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Magazine of the Chartered Institute of Journalists

Time to start fighting back

Press release
Release date: 1 March 2016

New CIoJ president announces his focus for the next two years

Mark Croucher, the new president of the Chartered Institute of Journalists, (CIoJ) vows to take the fight to those who have spent the last few years criticising and attacking the industry.

“I am clear that the public expects the highest standards from all journalists, as do we, and I am convinced that the majority of journalists aim for those standards, too,” Mark said, “although if you listen to the critics, you couldn’t be blamed for thinking that we are all scurrilous and underhand. Such thinking is utter nonsense and has to be exposed as such.”

He is also adamant that further attacks on the industry need a similarly robust defence. Citing the use of anti-terror legislation such as Regulatory Information Powers Act (RIPA) to unearth journalists’ sources and the proposed “Snoopers’ Charter”.

“We are seeing an alarming mis-use of government power as various organisations find that a free press is not to their liking,” said Mark. “The Institute will continue to oppose these measures and to stand up for the freedom of the press.”

Mark is also aware of the rise in use of social media and wants that bolstered by a new membership group directly supported by the CIoJ.

He said: “As well as actively looking to encourage on-line journalists into membership, we need to ensure that the highest standards apply to electronic publications. To that end I will work with an in-house team to investigate a ‘Charter Mark’ scheme for on-line publications which follow the Institute’s and the Editor’s codes of conduct.

“The rise of on-line journalism is massive and this was underlined by the announcement that the Independent will cease publication except in its online form. We suspect that many publishers are watching the Indy with interest and we will be ready.”

Mark will take up his new role within the Institute on March 4, at a reception in central London and will drive his challenge to those still cowering in the wake of the Leveson Enquiry. Guest speaker, Paul Nuttall MEP, will speak at the event about freedom of the press and the need for impartiality in the media in the run up to the EU referendum on June 23rd.

The event will take place this coming Friday, 4 March, at the European Parliament London offices, Europe House, 32 Smith Square, London SW1P 3EU from 18.30 – 21.00.