Breen, Deputy Editor-in-Chief at Belfast Telegraph and Sunday Life, said: "Five years after joining the Society of Editors board, it truly is an honour to be now taking over as president.”
He added: “As the newly-elected president of the Society, I can’t wait to engage with our members throughout the UK, to listen to them and see how we can help. We are a campaigning group, with a core purpose of protecting freedom of speech and expression.
“The support of high journalistic standards within our industry is more important than ever in the delivery of quality, trustworthy journalism.
“Key to this success is a properly diverse and inclusive media, and in 2022 I and the Society will persist with actively encouraging diversity and inclusion, at all levels, in the media across the UK.”
“During the year ahead, I hope to grow our membership and ensure the Society interacts with more interested parties than ever before.
“I would like to pay tribute to Alison Gow for her sterling work for the Society over the past two years and am determined to be as strong a voice for our members as she has been.”
Breen takes over from Alison Gow, Audience and Content Director at Reach Plc northwest, who has been the Society president since 2019 and will remain on the Society of Editors board of directors.
At the Society’s Annual General Meeting, held on Wednesday, Kamal Ahmed, Editor-in-Chief and Co-founder of The News Movement was unanimously elected as Vice President. Ahmed said: “I want to say thank you to the Society for electing me as Vice President. The Society's role as the supporter of freedom of speech, powerful journalism and diverse and inclusive newsrooms is vital. I am very much looking forward to supporting Martin, Ian, Dawn and the whole society as we work together to deliver for all journalists across the UK."
Also joining the board are Alison Phillips, Editor at the Daily Mirror and Ian Brunskill, Assistant Editor at The Times.
Executive Director Dawn Alford said: "Martin takes over as President at an exciting time for the Society. We are soon to launch our diversity and inclusion hub and have many ambitious plans for the coming year - including our first in-person conference since the start of the pandemic plus some fresh new events and valuable working groups.”
Chairman Ian MacGregor said: “The future of the Society of Editors has never been more important. The value of a strong, cross-industry body fighting to protect media freedom and maintain high journalistic standards cannot be under-estimated.
“Having senior representatives from national and local news organisations united in the battle to support properly-edited journalism is something that is truly invaluable in our democracy.”
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