Barrett Scoops Feature Writer and Journalist of the Year

Claer Barrett
Claer Barrett

Multiple IBP Journalism Award Winner Claer Barrett, writing for Investors Chronicle, demonstrated yet again her passion for the subject of her articles and received two top Awards at the IBP Awards presentations co-hosted with Resolution Property at the House of Commons.

Multiple IBP Journalism Award Winner Claer Barrett, writing for Investors Chronicle, demonstrated yet again her passion for the subject of her articles and received two top Awards at the IBP Awards presentations co-hosted with Resolution Property at the House of Commons.
Her writing in the Feature Writer of the Year category covered an array of highly topical subjects, and her style demonstrated a passion for the subject, Barrett is “an outstanding and deserving winner, her entries demonstrated a strong determination, she gets quickly to the point and fully covers all the angles,” the judges enthused.
In the IBP Journalist of the Year Category the judges compare the winners of each individual Award, and are thus faced with the dilemma of comparing the excellent with the brilliant. “Although the articles covered a wide range of styles, content and publications they together illustrated the strength of architecture, property and construction journalism in today’s media and the ingenuity and resources employed by the best writers in a sector which is more in the news, and warranting critical analysis, than it has been for many years? the judges said.

The judges praised Barrett’s outstanding article on the pitfalls of buy-to-let. “Claer showed her depth of knowledge and understanding of the subject and has clearly made herself an expert,” the judges commented. They praised her on the ground research and visits to seminars that provided her with the tools to write such a colourful and informative article. The judges were unanimous in declaring Claer the overall winner of the IBP 2009 Journalist of the Year Award.

IBP www Meeting – Feb 2010

Discussed the changing role of journalism in a multi-media world…

The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the changing role of journalism in a multi-media world, to look at threats to and opportunities for high quality work, and to discuss IBP’s stance. We also looked at the IBP annual awards and the judging criteria. Present were editors, news editors and online editors from leading publications in the construction and property markets. There were also observers from the NUJ and the CIOJ.

Bright prospects
Generally the mood was optimistic. Journalists were having fun, learning new skills. Journalists are not confined to their offices since they can file stories from their Blackberries. They love the immediacy. Skills acquired increase opportunities for future careers in national newspapers or even television.

Horses for courses
For some audiences, interactivity and video were seen as the goal. thers were more interested in data. For other, especially web-only, operations, the essential was to sift the large amount of material available, and present what was most valuable.

Paying for it
There seemed to be general consensus that where publishing houses had gone wrong was in their embracing the concept of ‘free content’, of giving everything away. That the future for specialist publishing would be in presenting a complete package for subscribers, offering online and offline content. Many sponsors and advertisers see online as an essential part of the service they are offered. Many of the most ambitious online offerings are only made possible by sponsorship. There was a clear belief that this was not affecting editorial integrity – and confidence that this dependency on sponsorship was just part of the economic climate, and not a cause for concern.

Doing less
What did journalists do less of, to find time for this new activity? Certain long features were being cut back in recognition of readers’ decreasing desire to read long pieces. Double working was eliminated – stories being written once for the web and once for print.

Working harder?
The overall feeling was that journalists were working hard, but not too hard. Slack days after press day had disappeared, early starts were common. But this is after all ‘the best job in theworld’ and working hard was seen as reasonable. There was warning however from the NUJ representative that in regional newspapers demands were often unreasonably high and that there were not the resources for proper journalism.

Role of the web editor
There was some concern that this role was in some cases ill defined and often unrewarding. Web editors too often were seen as having responsibility without power – sometimes finding it difficult to exercise authority over staff who did not report to them directly. Also in some
cases the role of web editor was seen as being made too technical and insufficiently creative.

This meeting moved into a discussion of IBP Awards. There were two concerns.
1. The nature and standing of web award
2. The desire for a multi-media award.

Web award
There was some concern, although not universal, that this is seen too much as a reward for the technology and design, and not for the quality of the journalism. It is vital that this award is judged on all criteria, as is the print journalism award, and that there is an appreciation of the different aspirations of different sites – they should be judged by how they fulfil their users’ requirements, and not as a beauty parade.

Multi-media award
There is a hunger for this award, which would recognise specifically the efforts of journalist working across a range of platforms.

It was encouraging that the general feeling was so positive. Generally the press is embracing opportunities. Areas of concern: It would be wise to keep an eye on the role of web editors, on workloads, and on the pressures of sponsorship.

Futures Group Makes its Report – Attracting New Members

A meeting was held on the evening of 25th January 2010 at the FT’s office to informally discuss:

• How the IBP can better serve (and attract) younger journalist and PR members
• How it might seek to achieve this
• What kind of networking events would appeal

The following individuals were present:

Claer Barrett, Investors Chronicle (chair)
Sarah Richardson, Building
Hardeep Sandher, Property Week
David Doyle, Property Week
Lydia Stockdale, Inside Housing
Mike Phillips, Estates Gazette
Alasdair Reisner, CECA
James Carnegie, Aylwin Comms
Naomi Galt, FD
Claudia Robinson, FD
Sarah Keltie, FD
Gemma Shah, Jones Lang LaSalle
Sam Kidby, London Communications Agency
Niki May Young, World Architecture
Michael Webster, Gorkana
Polly Roberts, Gorkana

All are happy to meet again to discuss further, or organise an event


Conclusions of discussion:

