‘Champion of free press’ Bob Satchwell remembered at memorial service

·2-min read

The life of Bob Satchwell, founder of the Society of Editors, has been celebrated at a memorial service at St Bride’s Church in London.

More than 100 people, including representatives from many media organisations, gathered at the ‘Journalists’ Church’ in Fleet Street to hear warm tributes from family, friends and former colleagues.

Mr Satchwell died in March, aged 72, after developing pneumonia and Covid-19. He had been unwell since suffering a severe stroke in 2017.

Rector the Reverend Canon Dr Alison Joyce said: “Today we commemorate a man who was not only outstanding in his field but who was also an exceptional human being.”

Bob Satchwell
Bob Satchwell was editor of the Cambridge Evening News (PA)

Sir Clive Jones, the chief executive of ITV News and Regions until 2007, had known Mr Satchwell since their student days.

He said Mr Satchwell was a man people could turn to and always a problem solver.

“It was no surprise when he became the founder of the Society of Editors, a post he held with great distinction and honour until he suffered his terrible stroke in 2017,” he said.

Sir Clive said there was no finer champion of a free press, concluding: “What a man, what a life, what a friend.”

Before founding the Society of Editors in 1999, Mr Satchwell was president of the Guild of Editors from 1997 to 1998. He was also a director of the London Press Club and a former board member of the National Council for the Training of Journalists.

Mr Satchwell began his career as a reporter on the Lancashire Evening Post in 1970, and was journalist of the year and crime reporter of the year in the 1977 British Press Awards.

He went on to become assistant editor for the News of the World and then edited the Cambridge Evening News from 1984 to 1998.

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