Serving professional journalism since 1912

Magazine of the Chartered Institute of Journalists

Congratulations, Mark and Janice!

Our Institute has a new President. Mark Croucher, a freelance journalist and former head of communications at the UK Independence Party, has been appointed to succeed Paul Leighton as President, having been elected Vice-President by the membership of the Institute in 2014. Janice Shillum Bhend, also a freelance, has been elected unopposed as Vice-President, and will automatically succeed Croucher in two years’ time.

The Presidential Handover took place at Europe House, headquarters ofthe opean Office in London on March 4. Our guest speaker on this occasion was Ukip deputy leader Paul Nuttall MEP.   In his acceptance speech, Croucher said it was time for the industry to start fighting back against those who have spent the last few years attacking it: “We are seeing an alarming mis-use of government power as various organisations find that a free press is not to their liking,” he said, “the Institute will continue to oppose these measures and to stand up for the freedom of the press.”

Following the Handover there was some criticism of the Institute’s new President in Press Gazette and on various blog sites, citing Croucher’s political background. In response, CIoJ Journal Editor Andy Smith clarified the Institute’s non-political stance and said that “as an organisation we have no party political axe to grind” and that “we have had in the leadership of the Institute over recent years members and supporters of the Conservative, Liberal Democrat and Labour parties, but mostly people of no party-political allegiance whatsoever. Mark has been selected for his journalistic and communications skills and his longstanding service to the CIoJ, not for his past political affiliations. Attempting to silence him because of his past role with UKIP is the type of censorship of which Hacked Off would be proud.”

We congratulate the Institute’s new President and Vice-President on their new roles and look forward to what will undoubtedly be a busy and active two years for the CIoJ.