• There is strong support for IBP events aimed at young people
• The IBP Futures group would be happy to organise these
• Evening is the best time, with drinks (which could be sponsored)
• The venue does not need to be “posh” – a central London pub is fine
• There has to be a theme – it should not just be a piss up
• Initial focus should be journalistic skills; a “big name” talking about how they made it
• How to get on the nationals is the hot topic (sorry editors!)
• Trade journalists want to network with those on the nationals
• PRs are happy to come to gain access to journalists, regardless of event content
• PRs present expressed interest in sponsoring events
• Having people from industry there is less important, but could come later
• Being introduced to people at events would really help (maybe by board members?)
• The events should not be too large (40-60 people max)
• Entry should be controlled (names on a list)
• In principle, people would be happy to buy a membership / ticket for these events
• Editors cannot be relied on to spread the word. Each magazine needs a young IBP contact who can tell colleagues about the event (everyone in the room put themselves forward)



• With the cache of IBP Awards, we have more to offer than competing networking groups
• To attract younger members, the IBP needs to be better at its own PR
• The website needs to offer better information for new prospects
• PRs who were members of IBP found application process difficult
• Gorkana would be interested in JV / link up in some way
• All future IBP events can be advertised (for free) on Gorkana
• There was strong support to Ruth Slavid’s suggestion that we should reach out to young journalists and PRs made redundant / job seeking / freelancing, and advertising events on Gorkana is probably the best way to reach these groups.


Discussion points of interest:

Current perceptions of the IBP were rather mixed. Several
were members as a result of having been entered for awards. However, few had
been to an IBP event other than the awards. Those who came to the summer party
really enjoyed it. There was awareness of IBP events that had been e-mailed
to members, but were considered “expensive”. How will the news be
delivered was mentioned as something that sounded good, for example, but only
one person had attended. Those who had attended events described them as “old
school” with people talking to people they already knew. In conclusion,
a lot of young members / potential members feel IBP events are “not for

The cache of the IBP awards is our greatest weapon. I was
surprised to hear about the large number of networking groups targeting young
journalists, and from within the built environment sector. They don’t have an
awards ceremony, but we do – and there lies our USP. The IBP has the potential,
and the membership database, to offer something unique. As an aside, several
people mentioned that “What the IBP Awards judges are looking for”
could be a good basis for an event. Having links to award winning articles on
IBP website was also viewed as desirable. People know winning an award boost
your career – and even more so in tough times!

Suitable “big names” in journalism for an event were discussed.
The obvious candidates are Andrew Marr, Robert Peston or Nick Robinson – newspaper
journalists who have made it on TV. Getting someone like this for the first
event would be a real coup – but we shouldn’t limit ourselves to media stars.
Dominic O’Connell, the new business editor of The Times, and Richard Fletcher
were mentioned, to general murmurs of approval.

Understanding “What’s in it for me?” is the key to getting
a good response. For trade journalists, how to get a job on a national – and
how others have done so – is an obsession. This may be hard for editors to stomach,
but if we are running a networking event then we need to be aware of this. In
general, career development is the thing most journalists AND PRs are most bothered

The format – most preferred a Q&A format, with “two chairs on a stage”
with someone like Giles Barrie asking the questions. Then, there would be questions
from the floor. This way, the guest speaker does not navel gaze too much, and
attendees also get to observe interview technique.

Gorkana events team believed said “big names” would do it for free, if approached
by a young person, as they would want to “give something back”. They offered
to help recruit. However, people felt the IBP website should
be given some attention before we start pitching to people, as it doesn’t yet
reflect the “young” ethos, or have an easy-to-find “about us” section. The first
thing “big names” will do is put IBP into Google, so we need to look our best.

The idea of having a “big name” from the property or construction industry
appealed less – it was seen as too specific to a publication and not the wider
group. Also, you are surrounded by competing journalists, so unlikely to be
of any use as a story (I was surprised by this!)

A good point made – in a recession, in-house training budgets
are non-existent. Some of the basics of reporting are not properly covered nowadays.
Legal issues, what you can get sued for, and what you can get
away with, could be a very popular event. “Not having the confidence to tackle
legally challenging stories will lead to weaker journalism in the long run”.
Investigative techniques, as taught by Peter Gilman, were also

Editors are not considered to be the best way of conveying information about
IBP events. It was proposed that each publication (there aren’t many) should
have a “young” point of contact to receive info about IBP events and circulate.
Everyone present nominated themselves.

Other networking groups / events we should be aware of:

Gorkana does breakfast events for PRs (where an editor speaks
about deadlines, what stories they want, scope of their publication etc) These
are quite formal and businesslike, but work. They have also held panel discussion
format events with several journalists They tried a quiz night format with journalists
and PRs, but it descended into a piss up and people “found it hard to make meaningful
connections”. Ditto cocktail making – fun, but just a “piss up”. Deputy chief
executive Michael (name) – who looks in his early thirties – is very keen to
discuss a potential joint venture with the IBP on these events.

Profile (which is an EG spin off) follows a similar PR breakfast
format. Both charge hefty subscriptions, and pay journalists for participating.
Only of use to PRs.

European Young Professionals (EYP)

Free to subscribe, this organisation is for all professionals and holds a monthly
London event which some of the panel had attended. It costs £5 entry but is
“very corporate” and “hit and miss” what industry professionals you might meet.

Schmooze and Booze

Organised by a young sub-editor on the Daily Mail, this is a new networking
event for all PRs and journalists in London – but with more of a consumer than
business focus. You have to pay for your own drinks. Comment from someone who
went to one: “It was quite big, but difficult to find useful people, and there
were all sorts there.”


