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The AJ is sensational, says presidency runner


I was pleased to receive press coverage of my RIBA presidential campaign launch at MIPIM (AJ 11.3.04), but am surprised the AJ felt the need to sensationalise a story which was perfectly credible and newsworthy in its own right.

Of course the institute should be politically aware, and contribute to policy making that affects the built environment.

This is a world away from 'hardcore politics', as reported by the AJ.

Of course the institute needs to run its affairs effectively, to provide first-class services to members, and to promote architecture - all as laid down in its charter. The RIBA is, after all, a membership organisation and a charity! Again, this is a world away from turning the institute into a 'profit-making machine', as described by the AJ.

The truth is, the AJ already had a sensational news story - an intelligent, talented, business-like and entirely different candidate is standing for RIBA president. So why not back a winner, and tell the story straight?

Valerie Owen, RIBA presidential candidate, London

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