One of the architects of the UK’s new press regulator is to step back from the system it will be announced tomorrow (April 24).
Lord Black of Brentwood, who has been one of the central figures in the construction of the new Independent Press Standards Organisation, is expected to tell the Scottish Newspaper Society conference he will play no further role in the new regulatory bodies once they are established later this year.
Speaking at the conference at the Radisson Blu hotel in Glasgow, Lord Black is expected to say he intends to concentrate on fighting the threats to press freedom he believes are coming both from within government and from the European Union.
He is expected to say: “The threats to our freedoms, from both a UK Government perspective but also from the EU, are now so severe, and the political environment so deeply hostile, that I need to concentrate on tackling them, along with other colleagues throughout the industry.”
As chair of the Press Board of Finance and a former director of the Press Complaints Commission he has spent 18 years working in Press regulation. He is currently executive director of the Telegraph Media Group.
SNS director John McLellan said: ”Lord Black has been pivotal in the fight to maintain Press freedom in the UK and a key figure in press regulation so his speech today marks an important moment in the next phase of its development.”
Organised in association with First ScotRail, this is the first year of the SNS conference and First Minister Alex Salmond will deliver the closing address in which he is expected to voice his support for a free Press.
Also making a keynote speech is Ellis Watson, the chief executive of DC Thomson Publishing. One of the UK’s most influential newspaper and entertainment industry figures, he is likely to refer to the responsibility which comes with Press freedom.
As well as the keynote addresses, there will also be two debate sessions featuring Scottish Information Commissioner Rosemary Agnew and Glasgow University’s Professor Philip Schlesinger amongst others.
The conference is open to all media professionals, from public relations practitioners to academics as well as the newspaper industry itself.
Some tickets are still available from Event Consultant Scotland on 0131 557 5767 or go to www.scottishpressawards.co.uk/conference.
The conference starts at 2pm and tickets are £45+VAT.
For further information contact John McLellan on 07711 058618 or Emma Broll on 0131 557 5767.