Bloomberg backlash at security conference organiser’s attempt to screen reports

Organisers of a security conference in London have been blasted by trade journalists for attempting to get them to pass over any reports for pre-publication approval.

The International Quality and Productivity Center (IQPC), organisers of the Cyber Defence & Network Security conference at the Kensington Close Hotel, London, according to a report in the UK Press Gazette, told journalists they may not attend the conference unless they agreed to submit reports of the event to them before publication.

Trade journalists claimed terms and conditions were set out by the organiser, including providing a copy of their articles to IQPC before publishing, with the offer the right of reply to all speakers and companies referred to in the articles before they were published.

One Bloomberg journalist, Kit Chellel reportedly pulled out of attending the event as a result. He wrote on his Twitter account: “Conference planners: don’t do this. In a free country, journalists get to do their work without interference”.

John Geenty, managing director of IQPC, told Press Gazette the policy was to “ensure that our speakers and delegate participants aren’t incorrectly quoted or reported on following our events”.

And he cited “several instances” over the last few years at events when Chatham House rules had been disregarded and off the record comments had been reported.

“When this happens our speaker faculty loses faith in us as event organisers and refuses to participate in the future,” he said.
He added the T&Cs for the event for journalists had been introduced because, he said, his first responsibility was to the attendees and speakers “so that they can feel secure in the exchange of ideas and concepts”.

Media partners of the conference included: Defence iQ; ASDNews, GeoConnexion and Defence Industry Bulletin.

Paul Colston

Author

Paul Colston

Managing Editor, Conference News & Conference & Meetings World.

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