and photographers, and for features, sport and business.

The coveted Journalist of the Year will be chosen from all entrants, and will sit alongside awards for daily and weekly publications, radio and television programmes and online and community outlets.

The student category will be for work produced between September and December 2014, while all other categories will be for work published or broadcast between 1st October 2013 and 30th September 2014.

The Awards are free to enter, and entries can be submitted online at www.walesmediaawards.co.uk (http://www NULL.walesmediaawards NULL.co NULL.uk) from 12.00 noon Monday 3 November 2014.

Huw Edwards

Huw Edwards

Judging will be completed in the New Year and the awards will be presented at a celebration event at the Marriott Hotel Cardiff on 19th March 2015 hosted by Huw Edwards, President of the charity in Wales.

Sponsored byComtekLogo.jpgwelsh awardsCategory Sponsor

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WHEN: Thursday, 5 March 2015 from 18:30 to 21:00 (GMT)

WHERE: Daily Telegraph, 111 Buckingham Palace Road, London, SW1W 0DT 

The Sun famously took the credit for the unexpected Conservative victory in 1992 – but will newspapers be able to claim the same influence for this May’s election? That’s the question the Journalists’ Charity and the London Press Club will ask in a debate this March.

Chaired by ITV News political editor Tom Bradby, Election 2015: Can it still be the Sun wot wins it? takes place at the Telegraph offices on March 5 at 6.30pm for 7pm.

With the ‘big three’ parties polling at record lows and traditionally smaller parties enjoying record popularity, what role will newspapers – with circulation down by 40% since the 2005 election – and other media have this time around.

The panel will include: Trevor Kavanagh, political editor of The Sun for two decades and now associate editor; Peter Kellner, YouGov president and former journalist; The Times political columnist Rachel Sylvester and Anushka Asthana, Sky News Political Correspondent.

New Journalists’ Charity chair Sue Ryan added: “The LPC have supported us for ten years with the ball, and after out 150th anniversary we plan this year to organise events with them using our ambassadors. It is partly about funds which we badly need, but also about increasing awareness within media organisations. It used to be  pretty automatic to join what was then the Press Fund when you joined a paper, but that no longer happens. Trevor Kavanagh is an ambassador for the charity and we are grateful to the other speakers for saying yes straight away, and to the Telegraph for agreeing to host what we hope will be the first of several such topical events.”

Tickets for the event, which include a drink on arrival, are available now online (http://www NULL.eventbrite NULL.co NULL.uk/e/journalists-charity-and-london-press-club-election-debate-tickets-15439059643) at £10 for Press Club and Journalists’ Charity members, £15 for non-members and £5 for students. Proceeds go to the Journalists’ Charity.

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The event is the latest in a series of London Press Club (http://londonpressclub NULL.co NULL.uk) events held at exclusive venues across the capital on topics including paywalls, regulation and social media, with Andrew Neil, Sarah Sands, Damian McBride and Alan Rusbridger among the speakers.

And afterwards at the Reunion Bar, Guoman Grosvenor ( pay bar)

Tickets : £10 for JC/ LPC & WiJ members and affiliates/ £15 for non members/ £5 for students

 To Book: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/journalists-charity-and-london-press-club-election-debate-tickets-15439059643 (https://www NULL.eventbrite NULL.co NULL.uk/e/journalists-charity-and-london-press-club-election-debate-tickets-15439059643)

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“Je suis Charlie”: the solidarity of UK journalists

Guests gathered at the Journalists’ Charity’s annual reception at the Embassy of Ireland in London in a sombre and reflective mood, recognising that the enormity of the deathly attack in Paris on the staff of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo had become a defining moment in the defence of free and independent journalism around the world.

Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister, described the terrible death toll as a tragic reminder of the importance of freedom of speech, of a free press and most importantly of a freedom to “offend each other”.

In the absence of the Ambassador of Ireland Mr Dan Mulhall, who was detained in Dublin, Mr Clegg, was welcomed to the reception by Mrs Greta Mulhall, Clare Brosnan, press officer for the Embassy of Ireland and Sue Ryan, the charity’s new chair.

Clare Brosnan, The Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, Sue Ryan, Chair , Journalists' Charity, Mrs Greta Mulhall

Clare Brosnan, The Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, Sue Ryan, Chair , Journalists’ Charity, Mrs Greta Mulhall

The event (13.1.2015) tops the charity’s calendar of social events and in her opening remarks Ms Brosnan said she understood how for journalists the attack on Charlie Hebdo had cast a shadow over the proceedings.

But the resolve shown by the French people, and beyond, to uphold and defend democracy and freedom, offered “a great ray of hope” and by hosting the annual gathering the Embassy had shown that the importance of the work of journalists was not lost on the people of Ireland and the United Kingdom.

