Tributes to former Post journalist and 'industry giant' Bob Satchwell

Tributes have been paid to a former Lancashire Evening Post reporter who became an editor on national and regional newspapers.

Thursday, 4th March 2021, 12:30 pm
Bob worked at the Lancashire Evening Post in the 1970s

Bob Satchwell started his career at the Post as a graduate trainee in 1970 and climbed the ranks to become its associate editor.

He went onto Fleet Street as assistant editor of the News of the World before returning to regional newspapers as editor of the Cambridge Evening News in 1984.

Bob, 73, won a string of awards in his working life and was included in the Press Gazette Regional Newspapers 40 years Hall of Fame in 2006.

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Bob Satchwell at a Society of Editors conference Photo: Ian Hinchcliffe

He was also the founding executive director of the Society of Editors, and was a frequent broadcaster and speaker, debater and lecturer on media issues.

Bob had spent the last few weeks in hospital after developing pneumonia and Covid-19, and then passed away in a hospice this week.

Ian Murray, who took over from Bob as executive director of the SoE when he stepped down due to illness in 2017, paid tribute to a ‘true giant of the industry.’

“I know I speak for the board and membership of the Society when I say we have lost one of the media’s greatest champions. The principles of a free press ran through his veins.

“Bob was one life’s great communicators and this gift made him superbly able to fight his many battles on behalf of the press. From Leveson to the creation of IPSO, from threats to Freedom of Information, to the countless other attempts to stifle free speech, Bob was always there in the fight.

“On a personal level, I had known Bob from the days of the old Guild of Editors. It was his vision that saw the need for a truly national organisation to represent editorial standards and freedoms across the whole media spectrum.

“We all owe him a huge debt of gratitude.”

Bob, who was educated at Lancaster Royal Grammar School, leaves two daughters and two stepsons.

Bob’s family said in a statement: “As a family we are devastated to lose a true character who was a loving father, brother, husband, son, grandfather and friend.

“Throughout his life Bob has fought and won many battles but is now resting peacefully with his beloved wife Michele."

There will be a memorial service later this year to celebrate Bob’s life, with further details to be confirmed.

Messages of condolence can be emailed to the family at [email protected] and the Society of Editors has opened a book of condolence at https://forms.gle/ZJbw6N8LszP96ewy8* It is thanks to our loyal readers that we can continue to provide the trusted news, analysis and insight that matters to you. For unlimited access to our unrivalled local reporting, you can take out a subscription at https://www.lep.co.uk/subscriptions and help support the work of our dedicated team of reporters.