Spun out from the website, they organise quarterly drinks events in fairly
swanky London venues. It is invite only, to selected group chosen by them. Sponsors
pay for drinks, but in return you must sit through dreary speech and presentation
(often about building or interiors products).

Young Entrepreneurs in Property (YEP)

We think, now defunct, but in its heyday was getting 200+ to its events. Problems
arose when membership became too open (“It was open to everybody, so you would
end up talking to people who made floor filters and did glazing”). Similar to
the “curse of the BCO” which suffers same problem with industry people being
preyed upon by sales teams from lift companies!

City University

Have a big name journalist come in every Monday night for journalists to interview,
they submit questions beforehand. People come and speak for free, which is encouraging.
Linda Christmas would be a good person to get onside for our events.

Other event ideas:

Wine tasting is good – but very expensive.

“Speed networking” – like speed dating but with journalists / PRs/ industry
contacts was suggested, but would have to be very well organised to work.

How to use Twitter as a journalist

Blog night / talk from famous bloggers

Consider running an event online, instead of in an actual venue – a webinar

What the PRs want from an event:

“A relaxed atmosphere to meet journalists and get to know them – certainly
not to push stories, but to find out more about them and what they cover.”

“I can tell my boss I’m going to this to meet journalists and really impress

“A small charge would be fine – at any rate, it’s much cheaper than a lunch
and you will meet more people.”

Both groups agree – you have to feel you’re getting something out of the event
personally, in terms of career development / opportunities, as you are leaving
work to go to an event.Of our group of 16, four were returning to the office
/ taking work home with them after the meeting finished. Long hours are part
of the job more than ever in a recession.

“You have got to be able to justify two hours at an event”

Notes on the website:

There is no obvious “about us” section, people said they could not find it

“It is really hard to work out how to become a member on the website. It took
me over 15 minutes”

“The most valuable thing the IBP has is its members. As a member, I should be
able to log in to the website, and search for other members and their contact
details, just like I can on other networking sites.”

“There should be pointers and tips on how to enter the IBP awards”

Other comments:

Disappointment over dropping of Housing category.

Frustration that web journalists are not recognised in awards when so much of
content is now digital / video / interactive. Should the IBP move with the times
a bit here?

More young members would be generated by the awards entries for these categories!

Ditto, awards for blogs. They are a part of journalistic life now, so why not
recognise them?


Roy Greenslade’s Speech at the IBP Awards Dinner 2009

Roy Greenslade
Roy Greenslade

I’m truly privileged to be speaking at these IBP Awards. I have to admit it’s a strange thing to find myself here because I’ve taken a pledge never to accept an award myself. I call it my “inoculation against failure.”

Similarly, since we’re here in this august building, I’ve also let it be known that I’ll never accept an honour – an OBE, a knighthood, a peerage – thus side-stepping the fact that no-one has asked and will now never ask.

I’ve also got to admit that I’ve become a little alarmed down the years at the number, and range, of awards available to journalists. Then again, on the plus side, I do think they always give a spring in the step to the recipients and to those who are short-listed.

Last month, I attended two awards ceremonies – for the Paul Foot awards for campaigning and investigative journalism and the Education Journalists of the Year (on Nov 5, here) – and I couldn’t help but note the genuine pride of those who stepped up to collect their prizes.

And I’m sure it’ll be the same here this evening.

The reason, as you all know, is that we hacks aren’t as cynical as some people – politicians particularly – tend to believe. And that also includes us. We journalists do have a habit of putting ourselves down too often.

And, of course, we seem to revel in doom and gloom. That’s never been more obvious than in these times of recession, an economic blight that has heaped pressures on publishers who must deal with declining revenue, due in the main, of course, to the flight of advertising.

The result, unsurprisingly, has been widespread cuts – cuts in editorial budgets, cuts in staff, cuts in the product, such as reduced pagination, and also cuts in the amount spent on training. Several publishing companies have suspended their graduate training schemes. You might think that I’d be delighted by that move. After all, I teach post-grad students at City University, and we are only too delighted to benefit from a larger intake.

But vocational training – more properly, the lack of vocational training – is too serious a matter to be the subject of academic self-interest. If we want journalism to thrive – by which I mean good journalism, journalism that serves the overall public interest, if we want that to thrive – then we need to make sure that journalists are properly trained.

Many of my older colleagues, those I first worked with in the 1960s, tend to scoff at the level of training now available, and the demands by employers for staff with good academic qualifications. We didn’t need that in our day, they say. We learned on the job. It was sink or swim. And the swimmers succeeded. The implication of that pragmatic viewpoint is that it produced high journalistic standards.

Well, I’m completely unconvinced by that argument, firstly because it doesn’t reflect the very different employment situation of that generation. In those days, newspaper staffs were huge. Most publishers were either making profits or making losses they were prepared to accept. They hired hundreds of journalists and then it was a case of survival of the fittest.

The result? Many writers were never called on to write. Many reporters did, at the most, mundane work. Many subs never subbed much more than a short. Mind you, all of them – the good and the bad – did drink heroically.

Needless to say, that kind of employment policy never did make economic sense, and newer, more modern, more sensible, owners have not been prepared to go on supporting a thirsty, but unproductive, staff. They’ve had to cope with unsustainable falls in profit levels, and have therefore sought to create smaller, leaner, fitter, and less alcoholic editorial staffs.

