Monday, February 6, 2006
London, February 2006 

The United Kingdom Chapter of the International Communications Forum was launched at a meeting in London on 6th February 2006. The meeting, chaired by Magnus Linklater, columnist for The Times and a former editor of The Scotsman, was attended by thirty ICF supporters from all branches of the media.  

Founder President Bill Porter paid tribute to the late Dr Zaki Badawi, principal of the Muslim College in Britain, who had accepted an invitation to the event but had died on 24th January (Bill Porter’s address can be read by clicking here). Bill Porter then spoke of his concerns about the role of the media and his own decision to ‘do something about it’ that led to the foundation of the ICF. 

ICF President Bernard Margueritte outlined the development of the ICF Network of chapters, with the United Kingdom following the launch of chapters in the USA and Poland, and the intention of establishing chapters in South Africa and India.  

Executive Director Robin Williamson described the initiatives that the ICF had undertaken in the United Kingdom, including a major London conference held at the Financial Times in 1999, followed by events in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Eire, and activities in England. Three current initiatives supported by the ICF were described, by the Rev George Pitcher of St Bride’s Church, a spiritual centre for the media in London’s Fleet Street, Richard Yorke of the Next Century Foundation, developing an on-line Institute of Media Ethics, and Simon Cohen, director of Global Tolerance, on a project promoting media skills in ethnic and underprivileged communities.  

In a message read on her behalf because of her absence through illness Dr Frances Pinter, ICF Vice President, announced the formation of a Steering Committee to help establish the structure and programme for the UK Chapter, and asked those present to help with this task. In response to her appeal six colleagues came forward to form the Committee, and the meeting approved a motion stating that “the Steering Committee prepare a strategic plan and administrative structure for discussion and acceptance at the next meeting of the Chapter”.  

The Steering Committee’s plans will be presented to the ICF Assembly in Caux, Switzerland, in August 2006. 

Click here for a fuller account of the launch event.