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Derek Inman (Midlands Chairman, right) and Gerry Armes (District President, centre) presenting a cheque at the Greyhound Evening to Charity Director David Ilott  for £22,000 raised in the Midlands in 2015.

The West Midlands’ district raised more than £4,000 at their annual “Greyhound Night” at Hall Green Stadium on 21st November   The district has been holding these race nights for 38 years, making it one of the longest-running fund raisers in the Midlands.

The race meeting was sponsored again by Heineken, who have been supporting the charity for many years. Money was also raised by individual race sponsorship from the Sun, the Daily Telegraph, The Birmingham Mail, ITV Central, Racing Post, William Hill, Sky Sports and the Greyhound Racing Association.

West Midlands branch chairman Derek Inman said: “The greyhound evening is always great fun and, as well as raising additional money, it is a way of keeping contact with our regular supporters. We have been running this event with the Greyhound Racing Association since 1979 and it is still proving as popular as ever.”

In October,  the Midlands District raised nearly £18,000 at their annual celebrity lunch with Robert Peston and combined with the money raised from the greyhound night managed to hand over £22,000 to the charity this year.

new heineken large

A team of more than 30 judges are starting to sift through almost 240 entries to the Wales Media Awards 2016 to find the best of Welsh journalism.

The huge number of submissions for the 19 categories from individual print, online, radio and television journalists and from newspapers, web outlets and broadcasters is double the response to the inaugural awards last year.

Chair of judges Jonathan Grun, Emeritus editor at the Press Association, is now working with Awards organisers Spencer David to co-ordinate the work of judges drawn from the highest echelons of journalism in the UK to shortlist the best entries.  “This represents a phenomenal response and is evidence of the vibrancy of journalism in Wales,” he said. “It also suggests that, as the Journalists’ Charity has always maintained, the profession in Wales is crying out to be able to showcase their work.”

The Awards are open to print, broadcast and online journalists, photographers and camera operators working across Wales in news, business, features, politics and sport, plus there are categories recognising community and student  journalism. Awards will also be made by the judges for Journalist of the Year and for Outstanding Contribution to Journalism.

They will be presented by the Charity’s president in Wales, Huw Edwards, at a prestigious Awards Ceremony in Cardiff on 4 March next year sponsored by the Mercure Holland House Hotel, Cardiff.Huw Edwards

The Wales Media Awards are organised with the generous support of a range of sponsors and partners including lead sponsor Comtek, a North Wales based company which provides repairs, spares and support to the telecoms, datacoms, and network service industry.

Category sponsors are Cardiff Metropolitan University (Feature Writer); Effective Communication (News website); Glyndwr University (Young Journalist); NUJ Training (Scoop of the Year); Welsh Government (Business Reporter) and Western Power Distribution (Weekly & Daily Newspaper).

Further support has come from Celf Design, Cleartech Live, Daily Post, Natasha Hirst Photography, Orchard Entertainment and Wales Online.

The Wales Media Awards are organised by Spencer David with the generous support of a range of sponsors and partners including lead sponsor Comtek, a North Wales based company which provides repairs, spares and support to the telecoms, datacoms, and network service industry.

ComtekLogo.jpgwelsh awards


When: Saturday March 5th, 2016

Where: Radisson Blu Hotel, Glasgow

Tickets: Table of 10 is £550 to include a three course meal and half a bottle of wine per person

Champagne reception 7pm. Dinner 7.30pm. Carriages 1pm. Black Tie. Entertainment by Amplifive

To book:  Please contact Margaret Morrison

Phone: 0141 302 7005

Past winners and sponsors have come together to officially launch the second Wales Media Awards in Cardiff and Wrexham.

Richard Gurner from the Caerphilly Observer, last year’s winner of Scoop of the Year, Sally Williams of the Western Mail, who won Digital Reporter of the Year, and the winner of the Outstanding Contribution award, Derek Bellis, who set up one of Wales’ leading media agencies, joined Journalists’ Charity Chairman in Wales, Tim Rogers, at the events to encourage entries.

Their words were echoed in a specially-recorded video message from the Charity’s president in Wales, Huw Edwards, who will also host a prestigious Awards Ceremony next year.

Huw Edwards

Huw Edwards

The launch events were hosted by Awards sponsors Glyndwr University, Wrexham and Mercure Holland House Hotel, Cardiff, where the gala black tie Ceremony will be held on 4 March.

Entries are already coming in for the free-to-enter Awards, which were set up last year by the Journalists’ Charity to celebrate and promote great journalism with a Welsh angle.

