Serving professional journalism since 1912

Magazine of the Chartered Institute of Journalists

Autumn 2018

  • A lifeline for members

    Freelance work always gives a buzz to writers and journalists – especially if such commissions constitute the bulk or indeed the entirety of their output. Jeffrey Bernard (always a freelance) famously observed that his Spectator column, Low Life, though popular – and even giving rise to a West End play – was not really a…

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  • Mass surveillance ‘unlawful’, Human Rights Court rules

    The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that the UK Government’s mass surveillance programmes are unlawful and have damaged the freedom of the press. This is a ground-breaking ruling. The ECHR Judges found, by five votes to two, that the UK’s mass interception regime revealed by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden in 2013 violated the…

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  • Editorial

    We are now well and truly in the conference season – and not just the TUC and the political parties but also the annual gathering of our own Chartered Institute of Journalists and IOJ(TU). Yes, the Institute’s AGM is almost upon us, and, despite our Head Office in Surrey Quays having closed earlier this year,…

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  • Basic English

    At a recent Council meeting, members complained about how verbose language and technical words used today had made comprehension so much more challenging. “Do you remember BBC News bulletins on the old Home Service?” I asked the colleague next to me. “I remember hearing ‘Here is the 6 o’clock news being read in Basic English…

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  • CWA appoints new Libraries Champion

    The Crime Writers’ Association has appointed a new Libraries Champion for Scotland – John Dean, the creator of the DCI John Blizzard and DCI Jack Harris series. Key elements of the Libraries Champion’s role include linking libraries who want crime writers as speakers with the CWA’s local chapter convenors; encouraging libraries to spread the word…

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  • The end of the line for the Snoopers’ Charter?

    September’s European Court of Human Rights ruling is a devastating indictment on the failure of the British state to protect journalists from unlawful surveillance and interference with their electronic communications by government intelligence agencies and police forces. This is in fact the fifth significant legal defeat of the UK Government on this issue since 2016.…

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  • COPYRIGHT – What’s going on?

    The EU Copyright Directive Unusually, there’s a lot going on in the Copyright world, and potentially it could affect just about everybody. Let’s look first at the much-discussed EU Copyright Directive, currently in what they call the ‘trilogue’ stage. On September 12, the British Copyright Council demonstrated its delight that a new copyright directive for…

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  • New music for BBC World Service

    BBC World Service has introduced a new signature tune and complementary music for key programmes. A new specially composed signature tune will be played at the top of the hour, every hour, and new theme tunes for individual programmes will then be rolled out across the Service over the coming weeks.  The music has been…

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  • Farewell, This England

    There has been quite a lot of coverage in the media recently about the Beano, the children’s comic that this year celebrates its 80th anniversary. The much-loved home of Dennis the Menace, the Bash Street Kids and many other famous characters is published by D.C. Thomson, the Dundee-based, multimillion pound organisation which is also responsible…

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  • Risks to quality journalism ‘present a threat to democracy’

    The Chartered Institute of Journalists (CIoJ) has warned that “quality journalism is at risk” and that this “presents a threat to democratic accountability” in the UK. In its submission to the Cairncross Review into Sustainable Journalism, the CIoJ says that “neither the newspaper industry nor our wider society should give up on the printed medium…

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