A personal appeal from London Press Club chairman Doug Wills

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From Leveson and Snowden to journalists under arrest and on trial, it is hard to remember a time when the British Press was the subject of so much attention, both here and internationally. As I said at the Press Club awards, it is against this background that it is more important than ever for us to shout loud about what we do better than anyone: break exclusives, inform, analyse and entertain.
 
It was a great honour for me this year to be put forward for chairmanship of the London Press Club. I firmly believe we have the best Press in the world, so it follows that we should aspire to have the best Press Club. I’m delighted that, as part of a fresh impetus which has invigorated the Club, the board have recently elected four new directors: Kenny Campbell, editor of Metro; Vikki Cook, head of news at the soon-to-be launched London Live TV channel; Stephen “Stig” Abell, managing editor of The Sun; and Evening Standard royal correspondent Robert Jobson, who becomes joint chairman with Daily Mail journalist Ray Massey of the Press Club Ball Committee, with Philippa Kennedy having stepped down after doing such a wonderful job.
 
Our recent high-profile events – featuring some of the key figures in British journalism today – have put the London Press Club back at the forefront. Our annual awards went fantastically. The Press Club Ball raised £30,000 for the Journalists’ Charity. Alan Rusbridger, Tom Bower, Andrew Gilligan and Heather Brooke, among others, debated the future of investigative journalism. Just this week we offered the rare opportunity of questions with new Sun editor David Dinsmore, who spoke frankly about Page 3, paywalls and much more besides. Next up, on November 19, is our Women in the Media forum, featuring leading figures from print, online and TV. And we have an exciting line-up for 2014 coming together already including another debate link-up with YouGov, partnership events with Editorial Intelligence and further Q&A sessions including one with West Ham manager Sam Allardyce, as well as new social events for networking.
 
I am now asking all our supporters to back the London Press Club by being paid-up members. This will ensure not only that the Club can continue to host a top programme of events celebrating the best of journalism and stimulate debate, but that historic organisation can thrive in these fast-changing, often tough times for our industry. We do gain sponsorship for the major events, but subscriptions are essential for the Club to pay its way.
 
Without you of course, there simply is no Club. As a paid-up member of the London Press Club you will receive priority, and free, attendance at our events. The annual fee was renewable in October and we have a variety of membership categories, including student, affiliate and retired. You can join online, or find details of how to do so by post, on our website londonpressclub.co.uk. If you have any queries, please email info@londonpressclub.co.uk
 
With my best wishes and sincere thanks for all your support.
 
Doug Wills

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