They are open to print, broadcast and online journalists, photographers and camera operators working across Wales in news, business, features, politics and sport, plus there are categories recognising community and student  journalism. Awards will also be made by the judges for Journalist of the Year and for Outstanding Contribution to Journalism.

Eligible work is anything published or broadcast between 1 October 2014 and 30 September 2015 (between 1 March 2014 and 31 July 2015 for students) and entries should be made online at before 5pm on Monday 9 November 2015.

The Wales Media Awards are organised by Spencer David with the generous support of a range of sponsors and partners including lead sponsor Comtek, a North Wales based company which provides repairs, spares and support to the telecoms, datacoms, and network service industry.ComtekLogo.jpgwelsh awards

Bob Warman in conversation with Robert

Bob Warman in conversation with Robert

The BBC’s former Economics Editor Robert Peston helped raise more than £17,000 when he spoke at the charity’s Midlands District annual celebrity lunch at Edgbaston stadium on 16th October.

This was his first appearance since his high-profile move from the BBC to ITV, where he is set to host a Sunday morning current affairs programme starting in January 2016.

The lunch, sponsored by Pertemps Network,  attracted 280 people and was hosted by ITV News Central presenter Bob Warman.

Bob Warman raising money with donation boxes

Bob Warman raising money with donation boxes

Asked what it was about “the multi-thousand pound contract that tempted him to go to ITV”, Robert said (before jokingly suggesting it was “better hair care”): “If you do what I do ,you get ludicrously well paid – though I got less at the BBC.

“The reason I jumped ship was that it was simply an opportunity I couldn’t refuse – an opportunity to create a new current affairs programme on a Sunday.

“You don’t get those opportunities as a journalist very often. I was incredibly excited and remain incredibly excited.

“The challenge will be whether I can finish my explanation before the ad break.”

Robert Peston

Robert Peston

Robert Peston, who is one of the charity’s “ambassadors” said his excitement was fuelled by the fact now was one of the most interesting times in politics for decades. He said: “Right now we are seeing remarkable things – the rise of the SNP and UKIP. In the US you have Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump on the left and right.

“Millions of people have lost confidence in the political system. People we would have called fringe politicians are now calling the shots.

“We have never seen the hard left running the Labour Party – it is extraordinary.”

Asked if he thought the Labour Party might split, he said: “Forty nine per cent of ordinary Labour Party members voted for Corbyn in the first ballot.  They thought we don’t care. They are idealists.”

Lord (Digby) Jones of Birmingham asked, from the audience,  if he would choose a bad news story or a good news story, Robert said he didn’t discriminate, despite claims to the contrary.

“I don’t make a distinction between good news and bad news,” he said.

“As regards what happened since 2008 I’ve lost count of the number of times people said I was destroying the economy because I was telling the truth.

“If I don’t talk about those things ,then we will be back in the same goddamn awful mess in a few years’ time.  If there was a good news story to tell I would tell it – if there was a bad news story to tell I would tell it.”

Derek Inman, Robert Peston, Tim Watts and Laurie Upshon

Derek Inman, Robert Peston, Tim Watts and Laurie Upshon

And, on the state of the UK economy, Robert Peston added: “We have grown the third fastest of the big economies but we are still too dependent on domestic consumption.

“We need to get the debt down so we can get the cost of money back to something more sensible, so debt decisions get taken in a more rational way.”

Again, responding to a question from the audience on being successful on the BBC programme ‘Have I Got News for You’  he said it was not  to “try and be funny” but to “be straight –  and let them make fun of you”.

On his well-publicised run-ins with BBC Radio 4 PM presenter  Eddie Mair,  Robert Peston said it belied an underlying mutual respect.

“He is one of the most complicated human beings I know – you never know what he is thinking,” he added.

“We had a year of on-air jokey sparring,  but I think he is the most brilliant broadcaster – one of the most instinctive broadcasters I have ever worked with. I will definitely miss him.”

And on the  BBC, he agreed when he first joined the corporation money was wasted, but said he believes the organisation has become more efficient. Some of what it does remains “incredibly frustrating” – though he said it was widely respected both in this country and around the world.

“Broadly I think the BBC is fantastic for this country. The core of what it does is fantastic and we put that at risk at our peril.”

Full house

Full house

Midlands district chairman Derek Inman thanked all the organisations that had helped make the event a success. In particular he thanked  the lunch sponsors Pertemps and its chairman Tim Watts; United Airlines and Hilton Worldwide who provided a luxury break to New York as the main auction  prize;  Tesco for sponsoring the drinks reception; and Jaguar Land River who provided transport and a visit to their Solihull factory as another auction prize.


