Journalists’ Charity election debate in association with the London Press Club

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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)

“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.

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.

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

WPDMidlandsBilingual

 

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.

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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

 luther-logo_hi-res

 

 

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:

Lord Black's event at the House of Lords in aid of the Journalists Charity. Lord Black's event at the House of Lords in aid of the Journalists Charity. Lord Black's event at the House of Lords in aid of the Journalists Charity. Lord Black's event at the House of Lords in aid of the Journalists Charity. Lord Black's event at the House of Lords in aid of the Journalists Charity. Lord Black's event at the House of Lords in aid of the Journalists Charity. Lord Black's event at the House of Lords in aid of the Journalists Charity. Lord Black's event at the House of Lords in aid of the Journalists Charity. Lord Black's event at the House of Lords in aid of the Journalists Charity. Lord Black's event at the House of Lords in aid of the Journalists Charity. Lord Black's event at the House of Lords in aid of the Journalists Charity. Lord Black's event at the House of Lords in aid of the Journalists Charity. Lord Black's event at the House of Lords in aid of the Journalists Charity. Lord Black's event at the House of Lords in aid of the Journalists Charity. Lord Black's event at the House of Lords in aid of the Journalists Charity. Lord Black's event at the House of Lords in aid of the Journalists Charity. Lord Black's event at the House of Lords in aid of the Journalists Charity. Lord Black's event at the House of Lords in aid of the Journalists Charity. Lord Black's event at the House of Lords in aid of the Journalists Charity. Lord Black's event at the House of Lords in aid of the Journalists Charity. Lord Black's event at the House of Lords in aid of the Journalists Charity. Lord Black's event at the House of Lords in aid of the Journalists Charity.

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.uk

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/

PressBall_0001

Royal Courts of Justice

A record £40,000 was raised for the Journalists’ Charity at this year’s landmark 10th anniversary London Press Club Ball.  It marked a significant fund-raising achievement in the charity’s 150th anniversary year – up by a third on last year.   The cash boost  was the icing on the cake for the star-studded Ball which took place at the Royal Courts of Justice  in the Strand on Thursday October 9 and made headlines of its own.

HRH The Countess of Wessex was guest of honour at the 10th Anniversary London Press Club Ball and attended a special VIP pre-reception for sponsors before speaking to the near 500 guests in the epic main hall of the Royal Courts.

The Countess of Wessex, Pat Sharp and Nick Ferrari

The Countess of Wessex, Pat Sharp and Nick Ferrari

A robust defence of free speech was delivered by Lord Rothermere, chairman of DMGT which publishes the Daily Mail and associated titles and president of the Journalists’ Charity for which the Ball was raising funds. Its patron is HM The Queen.  Mayor of London Boris Johnson said police should be banned from trawling journalists’ phone calls to identify whistle-blowers without judicial approval.

Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson

Lord Rothermere

Lord Rothermere

London Press Club Ball co-chairmen Ray Massey and Robert Jobson said: ’It is gratifying to know that our  generous guests, Ball sponsors, and media partners turned a landmark double-anniversary event into a record breaker.  ‘It was a night of many superlatives. Tables sold out in record time and there were a record number of guests – just short of 500.’

Journalists’ Charity chairman Laurie Upshon said of the £40,000 fund-raising record: ‘This is a terrific achievement and a major boost for the charity’s fundraising in this double anniversary year.  ‘The Ball continues to be the major media event of the year and we look forward to continuing our partnership for many years to come.’

London Press Club chairman Doug Wills said: ‘It’s a marvellous tribute to all who supported the Press Ball that we are able to donate a record amount in such a special year to the Journalists’ Charity.  ‘I would like to thank every single person who put their hand in their pocket, all the sponsors who wrote such generous cheques and to pay tribute to the army of organisers – especially the London Press Club Ball committee. Many congratulations to you all. It’s fantastic to make a £40k donation to the Journalists’ Charity which provides such wonderful support.’

Sarah Sands with HRH the Countess of Wessex

Sarah Sands with HRH The Countess of Wessex

Journalist and broadcaster Kate Silverton hosted the glittering evening whose main automotive sponsor Jaguar Land Rover also produced the two star auction items  linked to their new XE sports saloon and Land Rover Discovery Sport models.  Other main sponsors were nPower, Barclays, easyJet, Camelot, The Money Shop, British Airways, the Earl of March and Goodwood, Etihad Airways, Jumeirah Hotels and Resorts, Belmond, Jamie Hendry Productions and ‘Let it Be’, Nicolas Feuillatte Champagne, Sainsbury’s, Coca Cola, and the London Press Club’s long-term media partner Skoda.

The Countess of Wessex already has a long association with the Journalists’ Charity, having opened its new care home, Pickering House in Dorking, in 2007.  It also celebrates an enduring royal link with the charity going back a century and a half to the reign of Queen Victoria. In May this year HM The Queen, patron of the Journalists’ Charity, attended with the HRH The Duke of Edinburgh at a special 150th anniversary celebration at Stationers’ Hall in London, just a stone’s throw from Fleet Street.

The glittering London Press Club Ball reached its landmark 10th anniversary as the highlight of the national media’s social and networking calendar, attended by editors, proprietors, senior journalists, executives, programme makers, household-name star columnists, TV and radio broadcasters.  Guests included London Evening Standard editor Sarah Sands, Mirror editor-in-chief Lloyd Embley,  former Sun editors Kelvin McKenzie and Stuart Higgins, BBC business editor Kamal Ahmed, Sky City editor Mark Kleinman,  columnists Janet-Street-Porter, Yasmin Alibhai-Brown and Rosie Millard,  model turned businesswoman Caprice, and  DJs Mike Read and Pat Sharp.

