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Chairman's report to the 2007 Annual General Meeting


The headlines of the past year for the AEJ are our healthy finances, eleven very good professional lunch events, the steady strengthening of our membership, productive links with other organisations, and the success of the Dublin AEJ Congress and the Media Freedom Survey launch in November last year.

William reminded Section members that the officers carry out all their duties on a voluntary basis. Members are warmly encouraged to contribute to the continuing health of the AEJ by assisting the officers whenever possible in attracting interesting guest speakers and in recruiting new members from the media community.

Website: The re-designing and updating of content on the website is excellent. I am very grateful to David Barker for his patient help and expertise in getting it done and above all to our Secretary Celia Hampton for managing the site so professionally. It is now laid out in a very user-friendly way and updated regularly with information on News, AEJ Meetings, AEJ in Europe, World Press Freedom Day and other features.

Regular activities/professional lunches: The turnout has been consistently high. Members have shown that they generally appreciate the Secretary’s custom of giving plenty of advance notice of meetings when possible. February’s session with European Commissioner Frattini, arranged jointly with the Commission’s UK Representation, was an outstanding success.

Our next scheduled meeting, on 28 January, is with Lord (Andrew) McIntosh, an experienced member of the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly, who will share his insights into current hot topics including CIA “renditions” in Europe, pressures on media freedom and Russia’s worrying human rights record.

We have invited prominent figures to be among our future speakers on issues related to migration, the growing role of the European Parliament, and the British government’s policies on Europe. Members are invited to suggest other ideas for speakers and topics.

The AEJ’s outside links and joint events: AEJ members have been invited to various press events and some social events at the German and Brazilian Embassies and other organisations.



These links have proved very popular and we expect them to grow. The AEJ is well established as part of the UK Press Freedom Network and an active contributor to the organisation of the World Press Freedom Day. We aim to organise occasional other symposiums or debates on topical subjects in future, perhaps in collaboration with other organisations.

Active support from members to the ongoing work of the Chairman and Secretary is welcome – especially help with arranging high-profile speakers and strengthening ties with relevant organisations, as above.

The Media Freedom “Dossier”: The AEJ’s profile in the UK and abroad has certainly been raised by the coverage and publicity given to Goodbye to Freedom?, the AEJ’s Survey of Media Freedom in 20 countries. The Media Freedom Workshop at the Dublin Congress, with the OSCE’s Media Freedom Representative Miklos Haraszti and others as guest speakers, was extremely lively. It also showed great enthusiasm among the national sections for the AEJ to take a more active part in defending media freedom from the many threats it now faces. This field is now seen as the “flagship project” of the AEJ as a whole.

The Survey will be presented, with updates, to the Brussels press corps on 28 February at an event co-hosted by the European Journalism Centre.

My new role as the International AEJ’s Media Freedom Representative has provided the opportunity to have our voice heard in some of the consultative policy meetings of the Council of Europe (in the Media Committee and at a meeting of the CoE’s 2008 Anti-Discrimination Campaign). UK Section members are warmly invited to share information and views on related issues with me and Peter Kramer, the AEJ’s International Secretary General.

Copies of the Survey have been reserved for all UK Section members.

A new tradition: The AEJ’s annual New Year party, following the AGM, is a tradition that dates only from 2007 but it has already become a favourite – and will continue as long as we remain in the black!


William Horsley, 10 January 2008



Minutes of the Annual General Meeting

Secretary's report for the AGM

Secretary's report on the UK Section's activities for the AEJ Congress