CPU changes – journalist’s response

Bertrand Pecquerie, World Editors Forum director and author of this piece claiming the Commonwealth Press Union (CPU) would close its doors, has responded to PANPA’s report and the CPU’s statement saying it would remain open.

PANPA said the Press Union would continue to exist and “move its operation under the umbrella of the Commonwealth Press Training and Education Trust (CPTET)”.

Mr Pecquerie’s response is as follows:

It would be good news that CPU would maintain its activities, but I cannot accept the term “rumors” regarding the information we provided on www.editorsweblog.org on 28 October.

Here are the facts:
– the CPU website has not been updated since 9 September 2008
– the CPU magazine will disappear
– there was no major CPU conference gathering editors from around the world since Sydney more than two years ago
– the London office will disappear and a large majority of the staff will retire, resign or is being laid-off.
– a lot of CPU offices shared with regional organisations will also disappear.

If these facts are not true, please let us know: again, it would be good news!

Can we say “it is a major change” as PANPA says or just “it is the end of the Commonwealth Press Union as we knew it since 1909”?

I understand the first way is more diplomatic and that the British Foreign Office will never recognize such a disparition. But is it better to say that press organisations must prepare their digital future? CPU was the first victim and we must avoid new demises.

Bertrand Pecquerie
World Editors Forum Director



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