But there’s a second fallacy in that veteran journalist argument about learning on the job: it was tough on the weakest. They ended up doing menial tasks and were aware of being unloved rejects. I knew several in my early Fleet Street days.

There’s a wonderful story about one of them, Percy Sutton, who I worked with on The Sun. He drank copious amounts in El Vino’s every day. One afternoon, in his cups, he shouted incoherently down the bar to no-one in particular: “Where in this street of a thousand dreams can you find sympathy?”

A wag at the other end of the bar shouted back: “Try the dictionary, it’s somewhere between shit and syphilis.”

Anyway, the point I want to make is that we must insure that we maintain a good standard of journalism intake, whether we do it at universities, through the courses run by National Council for the Training of Journalists, or through some form of publisher-funded training courses.

I noted the other day that the annual meeting of the National Union of Journalists was covered by 25 students – doing it for free. I also noted that Sky News is planning to cover next year’s general election results by recruiting students. They’ll be paid a fee, which will be doubled if they get the results back to Sky before opposition broadcasters.

Strictly speaking, neither instance can be called training, but they do offer students the opportunity to catch the eye of a news editor. And that’s very important because – despite the downturn – there remains an unsurpassed eagerness by young people to become journalists. And by journalists, I don’t mean bloggers. I mean full-time professional journalists working in the mainstream, traditional media. I have been lecturing this term to 256 post-grads, all of whom see their future in journalism.

I haven’t seen any written work from them yet, but going on my experiences marking assignments over the past six years, I’m expecting the majority to turn in good essays, properly spelled, with good grammar and full of intelligent insights. The standard of intake for City’s MA journalism course is high.

And I know from remarks by editors and executives who have hired our students in the past couple of years that they are very pleased with them. I ought also to add that I hear the same uplifting remarks about students from Cardiff, Sheffield, Lincoln and Stirling and elsewhere too. In my view, standards are high.

Problem – they’re affluent, middle class and southern. Not enough working class northerners coming through.

I ought also to mention worthwhile training initiatives by the PPA. Its establishment of the Britain’s first qualification in digital publishing was a welcome development. It ran into problems last year but I understand it’s to be relaunched in the new year. And, as you know, the PPA runs several courses for people already working in the industry. These are careers courses for people working in the industry and are, therefore, part of lifelong learning. Now that’s a concept, and a practice, that the Fleet Street veterans also despise. They like lifelong drinking.

And, once again, that attitude is a mixture of ostrich-like behaviour and Luddism, a failure to appreciate progress and its benefits. That has never been truer than in recent years in the era of what I call “the digital revolution”. It is the publishing industry’s biggest issue – about how we deliver content and how we extract value from that content. The results have been patchy. But even the ostriches have been forced to lift their heads from the sand and many Luddites, albeit reluctantly, have had to come to terms with the new media platforms because that’s where the audiences are going.

I love newspapers. I love their feel, their texture, their smell, their portability. I have loved working for them, and I still do. I also loved those old newspaper offices and print works, the smell of the ink, the sound of the thundering presses. So I’m not anti-newspaper, nor anti-newsprint. Then again, I loved steam trains and trams. I loved the horse that drew the milk-cart that delivered to the house in south London where I was born.

But my lifetime has been marked by immense technological change and I’m pleased about that. For journalism and journalists, the most obvious effect is the gradual erosion of our own form of Berlin Wall, the barrier that has previously existed between the journalist and the public, the reporter and the reader, the them-and-us is being eroded all the time.

I also believe the rate of change is having an effect on us too because we seem to accept change more readily. We are less conservative than we used to be. I recall how my late father – an insurance clerk who witnessed the early use of computer processing in his company – was fond of saying that computers would never catch on. It’s easy to laugh at that now, but we are wise after the event. People living through the earliest stages of technological change rarely grasp its implications.

It seems hardly any time ago that I was sitting in front of an Atex keyboard in Wapping and learning the rudiments of working on a fabulous invention called a computer terminal.

Not all of my colleagues – I was on The Sun in those days – were as au fait with the system as others. The paper’s ageing racing editor, John Kendrick, was an obvious case in point. Because he had been badly beaten by the pickets, an Australian TV crew decided that John should be the man to interview. Sitting back at his desk, he was fine when talking about his racing and fighting-picket experiences. But the interviewer decided to finish off his piece by asking John about the differences in working in Fleet Street, in a hot metal environment, and working at Wapping with a the computer keyboard.

John’s response took them entirely by surprise. Pointing at the blinking cursor on the screen, he said: “Oh it’s much better here, that little fucker does everything.”

I think it’s fair to say that drink might have been taken. Lucky it wasn’t a live interview.

Of course, we’ve come a long way since that incident in 1986, when we were still some years away from the regular use of email and even further away from full page design on screen. Freed from all sorts of restrictions, newspaper publishers and editors now grasp at every new invention to see what might be helpful, whether in terms of cutting costs or improving the service to readers.
There’s no doubt in my mind – nor, I’m sure, in the minds of most people here – that journalism has been changing too. The technology is allowing the public to take an active role in news-gathering, in analysis and in providing essential advice. In other words, the top-down journalism is gradually being replaced by the bottom-up.

Everyone is a sort of journalist now. They can blog, they can make podcasts, they can shoot video, all of which can be uploaded to enable others to read, hear and see. Moreover – and this is a key point – these people don’t need us, the traditional media, to mediate, to get in between, to act as a forum.