Bob Warman

Bob Warman helping to raise money for the charity


Winning bidder of luxury break to New York Kevin Cooke (centre) with Kevin Johnson Head of Press, Europe, Middle East, Africa and India, United Airlines (left) and Jules Kerby, Director of Corporate Communications – Europe, Hilton Worldwide









See Also

“Oh Digby, I do love you, but…”

Media Consultant and commentator Steve Dyson, a former Editor of the Birmingham Mail, was a guest of the lunch. Here’s his take on events

Robert Peston pulled in nearly 300 hacks, PR staff and assorted guests to the annual fundraising lunch organised by the Journalists’ Charity in Birmingham.

Peston, until recently the BBC’s economics editor and soon to host his own Sunday morning chat show on ITV, told diners that a higher salary – reputed to be in the region of £400,000 – was not the reason for his defection

“I’ve gone to ITN for the journalistic opportunity, not the money,” he insisted, pointing out that having his own chat show on primetime TV was an “amazing” chance at an “extraordinary” time of political and economic change.

Peston said the “unprecendented” rise of both left-wing and right-wing extremism in domestic politics was “because the public has lost confidence in government”, and that Labour Party members “don’t care if [Robin Corbyn] has consigned them to unelectability in the short-term because they’re passionate idealists”.

But he added: “Corbynomics has already made people on both the left and right think about whether the Bank of England’s policies are only helping the wealthy”.

On the Conservative government’s perceived plans to scale back the BBC, Peston warned David Cameron: “We put BBC and its extraordinary programme-making at risk at our peril.”

Peston was rewarded for his free time at the lunch with a chauffeured lift to and from London in the back of a posh Jaguar, courtesy of West Midlands car maker JLR.

Asked why he always dressed so scruffily, he said: “You know children who hate pulling their socks up? Me and ties is like that…’

One of the guests was Lord Digby Jones, the former CBI boss, who half-jestingly challenged Peston for always “hunting out bad news over good news”.

Rising to the ribaldry, Peston insisted that the ‘good’ or ‘bad’ of any story was never his target, but that he simply told the news that deserved and needed to be told.

As Jones repeated his claim of doom-mongering, Peston scolded him: “Oh Digby, I do love you, but that is complete and utter bollocks,” before reminding him that he was in journalism “not PR!”

Back on serious ground, Peston closed with his thoughts on the economy, which included his thoughts that Britain was “doing pretty well” but that it was still “too dependent on consumer spending, and too much in debt”, and that this would continue to be a “burden on growth”.

Read Steve Dyson’s blog “Dyson at Large” on


Journalist stars and editors were out in force at this year’s London Press Club Ball which raised an estimated £30,000 for the Journalists’ Charity.


Dermot Murnaghan – Host for the evening at London Press Club Ball

Dermot Murnaghan – himself a long-standing ambassador for the charity ‘run by journalists for journalists’  – hosted the glittering event at the stunning Victoria and Albert Museum – the ‘V&A’ in London’s South Kensington.

Guests included TV star and columnist Piers Morgan, MailOnline editor Martin Clarke, Mirror group editor in chief Lloyd Embley,  Daily Mirror weekday editor Peter Willis, London Evening Standard Editor Sarah Sands,  and David Dinsmore, chief operating officer of News UK.

Chancellor George Osborne’s communications chief James Chapman, former political editor of the Daily Mail, attended.

Many media representatives from the Royal Household were also in attendance, including James Roscoe, the Queen’s head of communications, Kristina Kyriacou for the Prince of Wales and her deputy Eva Omaghomi, Jason Knauf – head of commutations for Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry, and his deputy Nick Loughran.


Piers Morgan and London Press Club ball co-chairman Ray Massey

Also among the guests were  BBC Radio 4’s media guru Steve Hewlett, TV presenters John Stapleton and Lynn Faulds-Wood

Former Sunday Times journalist Isabel Oakshott auctioned a signed copy of her controversial biography of David Cameron ‘Call Me Dave’.


London Press Club Ball Patron – Lord Black of Brentwood

Ball patron Lord Black of Brentwood said fund-raising for the Journalists’ Charity – helping those in need through ill health, unemployment or sheer bad luck’ was more vital than ever during what is a ‘challenging time’  for the newspaper and media industry.

In keeping with the increasingly digital nature of the media, the Ball dispensed with the traditional auction and instead  relied entirely on  a  ‘money can’t buy’  hi-tech silent auction set up by Givergy using electronic pads on each table which guests could use to make their bids.


The Two chairmen – Ray Massey and Robert Jobson, co-chairmen of the London Press Club Ball 2015.

