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Media hero and stars for freedom

ALAN JOHNSTON, former BBC corrrespondent in Gaza, recently held hostage, will speak on the problems of covering conflict at a major NUJ conference on 26 January sponsored by London Freelance Branch.

The conference New Threats to Media Freedom - how we fight back builds on the success of the union's Journalism Matters campaign. It was born out of concern by LFB members about the way mounting political and commercial pressures on journalists are undermining freedom of information and expression and threatening democracy.

Alan Johnston will lead a line-up of speakers including Martin Bright, political editor of the New Statesman; BBC Newsnight correspondent Paul Mason, Peter Wilby, former editor of the Independent on Sunday and Heather Brooke, LFB member and a specialist on the Freedom of Information Act.

How unions around the world are resisting controls and defending standards will be covered in presentations by NUJ general secretary Jeremy Dear, BECTU president Tony Lennon and Aidan White, general secretary of the International Federation of Journalists.

The Campaign for Press and Broadcasting Freedom (CPBF) is also backing the conference and assisting with its organisation.

It's from 9.30am to 4.30pm on Saturday 26 January 2008 at NUJ HQ, 308 Grays Inn Road, London WC1X 8DP. To register send a cheque for £10 (£7 concessions), payable to "NUJ London Freelance Branch", to CPBF, 23 Orford Road, London E17 9NL. Lunch is included. Registration also available on the day.

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