The old relationship between centralised media and the people was vertical. From on high, down to the many below. Now, as people take the opportunity to communicate directly with other people, the relationship is horizontal. People are cutting out the middle man – that’s us, the traditional media.

They can speak directly to each other without the need for our centralised platforms, our papers or our studios. In journalistic terms, the us-and-them is increasingly becoming the us-with-them, what The Guardian editor, Alan Rusbridger, has referred to as “the mutualisation of news.”

Now, I’m very aware that I’m talking here to journalists with specialist knowledge. I’m sure you all know a great deal about building and architecture and property and engineering and business, and you’re more knowledgeable about the subject than many, many thousands of people. But, on the other hand, you can’t possibly know absolutely everything, however wide your knowledge, however broad the range of sources and contacts.

Not only that, when writing articles, it’s always the case that someone, somewhere knows just a little more, more facts, more context. They are now able to share that knowledge with you faster and more effectively than ever before. They can comment, they can criticise, they can offer practical help.

However, I’d be the first to agree that we’re a long way from the kind of collaboration that idealists, such as me, imagine will one day happen. But there’s no doubt that we are moving in that direction.

Then again, I’d be remiss is saying everything is just fine and will work out well, because there are threats too – as I see every day in the threads under my blog and, especially, in The Guardian’s Comment Is Free section. Most often, these are threats to our language – text spellings and jargon and so on.

But there is another threat we need to confront too – because journalists are trained to write well, to understand the law, to grasp the need for accuracy, to respect sources and to respect the public we serve. One way we do that is by transparency and accountability. We have bylines. We are open to checks.

Too many commenters on websites and bloggers – and, most especially, the people on social network sites, whether it be Facebook or Bebo or Twitter – are outside this system. I don’t mind them murdering the language as much as I dislike them murdering journalism itself.

Accuracy is our watchword. And we must never lose sight of the fact that there’s no substitute for good professional journalism, for trying to tell the truth, for presenting the facts we do have in as interesting, a way as possible in order to inform the reader.

All about trust and credibility – EXPLAIN…

Anyway, it’s amazing that I got to this point without using the awful phrase “user generated content” or even “citizen journalists”. Then again, I’m amazed I got here at all.

Whenever I speak in public, I tend to hear the voice of my late, unlamented Daily Mirror employer, Robert Maxwell, booming out:

“Mister Greenslade, you know nothing.”

How do you mean, Bob?

I see your front page tomorrow says that President Gorbachev is engaged in some sort of re-invasion of Lithuania.

Well, we’re quoting someone who says that.

Don’t be foolish. Mikhail would never invade anywhere without calling me first.

Sorry Bob.

There’s no better note to end on.

If you have been listening, thank you.

Li Shirong – IBP Speech 2009


The newly elected (the night before) President of the CIOB joined over 70 IBP Members and guests for the IBP Summer Dinner at the RAC Club, to discuss the open policy in China for major projects for the future and whether the world financial crisis had effected the development of business partnerships with UK companies and what is the future for our sector and when is it expected to kick-in again in China’s development?

In introducing Shirong, Michael Brown, Deputy Chief Executive of the CIOB, praised her work with the Chongqing Foreign Trade and Economic Relations Commission and her academic role at Chongqing University as part-time professor of construction management, with more than 170 published academic papers and 26 books to her credit.

Michael went on to draw the diners attention to the 175 Anniversary celebrations for the CIOB illustrating the role of the Institute’s with a list of major infrastructure projects stretching back to early Victorian times. He said that it was significant and appropriate that this year’s CIOB President was the first women to hold the office and from a major emerging market leader.

Li Shirong

This is my first public speech as President of the CIOB. So to make it in front of a room full of journalists, editors and communication experts is …..exciting.

As Michael mentioned 2009 is the CIOB’s 175th Anniversary, but it is also our 20th Anniversary working in China. The CIOB was one of the first professional bodies in the world to work in my home country; and much has changed in those 20 years.

China’s economic development has seen a building boom on a scale unheard of in modern history.

But this growth has also bought many challenges.
We are aware of our responsibility for the environment, and how we use our natural resources.

It would be fair to say that China is still a developing country, although some regions are highly developed. China is increasingly playing its part within the international community. There is still much to do at home. Poverty is being driven out through urbanisation and, increasingly through rural development.

Looked at in the right way this can bring many benefits…….. For example we can build-in current technology at an earlier stage of our infrastructure. Indeed we are a real life test-bed for many of the world’s emerging technologies.

However urbanisation and development bring many challenges. Urban communities as we know them are energy hungry.

They bring pollution and we have suffered, and are suffering, the effect of rapid growth in an industrial age and its impact on the natural environment.

Relieving poverty has come with a cost.

However, as the world seeks new ways of conserving energy use, China is able to invest in previously untried green innovations and ideas. These can be more difficult for the west to implement.’

IBP 40th Celebration Party in Fleet Street – July 2009


On a balmy English night some 200 members, guests and VIP’s came together to celebrate IBP’s 40th Anniversary.

On a balmy English night some 200 members, guests and VIP’s came together to celebrate IBP’s 40th Anniversary with a programme of two parts, the first in the formal setting of St Bride’s Church, where the magnificent choir presented four decades of contemporary music with interjacent contributions from Denise Chevin, editor of Building (President IBP), Clare Barrett, Investors Chronicle and multiple IBP Journalism Award Winner and Paul Finch, director, World Architecture Festival (Senior Vice President IBP) amongst others. Full evening programme included in this report.