As a politician who had personally felt the sharp end of the cartoonist’s pen, Mr Clegg said he would not have it any other way. He wanted first and foremost to pay tribute to the work of journalists and especially the contribution of Charlie Hebdo’s cartoonists.

Nick Clegg

Nick Clegg

“Whether you are a reporter holding the powerful to account, a foreign correspondent risking life and limb to show the world uncomfortable truths, a commentator contributing to our national debate or a cartoonist pricking the pomposity of politicians and public figures, or even religious figures – thank you. You make us freer.

“You cannot have freedom unless people are free to offend each other. You don’t have to agree with everything, or even anything, that Charlie Hebdo published to ‘be Charlie’ – you only have to wish to protect the freedoms and rights that define liberal societies like ours.”

Mr Clegg, who earlier in the day had been outlining the Liberal Democrats’ opposition to proposed new powers to store and read online communications – a so called “snoopers’ charter” – said journalists around the world had been impressed by the way millions of people took to the streets of Paris in solidarity, in remembrance and in defence and celebration of dearly-held freedoms.

“You might imagine after several days when politicians across the spectrum and across the world have come together – literally linking their arms together in Paris – in defence of free speech, that we should take it as a given that it will be protected.

“But sadly that’s not the case.  Among those linking arms in Paris were leaders of other less liberal countries where people are still locked up or worse for speaking their mind, or journalists for doing their job.

“But even in liberal, democratic societies such as ours we need much greater vigilance to protect free speech. Sadly, governments sometimes, with the best of intentions, introduce measures in the name of public safety that undermine the very freedoms we cherish, and which our enemies despise.”

Simon Fox, CEO Trinity Mirror

Simon Fox, CEO Trinity Mirror

Mr Clegg listed examples of where he believed politicians were saying in one breath they would defend freedom of expression, but then in another advocating a huge encroachment on the freedom of all British citizens:

  • The Labour Party’s championing of section 5 of the Public Order Act, using “insulting words” to cause “alarm of distress”.
  • The Conservative Party’s push to “filter lawful web content”.
  • The push by the Home Secretary Mrs Theresa May to introduce “banning orders” which would give the government the power “to put ASBO-style constraints on people to who say unpleasant but lawful things”.
  • The use of the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act to obtain journalists’ records.
  • And the “snoopers’ charter”, which would mean “a new indiscriminate power for government to record every man, woman and child’s web history, emails and social media interactions regardless of whether they are guilty or innocent of anything”.
    Jeremy Paxman

    Jeremy Paxman

“Let me be really clear, we have every right to invade the privacy of terrorists and those who we think want to do us harm – but we should not equate that with invading the privacy of every single person in the UK. They are not the same thing,” said Mr Clegg.

“The snoopers’ charter is not targeted. It is not proportionate. It’s not harmless. It would be a new and dramatic shift in the relationship between the state and the individual.

“People who blithely say they are happy for the state to scrutinise their emails because they have ‘nothing to hide’ have failed to grasp something fundamental about democratic societies. We do not make ourselves safer by making ourselves less free.”

In her welcome Clare Brosnan said that 2014 had been a momentous year for both the Journalists’ Charity and the Embassy.   The charity had reached the milestone of its 150th anniversary and for the Embassy it had been a year of firsts.

Clare Brosnan, Head of Press, Embassy of Ireland

Clare Brosnan, Head of Press, Embassy of Ireland

Michael D Higgins, the President of Ireland, had paid an historic first state visit to Britain; the Ambassador had laid a wreath at the Cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday; the two governments had worked together in Belfast to bring about the 2014 Stormont House agreement; and trade between the two countries had topped £1 billion each week, confirmation that Ireland’s economic recovery was well underway.

Sue Ryan, in her first public role as the new chair of the charity, thanked Nick Clegg for his speech, not least because together with Margaret Thatcher, he was the only other party leader who had returned for a second year as guest speaker at the annual reception.

Sue Ryan, Charity Chairman

Sue Ryan, Charity Chairman

She thanked the Ambassador for the Embassy’s continued support in hosting the event and acknowledged how important that had been during the charity’s 150th anniversary celebrations.

There were huge challenges for the year ahead: the charity had to drag its communications in the 21st century and start contacting its members, friends and supporters by email rather than post and more importantly address the future of the charity’s finances.

“For most of our 150 years we have been a grant awarding charity helping thousands of journalists in desperate need. Seven years ago that changed when we built a nursing home. Providing the very best care is very expensive. We have twenty rooms, that is too small to break even, so like the NHS we are struggling to meet a short fall.

