The launch of the 24th edition of McNae’s Essential Law for Journalists was celebrated last night at a reception held at Middle Temple, London.
The event was hosted by the NCTJ and supported by Cision Gorkana Jobs and Oxford University Press.
Those in attendance included current McNae’s editors Mike Dodd and Mark Hanna, regional and national press, broadcasters, lawyers, journalism trainers and the family of the late Leonard McNae, the original author.
Gillian Phillips, director of editorial legal services for Guardian News & Media, gave the keynote address. She discussed how much the book has grown and has been adapted to meet the needs of the changing media industry over the years, and she reminisced about the 10th edition of McNae’s, published in 1988, that she used when she first worked in media law after leaving private practice.
She said: “McNae’s is a book I am always happy to have at my elbow at my desk. Along with a dictionary, it’s the only book I always have at my side.
“This is the one book that needs to stay out in the open and has never, despite its array of different editors over the years, forgotten that first message, to ‘provide in a clear, concise and readable form all that journalists needed to know of the law as it affects their craft’.
“That it still manages to achieve that today is a credit to its current editors and publishers.” Click here to read Gillian's full speech.
NCTJ chairman Kim Fletcher described the book as a “brilliant, brilliant volume” and thanked the authors, Oxford University Press and Cision Gorkana Jobs in his welcome address, while Felicity Boughton, senior publishing editor at Oxford University Press, praised the authors for being “wonderful to work with”.
Authors Mike Dodd and Mark Hanna shared some of the newest components of the latest edition, which includes arguments court reporters can use to uphold the open justice principle against invalid or unnecessary reporting restrictions, and guidance from the chief coroner on media coverage of inquests.
They thanked the all the lawyers who helped with the latest edition, as well as Oxford University Press, their family who were in attendance, and the NCTJ’s media law board.
Sir Alan Moses, chairman of the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO), is quoted on the back of the 24th edition.
His quote reads: “It is not possible to conceive of anyone who wants to be taken seriously as a journalist or as an editor, without McNae’s well-thumbed and inwardly digested.”
The 24th edition of McNae’s Essential Law for Journalists can now be purchased here.