The Party moved on to the Press House Wine Bar, situated just off Fleet Street, to be entertained by Clarence King and the Regents, fronted by Bob Kidby (Partner at Lovells) and other guest performers from the property and communications sectors. Despite the humid conditions the Party went on until late with music, drinking, with endless chatter and the occasional walk down memory lane for good measure.

IBP Magazine of the Year Awards 2009

Li Shirong (left), President CIOB, congratulates Director RIBA North West, Belinda Irlam-Mowbray and Susan Dawson, editor of A the winning magazine in the subscription category. Giles Barrie, editor of Property Week and chairman of the judges said: "We were truly wowed by A. It looks and feels great and there was a great North West spirit flowing throughout.
Li Shirong (left), President CIOB, congratulates Director RIBA North West, Belinda Irlam-Mowbray and Susan Dawson, editor of A the winning magazine in the subscription category. Giles Barrie, editor of Property Week and chairman of the judges said: “We were truly wowed by A. It looks and feels great and there was a great North West spirit flowing throughout.
Elaine Knutt, editor Construction Manager, collects her well deserved Highly Commended Award in the subscription magazine category.
Elaine Knutt, editor Construction Manager, collects her well deserved Highly Commended Award in the subscription magazine category.
Helen Wood, marketing officer, Mott Macdonald picks-up the In-House Magazine of the Year Award on behalf of the editorial team of M2.
Helen Wood, marketing officer, Mott Macdonald picks-up the In-House Magazine of the Year Award on behalf of the editorial team of M2.

Over 70 members and guests attended the IBP Magazine of the Year Awards, which were presented, at The Annual Summer Dinner at the RAC on the 25th June, by Professor Li Shirong, the President of the CIOB, who had been inaugurated the day before the dinner.

Over 70 members and guests attended the IBP Magazine of the Year Awards, which were presented, at The Annual Summer Dinner at the RAC on the 25th June, by Professor Li Shirong, the President of the CIOB, who had been inaugurated the day before the dinner.

Commenting Giles Barrie, editor of Property Week and chairman of the judges said: “We had a lively and invigorating final judging session in both categories. We were most impressed with the variety on offer, and the range of different approaches all the magazines took to their audiences.” In acknowledging the judges deliberations Giles particularly thanked Ruth Slavid, (former editor of AJ online), freelance architectural author and journalist, “for her forensic analysis of the entries, at all times.”
In-House Category

Giles praised the Willmott Dixon and Costain entries – “two polished publications, we relished the openness with which Willmott Dixon described some big corporate changes, while Graham Read, Head of Public Relations at Costain showed he still has much of his communications flair in the packed Costain title Blueprint,” he said.

Announcing Mott Macdonald’s m2 the winner, in the In-House category, Giles commented, “This is a publication for its time, concise, colourful yet cost effective, with a lot of personality, information about projects and overall a warm feel to the presentation of the contents.”
Subscription Category

In this category Giles made special mention of Impact, the membership magazine produced by the Association for Consultancy and Engineering. “A well-put together title, this gave a good clear insight into a highly skilled world. The judges felt that they are on the right lines in addressing their audience”, he said.

Giles went on to announce a Highly Commended Award for Construction Manager, a former winner, “this magazine has improved again under the editorship of Elaine Knutt, with a marked stronger editorial voice on behalf of the membership of the CIOB”, he said.

But the winner in this category was A from RIBA North West. “We were truly wowed by this title. It looks and feels great – but does not limit itself to highly specialized or pretentious architectural fare” he said. Indeed the issue that impressed Giles the most, as a two year veteran of the downturn was the issue that focused on the recession, “far more enjoyable” he said “than the Le Corbusier issue.”

“At the same time, there was a great North West spirit flowing throughout, and other big RIBA regions should take note”, he concluded.

IBP Cricket Match 2009

PR’S Third Successive Victory Over Journalists

The last of this year’s summer coincided with the annual clash of the cricketing giants that’s PR’s and Journo’s. A few new faces on both sides this year and a new captain in Andy Cassie (recovering from a serious ski accident) for the PR’s.


The Trophy Presentation
The Trophy Presentation
Man of the Match
Man of the Match

Toss won and with a little local knowledge, Andy Cassie inserted the Journo’s, who proceeded respectably against a tight opening pair of James Dilleigh (same pronunciation different level of competence) and Rob Jenkins.

Hart was the first to go, stumped off Watkins, wicketkeeper Rave Dave’s first of no less than 5 stumpings and one catch in the innings, surely a record. Wickets then fell regularly; Menary without troubling the scorers, new boy Hamilton recruited from the depths of Watford for little more. However more resistance was given by — Taylor and latterly Roskrow, who was even offered the benefit of two innings. The PR bowling remained tight with very economical spells from Watkins, Murphy, the aforementioned Dilleigh and even the “Weeman” Jilesh Patel. John Howland of our kind sponsors Szerelmey claimed 2 wickets but did come in for a bit of tap.

At the end of the 30 overs – for this was a 30/30 game, Journo’s had posted a respectable – 127 all out, top scorers Gatty 30*, Roskrow (2 innings) 31, Taylor 24 and Hart 15 all batted well and the bowling was suitably tight with both Watkins and Murphy returning figures of 2-13 and Dilleigh 2-6, may be a few runs short.