The evening was rounded off by an exclusive silent auction and , a ‘money can’t buy’  live auction hosted veteran LBC Broadcaster Nick Ferrari, and tremendous live music from mezzo-soprano Laura Wright  and the cast of the West End Beatles musical ‘Let it Be’.

Military heroes from Tickets for Troops helped draw the raffle.

Click some of the headlines here:

http://www.standard.co.uk/news/mayor/boris-johnson-police-should-go-to-judge-before-accessing-journalists-phone-records-9786601.html (http://www NULL.standard NULL.co NULL.uk/news/mayor/boris-johnson-police-should-go-to-judge-before-accessing-journalists-phone-records-9786601 NULL.html)

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2787338/Mail-chairman-Free-press-attack-never-before.html (http://www NULL.dailymail NULL.co NULL.uk/news/article-2787338/Mail-chairman-Free-press-attack-never-before NULL.html)

http://www.theguardian.com/media/2014/oct/10/boris-johnson-police-snooping-journalists-ripa (http://www NULL.theguardian NULL.com/media/2014/oct/10/boris-johnson-police-snooping-journalists-ripa)

You are invited to a Service at St Bride’s Church, Fleet Street, in the presence of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby,

to commemorate and support the journalists, cameramen and support staff whose mission is to bring us the news.

Date: Wednesday 5th November 2014 at 12:30pm at St Bride’s Church, Fleet Street, London EC4

Followed by a reception at the Voltaire Bar, Crowne Plaza City Hotel, New Bridge Street

 RSVP: Anneliese Cooper Blake : anneliese@stbrides.com (anneliese null@null stbrides NULL.com)

The Countess of Wessex, Pat Sharp and Nick Ferrari

The Countess of Wessex, Pat Sharp and Nick Ferrari

A royal flourish, a publishing peer’s robust defence of free speech which made headlines of its own – and Boris.
These were just some of the exciting highlights of the star-studded London Press Club Ball 2014 which took place at the Royal Courts of Justice  in the Strand ( 09/10/14) raising funds for the Journalists’ Charity in its 150th year.

The royal flourish came from HRH The Countess of Wessex who was guest of honour at the 10th Anniversary London Press Club Ball. She attended a special VIP pre-reception for sponsors before speaking to the near 500 guests in the epic main hall of the Royal Courts.

The strong defence of free speech came from Lord Rothermere, chairman of DMGT which publishes the Daily Mail and associated titles, and president of the Journalists’ Charity for which the Ball was raising funds. Its patron is HM The Queen.  And Mayor of London Boris Johnson was, well, vintage Boris, making a few political points of his own.  All made the headlines.  Journalist and broadcaster Kate Silverton hosted the glittering evening.

Countess of Wessex

HRH The Countess of Wessex

The Countess already has a long association with the Journalists’ Charity, having opened its new care home, Pickering House in Dorking, in 2007.  It also celebrates an enduring royal link with the charity going back a century and a half to the reign of Queen Victoria. In May this year HM The Queen, patron of the Journalists’ Charity, attended with the HRH The Duke of Edinburgh at a special 150th anniversary celebration at Stationers’ Hall in London, just a stone’s throw from Fleet Street.

The glittering London Press Club Ball reached its landmark 10th anniversary as the highlight of the national media’s social and networking calendar, attended by editors, proprietors, senior journalists, executives, programme makers, household-name star columnists, TV and radio broadcasters. Guests included model turned businesswoman Caprice, columnist Janet-Street-Porter, DJs Mike read and Pat Sharp.

Lord Rothermere

Lord Rothermere

Having welcomed and introduced the Countess, Lord Rothermere, said  that Britain’s 300-year-old free Press is under attack as never before.  He warned of an “anti-Press climate” and said journalists were being ‘crushed by the full weight of the law” – in sharp contrast with “those in the City whose greed almost caused our entire banking system to collapse”.
He told the audience: ‘If we continue denigrating newspapers and undermining the work of the countless decent and honest journalists, not just in London but in every region, every town, we could end up destroying the very keystone upon which this country is built: Freedom of speech.’

Boris Johnson said police should be banned from trawling journalists’ phone calls to identify whistle-blowers

Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson

without judicial approval.   He said it was ‘crucial’ that whistle-blowers could be protected by journalists or they would not dare lifting the lid on scandals noting: ‘It is of course right that the police should be able to investigate serious criminal matters.  But it is also crucial that journalists should be able to protect their sources and to give whistle-blowers the confidence to come forward.’

‘And we will have to insist that in future the police will not be able to see a journalist’s phone records without some kind of judicial approval.’

The evening was rounded off by an exclusive silent auction and , a ‘money can’t buy’  live auction hosted veteran LBC Broadcaster Nick Ferrari, and tremendous live music from mezzo-soprano Laura Wright  and the cast of the West End Beatles musical ‘Let it Be’.

Military heroes from Tickets for Troops helped draw the raffle.
Click some of the headlines here:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2787338/Mail-chairman-Free-press-attack-never-before.html

http://www.standard.co.uk/news/mayor/boris-johnson-police-should-go-to-judge-before-accessing-journalists-phone-records-9786601.html

http://www.theguardian.com/media/2014/oct/10/boris-johnson-police-snooping-journalists-ripa

 

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