Ball co-chairmen Ray Massey and Robert Jobson said: ’We would like to express our sincere thanks for the generosity of our sponsors, our media partners  and of those guests who bid enthusiastically in our first all-electronic charity auction.
‘It  has proved a huge success. Along with the raffle and much-loved ‘heads and tails’ game, we are confident the Ball will have raised more than £30,000 for the Journalists’ Charity.’

Jaguar Land Rover, which has provided many of the cars for the new James Bond movie ‘SPECTRE’,  was the main automotive and headline sponsor

Press_Club_Ball_005Qatar Airways sponsored the champagne reception.

Barclays, easyJet which sponsored the raffle, and The Money Shop were also key sponsors.
British Airways  backed the ‘Heads& Tails’ ice-breaker game,  and there was also generous support from , Kingsland Wines,  Champagne Henriot and Rolls-Royce Motor Cars.

Media partners were  News UK, Telegraph Group, dmg media, Trinity Mirror, Independent and Evening Standard Group and their associated titles.


Sporting soprano Laura Wright gave a stunning performance at the London Press Club Ball 2015, including renditions of ‘Jerusalem’ and ‘Diamonds Are Forever.’

Entertainment was  supplied by the wonderful Mezzo-Soprano Laura Wright, the  brilliant violin duo Elektra and celebrity DJ Pat Sharp to round off the evening with dancing in the Dome.

All Welcome.  Join us on Monday December 21st at 6pm.


  • Katharine Viner, Editor in Chief at The Guardian
  • Tony Gallagher, Editor in Chief at The Sun
  • Mishal Husain,  BBC News presenter & BBC Radio 4
  • Bryony Gordon, Columnist at The Telegraph and author of The Wrong Knickers: A Decade of Chaos
  • Alex Brummer, City Editor at The Daily Mail

Kindly supported by


On sale in October ! £5.00 for 10 includes P&P



We are delighted to announce our special guest speaker at this year’s West Midlands  celebrity lunch will be Robert Peston, the BBC’s multi-award winning Economics Editor.

When: Friday October 16, 2015

Time: Drinks 12.15  Lunch starts 12.45. Ends 15.00

Where: Banqueting Suite, Edgabston Cricket Ground, Birmingham, B5 7QU



Queries  please email:

Sponsored by

soe confernce2015


By Doug Wills, President of the Society of Editors and Managing Editor of the London Evening Standard and Independent titles.

Editors and journalists are – more than ever – in the news business, with the emphasis on business.

That is the essential focus of this year’s Society of Editors annual conference ‘Making News Pay’.

The biggest gathering of editors and senior executives in the media calendar will focus on raising revenue from content, how best to use social media to build audiences and how editors help attract advertising revenue.

The conference has attracted some of the biggest names in the media world to provide their perspectives with the emphasis firmly on the future. And that builds a platform for an intriguing cross section of opinions.

Former Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger will deliver the prestigious Society of Editors Lecture on the evening of Sunday 18 October in the historic Stationers’ Hall just up Ludgate Hill from Fleet Street, the spiritual home of news, and close by the Grange, St Paul’s hotel, where the conference will be based. For 20 years he led the Guardian and created one of the biggest open access global media websites.

John Whittingdale MP, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, will deliver a keynote address on Monday 19 October as the debate rages over the future of the BBC Charter and its relationships with the rest of the media.

Sir Martin Sorrell is a guru on advertising and public relations with huge world-wide experience. Rona Fairhead, chairman of the BBC Trust may have a different view of the world from the Secretary of State. Mike Darcey, CEO of News UK and chairman of the News Media Association heads an organisation with content guarded by paywalls – will they last? – and will present a newspaper industry view of the BBC’s powerful place on the media landscape.

And that is before the line-up of senior editors and editorial practitioners is fully revealed.

Editors and journalists have set the world alight with news on a huge variety of platforms. The fast-thinking ingenuity that is a key journalistic attribute has been harnessed to provide news in the ways that audiences want it, when they want it. Revenues have not kept up with their achievements so industry needs their skills and dedication to make the News Business hum.

The event is an unparalleled networking opportunity and is open to all. Politicians, representatives of the legal system and key players in the media industry will come together to debate and set the agenda.

The Society’s annual black tie Gala Dinner will take place on the evening of Monday 19 October to which high profile organisations are invited to take a table either for their own staff or guests or choosing to mingle with editors and other executives.

This is a valuable and highly advantageous opportunity for you and colleagues and key contacts to gaze through the window on the media.

To inquire further about bookings for the whole or parts of the conference, including the Society of Editors Lecture and Annual Dinner as well as branding opportunities please email for more information.

Special discounts apply for a limited period and we are also offering organisations that take a table at dinner one complimentary delegate pass for day attendance at the conference sessions on Monday.

For further details check out

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