Chasing a total of a little over four an over, the PR’s set about their task with some relish and despite various people having to “go onto other events” the victory total always looked achievable. Consistent batting from all the top order took the Journo’s to their total with 8 overs and 5 wickets to spare. The innings was held together by a “Man of the Match” Andy Geldard (31 retired) who lifted the ball to the boundary on several occasions, ably supported by the rest of the top order including Simon Storer and John Howland.

Once again David Helsen did a magnificent job on the catering and organisation front, thanks to Szerelmey for their continued support and it would be nice for a few more IBP members to be involved on either team and to enjoy the chance to play on one of London’s most beautiful grounds at Thames Ditton.

In the eleven years since its inception the Journo’s have a 6-5 lead over the PR’s in the series, so we will look to level it up same time next year. Thanks again for the continuing support of all parties and players and for my team for playing so well and preventing me from needing to either bat or bowl, skippers prerogative I guess.

127 ALL OUT 29.3 OVERS


128-5 21.2 OVERS


After all it’s only a game

Executive Board’s Report 2008

Denise Chevin (editor, Building, and President of IBP) presents Peter Murray (director of the London Festival of Architecture) with his honorary membership. The presentation took place before more than a hundred guests at the IBP Summer Dinner, where Gerald Bowey (CEO of ibp Services) praised Murray for his outstanding work in bringing such a vibrant and comprehensive Festival to London. Peter is a former Chairman and President of IBP and his presentation with the coveted IBP Mont Blanc pen recognises his contribution and continued support.
Denise Chevin (editor, Building, and President of IBP) presents Peter Murray (director of the London Festival of Architecture) with his honorary membership. The presentation took place before more than a hundred guests at the IBP Summer Dinner, where Gerald Bowey (CEO of ibp Services) praised Murray for his outstanding work in bringing such a vibrant and comprehensive Festival to London. Peter is a former Chairman and President of IBP and his presentation with the coveted IBP Mont Blanc pen recognises his contribution and continued support.

The following are extracts from the Report presented on behalf of the executive Board of IBP by Gerald Bowey, CEO IBP Services.

During 2007/8 we continued to develop partnerships with other like minded organizations: Art in Architecture with International Art Consultants; IBP Little Black Book Event in association with CAPSIG; the London Festival of Architecture IBP editors’ forum) The All Party Parliamentary Built Environment Group The Housing Crisis, Speculation or Innovation), The Wapping Trust Art and Work Awards.

In March this year IBP held its first focus group meeting at MIPIM, in association with Gardiner & Theobald, which took an international look at Marketing Architecture in a Changing World.

The first of the 2008 crop of Awards were presented by Patience Wheatcroft, former editor of The Sunday Telegraph, at the Annual Summer Dinner at the RAC Club with a reception hosted again by BDP.

Chairman of the judges Giles Barrie, editor of Property Week said “We saw a wide range of entries, from the typical contractor’s in- house journal to some innovative attempts from PR firms like TTA to engage in an interesting debate with their clients. However, the winner, Vinci plc’s Societe, has produced a useful, pocket-sized design and above all a focus on sustainability that speaks volumes for this sector of the contracting world.”

“The Award for subscription magazine of the year was incredibly close fought, with two recent winners at the Pan-Magazine Publishing Periodical Publishers Association Awards to the fore. First a highly commended went to PPA Editor’s Award Antony Oliver’s New Civil Engineer. However, our winner, for the second year running, was also the winner of the PPA monthly magazine of the year category Building Services Journal. The judges were unanimous in their praise of its bold critique of signature architecture and, of course, how it has made building services sexy through a huge emphasis on sustainability.” The CIOB’s international magazine, Icon, also picked up a highly commended for positioning a serious and informative magazine in only eighteen months.

Like the National, Regional and Website Awards the IBP Magazine Awards are designed to acknowledge and reward good journalism and particularly focus on the ‘best of the best’. Not an easy task for the judges, sitting on the panels.

Last October the third season of the IBP Regional Journalism Awards, with Jim Hancock, former North West BBC Political Correspondent, presenting, proved to be another resounding success, with entries up by a third and the audience attending the Awards lunch, at the Lowry Gallery in Manchester, doubling from the first year.

Awards went to: The Guardian, the Manchester Evening News, North West Business Insider, Regeneration & Renewal and Property Week.

Last November’s Annual National Journalism Awards continued to be well supported by both journalists, sponsors and the industry. We presented the IBP Website of the Year Award, for the second year, to recognized good journalism on the electronic media super highway. A capacity audience attended with David Meara, Rector of St Bride’s Fleet Street, handing out the Awards.

The launch of an International Journalist of the Year Award, open to property and design titles, is due to take place in the London Pavilion at MIPIM 2009, with the support of Pipers Projects. Sponsors are being actively sought to support this important IBP Award development.

Our tenth annual IBP Journalists v PR’s cricket match, sponsored by stone experts Szerelmey, took place at Thames Ditton in June with the PR’s winning, for two consecutive years with a comfortable 18 runs. My thanks go to team captains, Dave Rogers (Construction News) and Andy Walker (ACE) while David Helsen continues to organise the whole day with efficiency, style and good nature.

Your executive board (see full listing attached) continues to oversee the events and ‘new’ initiatives that IBP takes forward on an annual basis – they should all be congratulated on the very positive way in which they work together and contribute to the meetings, after putting in a full days work.

Our President Denise Chevin, editor Building, quietly keeps an eye on IBP’s initiatives (and me) while ensuring that all the events associated with IBP are of the highest quality and relevance to our industry. Denise takes us into IBP’s 40th Anniversary next year; incidentally IBP was established in 1969 by the then editor of The Builder, (now Building), Ian Leslie.

