1st April 2021
By Wendy Collinson

Christopher Hird elected new Chair of Ethical Journalism Network

Christopher Hird has been elected the new Chair of the Ethical Journalism Network, replacing Dorothy Byrne who has stepped down after several years at the helm of the UK-based charity.

Hird, who joined the Board of the EJN in December, is founder and managing director of Dartmouth Films, which has pioneered new ways of funding, producing and distributing documentaries in the UK. A former stockbroker, he worked as a journalist on the Economist, Daily Mail, New Statesman and Sunday Times, where he edited Insight.

After leaving written journalism he was a TV reporter and producer, making programmes for all the main UK networks. Among his non-executive roles he has been a trustee of Index on Censorship, One World Media and the Centre for Investigative Journalism.

He is currently on the board of the Bureau of Investigative Journalism and is a trustee of Theatre Royal Stratford East, the Wincott Foundation and Picture People. He is the author of Investigative Journalism Works: the Mechanism of Impact (2018).

“It is both a thrill and a great responsibility to become the chair of the Ethical Journalism Network at this time. The EJN has done tremendous work in the past in helping journalists in some of the most troubled areas of the world. Ensuring that this works continues is a big responsibility,’ he said.

‘The events of the last year have again and again underlined the importance of building solidarity and support for journalists everywhere committed to honest, independent journalism. With the support of EJN’s board, staff and advisory committees, it will be exciting to make this happen.’

Byrne, who leaves the EJN for a role as president of one of the colleges at Cambridge University, said:

‘The EJN is an organisation of great importance in the building of trust in journalism. The promotion of ethical standards has never been more important. I am stepping down as I have been elected as President of Murray Edwards College at Cambridge University, starting in September. I will also continue to be involved in documentary film-making.  I will remain a member of the EJN’s UK Committee.