The Reuter Society
Thursday 9 June 2011
At university Paul Farrelly thought the best thing was to be paid for causing trouble and that meant becoming a journalist. But he went into investment banking for six years before joining Reuters in 1990 and was a desk editor for five years. Now a member of the British parliament where he said he was also paid to cause trouble, he told members of The Reuter Society he was still a journalist at heart. He shared memories of the trade, jokes and an informed analysis of one of the most complex but important and topical issues: super-injunctions used by celebrities, sports figures and others to prevent the publication of unfavourable news.
Farrelly, Labour MP for his Staffordshire hometown of Newcastle-under-Lyme, spoke on journalism, freedom and parliamentary privilege. He is a member of the House of Commons culture, media and sport select committee where he achieved fame for using privilege to undermine an infamous super-injunction in 2009. In between Reuters and his election to parliament in 2001 he worked for The Independent on Sunday for two years, then The Observer as City editor. Farrelly recalled Reuters friends no longer with us - David Nicholson, George Short and Ron Thomson - and also remembered recently retired editor Graham Hillier and former correspondent Brian Cathcart. ■