“We have been digging into our reserves and we cannot continue in that vein, so please support us in any way you can. The aftermath of the dreadful events in Paris has illustrated that after years of people trashing journalists there is now a groundswell of support and that is tremendous to see.”

Nick Clegg enjoying a glass of guinness

Nick Clegg enjoying a glass of guinness

Guests were encouraged to follow the charity’s events on Twitter — and the hash tag for the reception was #jcirish – but the Embassy had stolen a march on the journalists’ Twitterati by suggesting they followed the Ambassador @DanMulhall who had committed himself to tweeting a Yeats quote for each day of 2015!

Nicholas Jones 14.1.2015

Nick Clegg’s Speech:

I know that normally speeches at these gatherings are light-hearted, but the events of the last week have given events like this a greater importance.

Freedom of speech and a free press are at the very heart of our liberal, democratic society.

We must not take the work of journalists and the freedoms that allow you to do your work without fear or favour for granted.

So I want to take this opportunity, first and foremost, to say thank you. Whether you are a reporter holding the powerful to account, a foreign correspondent risking life and limb to show the world uncomfortable truths, a commentator contributing to our national debate or a cartoonist pricking the pomposity of politicians and public figures, or even religious figures – thank you. You make us freer.

I’ve felt the sharp end of some of your pens myself, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

You cannot have freedom unless people are free to offend each other. You don’t have to agree with everything, or even anything, that Charlie Hebdo published to “be Charlie” – you only have to wish to protect the freedoms and rights that define liberal societies like ours.

This barbaric attack was an assault not just on journalists and cartoonists but on the values of free speech, public dispute and openness which those professions embody. It was an attack on the very heart of an open, liberal society.

You might imagine after several days when politicians across the spectrum and across the world have come together – literally linking their arms together in Paris – in defence of free speech, that we should take it as a given that it will be protected.

But sadly that’s not the case. Among those linking arms in Paris were leaders of other less liberal countries where people are still locked up or worse for speaking their mind, or journalists for doing their job.

But even in liberal, democratic societies such as ours we need much greater vigilance to protect free speech. Sadly, governments sometimes, with the best of intentions, introduce measures in the name of public safety that undermine the very freedoms we cherish, and which our enemies despise.

Just look at some examples from recent years:

  • Labour’s championing of Section 5 of the Public Order Act – using “insulting words” to cause “alarm or distress”.
  • The Tories’ push to filter lawful web content.
  • The Home Secretary’s push to introduce “banning orders” which would give her the power to put ASBO-style constraints on people who say unpleasant but lawful things.
  • The use of RIPA to obtain journalists’ records.
  • And of course, the Snoopers’ Charter, which would mean a new indiscriminate power for governments to record every man, woman and child’s web history, emails and social media interactions regardless of whether they are guilty or innocent of anything.

The irony appears to be lost on some politicians who say in one breath that they will defend freedom of expression and then in the next advocate a huge encroachment on the freedom of all British citizens.

Let me be really clear , we have every right to invade the privacy of terrorists and those we think want to do us harm – but we should not equate that with invading the privacy of every single person in the UK. They are not the same thing.

The Snoopers’ Charter is not targeted. It’s not proportionate. It’s not harmless.

It would be a new and dramatic shift in the relationship between the state and the individual.

People who blithely say they are happy for the state to scrutinise their emails because they have ‘nothing to hide’ have failed to grasp something fundamental about open democratic societies:

We do not make ourselves safer by making ourselves less free.

Free speech means bad ideas can be exposed and good ones promoted. But how is the marketplace of ideas supposed to work if law-abiding people can’t communicate freely about our ideas with others, free from surveillance? How can we test our assumptions about the world and discover new ideas if our web browsing is being monitored?

Free speech and privacy therefore go hand in hand. Neither are absolute rights of course, but interference with either needs to be truly exceptional.

Of course, much of the debate in recent days has focused on what the Government can and should do to tighten our security. The Coalition has already acted to do so – there have been two pieces of legislation in recent months which the Liberal Democrats have both supported and helped to design and I have advocated as Deputy Prime Minister.

The question of how we can make ourselves safer is vital and we must never become complacent. But the question I want to pose is: How do we also keep ourselves free?

If we really believe freedom of speech is a founding principle of our democracy, then we must act to protect it.

I look enviously at America, where every schoolchild is taught from day one that they have inalienable rights – including free expression – which are a fundamental part of what it means to be American.

I want us to have the same. The time has come for a written constitution with a Bill of Rights. The Liberal Democrats are committed to a constitutional convention after the general election, and deciding how we enshrine free speech in a British Bill of Rights should be at the heart of it.

Article 10 of the ECHR, the right to free expression, doesn’t go far enough. We need something home-grown if it is going to stick in the public consciousness and really act as a brake on politicians’ authoritarian tendencies in the future.

