Press Clubs European get-together

Eileen Murphy

Eileen Murphy

Delegates from more than 39 press clubs from around the world including Australia, Namibia, India, Indonesia, Poland and London gathered in Brussels last month to discuss a wide range of issues and share experiences.

Across three days of working sessions and networking Birmingham Press Club took its seat in the debates to learn more about how press clubs operate around the world.

Topics under discussion included the role of media and business in advancing Good Governance, exchanges of views on the development of Press Clubs across the globe and how press clubs in Africa are supporting and promoting the freedom of the press.

Press Club director Eileen Murphy (pictured), who attended the gathering, said: “Utilising BPC’s ‘observer status’, it was inspiring to see the work of such diverse clubs facing shared challenges around attracting younger members, providing a sustainable business model for our clubs and ensuring a safe space for journalists from our home cities/countries and visiting media.”

As host city and holder of the presidency of the International Association of Press Clubs, Press Club Brussels Europe gave an insight into how it works to utilise its space for a wide range of events and acts as a hub for media in the city.

Eileen added: “The way they market these facilities and work with other organisations to maximise impact held valuable lessons and tips given the forthcoming Commonwealth Games in Birmingham in 2022.

“Outlining our own successful Midlands Media Awards and student awards event we talked through models of how we might build mentoring and training for media colleagues at mid-career and student stages in their career.”

One of the areas the Press Club Brussels Europe will focus on during its presidency will be supporting the creation of press clubs in the Western Balkan region with an overarching ambition to safeguard the freedom of the press.

Visiting delegates were honoured with a gala dinner attended by Didier Reynders, Belgium’s Deputy Prime Minister at the beautiful  and historic Solvay Library.

Next year’s event will be in the UK hosted by our colleagues at the London Press Club and BPC will be involved in organising and supporting the event and welcoming our international colleagues.