Category Archives: Conference 2016

SoE conference branded overwhelming success by PR driving force Magstar

Behind every event there is always a team running things in the background, often without attendees even realising.

And at the annual Society of Editors Conference 2016, this was no different. Running and managing the event was back in the hands of the Magstar team, who were established in Cambridge back in 2001.

It’s been a busy couple of days in Carlisle and the work gone into maintaining the event, which saw over 200 people pass through the doors of the Halston hotel, has been unbelievable.

And Olivia Disley-Stevens, who is the Event Coordinator at Magstar has been impressed by just how well the event has gone yet again.

She said: “We’re a small team and we all chip in together but this year, the event has gone extremely well.

“We’ve had great help from everyone at the hotel, the delegates and the editors. We’re looking forward to next year and we always want to be bigger and better than the year before,” she added.

Magstar have now assisted the Society for over ten years now and there is a happy, healthy and productive relationship blossoming between the two parties, something Disley-Steven’s thinks is vital to the continued success of the event.

“We’ve worked with the Society for over ten years now and we work with them on their marketing and website as well.

“There’s now a friendship between us and the Society and it’s a nice thing to be able to do year-after-year and I thoroughly believe this relationship will carry on,” she said.

By Hayden Atkins


Jenni Sargent: “We need to address fake news”

The editor of First Draft News has issued a plea to journalists and the wider media to become more aware of the risk posed by ‘fake’ news.

Jenni Sargent, speaking at the Society of Editors conference 2016, believes modern-day journalism has made it extremely easy for publications to become slack when it comes to the verification process.

With the internet now dominating journalism at most levels, First Draft News aims to provide verification advice from a non-profit point-of-view.

And Sargent feels the pressure of getting to the story first sometimes leads to inconsistencies.

She said: “At First Draft, we try to provide some guidance to newsrooms to get through this tricky landscape of the internet.

“The reality of most newsrooms is that this urgency to report something that looks convincing is that if it looks too good to be true, it probably is.”

Sargent’s presentation also focused on the importance of sifting carefully through manipulated and potentially doctored user-generated content.

The Emhub director also feels it’s important to equip journalists with the tools and knowledge needed to differ between potentially fake and genuine sources.

She said: “Everyone is a source – it has potential to be fake, manipulated, and could be shared by social media users who have little knowledge of the topic.

“Understanding who your sources are, where your videos have come from, is so important. You need to question every piece of content.”

By Hayden Atkins

May 2017 target for BBC Local Journalism Partnership

A scheme by which the BBC is to fund 150 ‘local democracy’ reporters could be up and running by May 2017 it has been announced.

Speaking at the Society of Editors conference in Carlisle, Matthew Barraclough, Editor of the BBC Local Journalism Working Group said that he was that the provisions contained in the BBC White Paper could be trialled in time for the May 2017 Council elections.

The Local Journalism Working Group was set up in 2014 by James Harding, the BBC’s Director of News, to look at ways in which the BBC could work with local and regional media organisations for mutual benefit.

The proposals, published in the White Paper, would see the BBC fund 150 reporters that would be based in regional newsrooms and cover councils and local democracy. The aim of the scheme is to fill what is considered to be a ‘democratic deficit’ in the regions with a lack of resources impacting on the coverage of local authorities.

Barraclough, who is leading the project from the BBC side, said that he hoped the plans will benefit audiences with a growth of content.

He said: “We’re signing up to a joint content audit – an undertaking to find out where the journalism in the BBC is going.

“We’re trying to create a benchmark to see just where the journalism crosses over and what else we can offer.

“The aspiration is that the BBC will see outcomes as soon as possible and even possibly launch some reporters for the Council Elections in May 2017.”

Jeremy Clifford: “We want to work with Trinity Mirror collaboratively”

The Editor-in-Chief of Johnston Press has revealed that the publisher is working with fellow regional publisher Trinity Mirror to explore the benefit of collaborative projects.

Speaking at the Society of Editors conference in Carlisle, Clifford told media figures that the company was looking to break the trend between media companies and their rivals, suggesting that working together was now the way forward for the industry.

He said: “Trinity Mirror and Johnston Press are talking about sharing some of their resources when it comes to coming back from football games.

“We both go to the same events and we might both spend on freelance photography and duplicate efforts.”

“We shouldn’t see ourselves as competitors and we should in-fact be working together,” he added.

Speaking as part of a panel session looking at the progress of the BBC Local Journalism Working Group, Clifford, a former editor of the Yorkshire Press said that pooling resources was a means by which local and regional newspapers could produce public interest journalism in a challenging climate.

He said: “Working collaboratively, is the key to success in the industry. We know we’re challenged but what we don’t tend to do well enough is work together,” he added.

SoE conference gives local businesses the opportunity to shine

For most, the Society of Editors conference is the chance for some of the biggest names in journalism to meet, greet and interact.

This year’s event, based at the Halston Hotel in Carlisle, has attracted some key names from the media world, including the chairman of the Independent Press Standards Organisation, the editor of the BBC Journalism Working Group and the Head of the College of Policing.

While the conference provides a fantastic opportunity for those in the media world to come together, it’s also a fantastic opportunity for local businesses to showcase some of their finest products.

The Lakes Distillery are no exception and they were at the two-day event to show-off their upmarket brands of vodka, gin and whiskey, all manufactured locally.

And Rachel Fenwick, The Distillery’s Business development executive, told us just how vital the local community are to the company.

“The thing that is really special about companies in Cumbria is that they stick together.

“There’s a really big business community here and we work with a lot of people from all over the region and they’re so proud to have something that is Cumbrian born and bred,” she said.

Fenwick also discussed how relationships between editors and the company have improved after the two-day event.

“For the lakes distillery, we work a lot with editors and there are plenty that want to come down and review the distillery itself after speaking to us.

“For editors, it’s a really good opportunity for them to come down to the site, to see what we’re about and also spread the good word about the region in general,” Fenwick added.