I hope that by highlighting these few examples of the IBP 2006/7 programme that I have given you some idea of the focus of the Organisation. Of course these and other IBP events are reported and archived on the website for your further interest. Do take a look sometime.

I have said this every year and I make no apology for repeating it yet again here. You do not have to sit on the executive board to participate in any of these initiatives or indeed to come up with an idea, or to recruit a new member into IBP.

IBP will only continue to function and be of use to us all if we are providing the things that interest us. I would however suggest that it is in the interests of all members to participate, by coming to events, by encouraging debate and bringing different ideas to what IBP stands for. Some of the partnerships I have outlined above clearly demonstrate that IBP can contribute to the wider on-going debates constantly taking place in our sector.

IBP Regional Journalism Awards 2008

From left to right, Sir Howard Bernstein, Simon Binns and Denise Chevin (Editor of Building magazine).
From left to right, Sir Howard Bernstein, Simon Binns and Denise Chevin (Editor of Building magazine).
From left to right, Sir Howard Bernstein of Manchester City Council, Deidre Hipwell and Clive Branson
From left to right, Sir Howard Bernstein of Manchester City Council, Deidre Hipwell and Clive Branson
From left to right, Sir Howard Bernstein of Manchester City Council, Denise Chevin of Building Magazine and Gerald Bowey CEO of IBP
From left to right, Sir Howard Bernstein of Manchester City Council, Denise Chevin of Building Magazine and Gerald Bowey CEO of IBP
From left to right, Sir Howard Bernstein of Manchester City Council, Mark Shepherd and Clive Branson
From left to right, Sir Howard Bernstein of Manchester City Council, Mark Shepherd and Clive Branson
From left to right, Sir Howard Bernstein of Manchester City Council, Neil Tague of NW Business Insider and Martin Ellerby.
From left to right, Sir Howard Bernstein of Manchester City Council, Neil Tague of NW Business Insider and Martin Ellerby.
From left to right, Sir Howard Bernstein of Manchester City Council, Ian Parker and Jim Swarbrick.
From left to right, Sir Howard Bernstein of Manchester City Council, Ian Parker and Jim Swarbrick.

Journalists praised by the International Building Press
for outstanding writing.

Awards recognise excellence in coverage of the North West’s construction and property communities.

The International Building Press (IBP) held its fourth Annual Regional Journalism Awards at the Lowry Galleries in Salford Quays on 23 October 2008. Sir Howard Bernstein, chief executive of Manchester City Council and Gerald Bowey, chief executive officer of the IBP hosted the ceremony.

Introduced in 2004 the IBP Regional Awards are designed to showcase construction and property journalism at its very best, rewarding some of the finest articles written about the North West in the past year. There are five categories in total which take in national, regional and trade specific publications.

Sir Howard Bernstein addressed the audience, made up of real estate professionals, before presenting the awards, talking about recent regeneration milestones in Greater Manchester and the current TIF bid to tackle congestion.

The winners are as follows:

Best article in a national newspaper: James Wilson, The Financial Times

James’ piece ‘Scaling New Heights’ argued that Manchester deserves its reputation as the UK’s second city, but suggested occupier demand was starting to slow.

The judges said it was:

“A clearly constructed report that delved into Manchester’s expansive property market… bursting with credible quotes and detailed references”

Best article in a regional newspaper: Simon Binns, Crain’s Manchester Business

Simon’s piece asked ‘Why Stay City didn’t stay long at Issa Quay”. It was just one of a number of stories he broke about the BSC Group this year regarding its poor health and safety record, amongst other issues.

The judges said it was:

“Honest and definitively sharp, this article left no stone unturned.”


Journalists praised by the International Building Press
for outstanding writing.

Awards recognise excellence in coverage of the North West’s construction and property communities.


Best article in a national magazine: Deidre Hipwell, Property Week

Deirdre wrote about Barclays, one of Britain’s biggest property lenders, at the heart of a row in 2008’s European Capital of Culture.

The judges said it was:
“A superbly evidenced investigation into Liverpool’s private sector housing… well-researched and constructed.”

Best article in a regional magazine: Neil Tague, North West Business Insider

Neil’s article covered a North West court case in which a managing director of a major property company was prosecuted under the Company Directors Disqualification Act in 2007.

The judges said it was:

“An all-together short and sensitively dealt-with piece.”

Best article in a commercial property supplement: Mark Shepherd, Property Week

Mark produced a feature piece, ‘Manchester’s Broken Dream’, in which he discussed how the “regeneration supernova came crashing down to earth” – covering the BBC’s selection of Salford over Manchester, Barclaycard’s decision not to move into Spinningfields and the current wrangle over transport and a potential for a congestion charge.

The judges said it was:
“An outstandingly detailed and factual analytical property article, holding appeal to readers outside the North West region.”

Best Northwest Property Supplement

Was presented to Denise Chevin, editor at Building magazine in recognition of the stand-alone Liverpool issue of Building published in January 2008. ‘The Many Sides of Liverpool’ examined the city, the people who built it, have written about it, loved it and hated it in the context of its capital of culture accolade. The judges described the special issue as:

“An engaging and fascinating publication offering invaluable and accessible news.”

Gerald Bowey, CEO of the IBP said:

These articles serve to highlight the continuing regeneration and economic growth taking place in the North West, and this year we introduced a whole range of new publications into the Awards scheme, which reflects well on the creative and exciting sector we operate in.”