Serving professional journalism since 1912

Magazine of the Chartered Institute of Journalists

Motorshow plans invite problems for professional journalists


12 March 2008: Release time immediate

Plans to allow 500 members of the public to attend the London Motor Show Press Day could interfere with the work of the bona fide press, warns the Chartered Institute of Journalists (CIoJ).

For example professional journalists could find themselves vying for places at press conferences and product launches alongside anyone willing to pay £100 for a press day ticket.

“Press day should be just that,” said Graham Whyte, Chairman of the Institute’s Motoring Press Group. “And I have no doubt that press officers on duty that day will find the general public just as much of a distraction as will members of the press corps.”

The Institute is also concerned about the likely number of amateur newshounds – so called citizen journalists – who, with no understanding of the professional etiquette observed by genuine journalists will potentially get in the way, absorb resources, and restrict access to key products and personnel.

Moreover, there is a possibility that some members of the public will attempt to masquerade as journalists in order to obtain copies of expensive and ‘collectable’ press packs with a view to later selling them on Internet auction sites. Another concern is the extra monitoring necessary in order to ensure that the right information is received by the right people, all of which will be time-consuming and expensive.

“Space is already at a premium, and some, smaller, manufacturers with limited space will find it difficult to deal with the bona fide press because of the extra volume of people allowed in on the day,” said Dominic Cooper, CIoJ General Secretary.


Press contact:Dominic Cooper, tel. 020 7252 1187, email

Chartered Institute of Journalists, 2 Dock Offices, Surrey Quays Road, London SE16 2XU. Website

Notes for Editors:

Formed in 1884, the Chartered Institute of Journalists (CIoJ) is the world’s oldest established professional body for journalists, and a representative voice of media and communications professionals throughout the UK and the Commonwealth.