The Commission on a Bill of Rights we set up in 2011 looked at this. It failed to come to a unanimous view because the Conservatives saw it as an opportunity to weaken the ECHR, not complement it and strengthen it.

On Sunday, millions of people took to the streets in solidarity, in remembrance and in defence and celebration of the freedoms we hold dear. Our response must be to protect and enhance those freedoms, not to allow fear to chip away at them.

We must always defend the British values of freedom, openness and tolerance. We must always defend the rights of individuals to express themselves freely. And we must always defend the right of a free press to do its work without fear or favour.

It is at times like these, when our freedoms are under threat, that we must stand up for them most of all.

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speakers

Our speakers

Thank you letters underline the Christmas message

Letters of thanks provided a seasonal reminder at the annual Christmas carol service that financial assistance is appreciated now as much as it was when the Journalists’ Charity was established 150 years ago.

alyson

Reverend Canon Dr Alison Joyce.

Political and business editors gave the readings at St Bride’s Church after the congregation was welcomed by the new Rector, Reverend Canon Dr Alison Joyce.

Luther Pendragon, one of the UK’s leading communications consultancies, was again the host for one of the favourite gatherings in the charity’s calendar of events and the last marking its 150th anniversary year.

Laurie Upshon, chairman of the trustees, read extracts from some of those helped by the charity in the last twelve months.

A journalist, who had spent his career reporting from war zones, admitted he had never heard of the charity before he needed assistance.

“The Journalists’ Charity could not have been more helpful…in fact they saved my home and, quite probably, my life as well.”

Another beneficiary remarked that it was very fashionable at the moment to think unkindly of journalists.  “But the Journalists’ Charity offers an extraordinary lifeline in very troubling circumstances.”

One recipient’s thank-you letter struck a seasonal note: “Your cheque will enable me to celebrate Christmas which otherwise wouldn’t be possible.”

This year’s carol service was a first for Alison Joyce who has succeeded the Venerable David Meara as Rector of St Bride’s and “Vicar of Fleet Street”.

She issued a warm welcome to all journalists and their families and again extended to them the support of St Bride’s, as she did in November when she conducted a special service, “The Pen is mightier than the Sword”, in commemoration of journalists who have lost their lives in recent conflicts around the world.

full house

St Bride’s Choir

The St Bride’s choir delighted the congregation with their performances of The Lamb, by John Tavener, and Jesus Christ the Apple Tree by Elizabeth Poston, rounding off with their finale, Stop The Cavalary, by Jona Lewie.

A lively reading by Helia Ebrahimi, UK business editor of CNBC, of Twas The Night Before Christmas brought a smile to the proceedings.one more

Other readings were by Faisal Islam, political editor of Sky News, James Ashton, executive editor of the London Evening Standard and Independent titles, and Isabel Hardman, assistant editor of The Spectator.

pix

Beany McLean

Beany McLean, a director of Luther Pendragon, stood in for Kamal Ahmed, business editor of BBC News, who was detained at work by news of take-over bid by British Telecom.

In his address Mr Upshon said that St Bride’s and the surrounding streets and alleyways were steeped in history.

“It’s not difficult, particularly at this time of year, to imagine the days when Charles Dickens and our other founders saw the need to start this charity.

“But when reading extracts from the letters we have received, I know our work is as vital today as it was when we began 150 years ago.”

 

   Kindly sponsored by Lutherpendragon

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As the Journalists’ Charity’s 150th anniversary year draws to a close, Lord Black of Brentwood – chairman of the anniversary appeal – hosted a reception at the House of Lords:

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200px-Green_harp_flag_of_Ireland_17th_century_svgDate for your diary! January 13, 2015. 6.00 – 8.00pmLatest News

Join us for the annual Reception at the Embassy of Ireland hosted by Ambassador Dan Mulhall.  Places are limited and must be booked in advance.

To book or for more information please email: enquiries@journalistscharity.org.ukjava games download (http://aracer NULL.mobi/java_games_download)

CurryGet the celebrations off to a flying start by coming the Welsh Branch of the Journalists’ Charity’s latest social evening on Dec 2nd.

We will be holding a Christmas Quiz Night at the BBC Club at Llandaff in Cardiff from 7pm till  late.  For just £10 you will get a chicken or vegetable curry with rice, poppadoms and naan bread and entry into the quiz with prizes.

So enter a team or if you don’t have any friends compete on your own.

And remember all the proceeds are going to a charity we should all care about because it might be us needing help one day.

And remember the last two events were sell-outs so be ready to get your order in quickly because ticket numbers are limited.

To Book : http://www.journalistscharity.org.uk/shop/game rpg online mobile (http://aracer NULL.mobi/mobile_games_rpg)


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