Conference 2019

Defending Media Freedom: The 20th Anniversary Conference

The Society of Editors marks two decades of campaigning to protect and maintain press freedoms in the UK at its annual conference this year.

Tuesday November 12

Stationers’ Hall, London

Considered a highlight of the media calendar, the conference returns to London this year with the theme one of celebrating the successes of the last 20 years in preserving vital media freedoms, while looking ahead to battles yet to come.

The conference will be held at Stationers’ Hall on Tuesday November 12 and will include a Gala Dinner to mark the Society’s anniversary.

Senior national editors Ted Verity (Mail on Sunday), Alison Phillips (Daily Mirror) and Chris Evans (The Telegraph) are confirmed as panellists. The UK’s Information Commissioner, Elizabeth Denham, will also be speaking as well as James Harding, editor and co-founder of Tortoise and Kamal Ahmed, Editorial Director of BBC News. 

A Lifetime Achievement Award will be awarded to former BBC Chief News Correspondent, Kate Adie, for her outstanding contribution to journalism. 

Our Speakers

Visit our Speakers page for a detailed list of speakers taking part

Elizabeth Denham

Elizabeth Denham became the UK’s Information Commissioner in 2016. The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is the UK’s regulator for data protection and information rights. It enforces the law, both civil and criminal, against organisations that have violated data protection rules.

Kamal Ahmed

Kamal Ahmed is Editorial Director of BBC News, responsible for the daily News Editors; Question Time; News Analysis and Explanation (including Reality Check and Long Reads); Radio 1 News including on digital platforms and Digital Current Affairs (including for BBC III). He also has responsibility for visual journalism, including data, graphics and the BBC News brand.

Chris Evans

Chris Evans has been editor of The Telegraph since 2014. He was head of news at The Telegraph from 2007 to 2014. Before The Telegraph, he worked at The Daily Mail (1995 – 2007) and at South West News Service in Bristol (1992 – 1995). He is a graduate of Brasenose College, Oxford.

Alison Phillips

In 2016 Alison was made Deputy Editor-in-Chief of the Trinity Mirror papers and in 2018 was named as the Editor of the Daily Mirror, making her its first female editor since its very first editor in 1903. She has also written a weekly column in the Mirror since 2012. In 2018 she was named “Columnist of the Year” at the National Press Awards.

Ted Verity

Editor of The Mail on Sunday Ted joined The Mail on Sunday in 2002 as Associate Editor, following which he spent four years in Ireland where he first launched the Irish Mail on Sunday and later the Irish Daily Mail. In 2008 he returned to London and the Mail on Sunday – as Executive Editor then Deputy Editor – before becoming Deputy Editor of the Daily Mail.

James Harding

James Harding is Co-Founder and Editor of Tortoise. Prior to this, James was the Director of News and Current Affairs at the BBC, the world’s largest news organisation, until January 2018. Prior to that he was Editor of The Times of London from 2007-2012, winning the Newspaper of the Year in two of the five years he edited the paper. 

Kate Adie

Former BBC news correspondent and leading journalist, Kate Adie, will be honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

Claire Newell

Claire Newell is the Telegraph’s Investigation Editor. In recent years, she has exposed corruption and greed in English football and allegations of sexual and racial harassment against Sir Philip Green. Claire and her team are committed to holding the powerful to account.

Paul Henderson

Paul Henderson is currently the Daily Mirror’s Deputy Editor and has worked as Executive Editor (Seven Days) when he joined the Mirror in 2010.

Jane Bradley

Jane Bradley is a Pulitzer Prize finalist and award-winning investigations correspondent at BuzzFeed News. Her work on abuses of power, dirty money and national security has led to criminal convictions, resignations, government inquiries and led front pages around the world. 

Tom Bristow

Tom Bristow leads the award-winning Archant Investigations Unit. He produces and edits in-depth articles for titles including the Eastern Daily Press, Norwich Evening News, East Anglian Daily Times and Ham & High.

Jodie Ginsberg

Jodie Ginsberg is chief executive of global freedom of expression organisation, Index on Censorship. Index publishes work by censored writers and artists and campaigns against censorship worldwide.

The Rt Hon John Whittingdale MP

John Whittingdale MP is a former Culture Secretary and the Chairman of the All Party Group for Media Freedom. In July 2005 he was elected Chairman of the House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee, a position that he held for 10 years.

Nancy Fielder

Nancy Fielder is editor of The Star, Sheffield Telegraph and Doncaster Free Press. Nancy worked at several local newspapers including Newbury Weekly News, Shropshire Star, Express & Star and the Derbyshire Times group before becoming the first woman to edit a newspaper in her hometown of Sheffield.

Alison Gow

Alison Gow is editor in chief (digital) for the regionals division of Reach plc. She is currently running Laudable, a Google-funded collaboration between Reach and JPI Media to innovate and investigate opportunities for podcasts and audio for local news.

Martin Breen

Martin Breen has been editor of Sunday Life newspaper in Belfast since 2009. Investigations by the paper have exposed numerous criminal and terrorist elements in Northern Ireland which has led to reporters facing several terrorist threats due to their work.

John Battle

John Battle is Head of Compliance at ITN, the television production company that produces ITV News, Channel 4 News and 5 News. His role entails advising editorial teams on legal and regulatory issues such as libel, contempt of court, copyright, data protection, privacy and the Ofcom Broadcasting Code.


To book please contact Angela Upton

Please note – this year we are not providing accommodation. However, you may find more information on the venue and local hotels by visiting this link

Early bird discount £50 if booked before 19 September. 

  Members Non-Members
Day conference plus gala dinner £419 + VAT                         £494 + VAT
Day conference only                                       £299 + VAT                         £349 + VAT


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