Conference 2019

Defending Media Freedom: The 20th Anniversary Conference

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

Tuesday 12 November 2019

Stationers' Hall, London

The 2019 conference also marked our 20th anniversary of the Society of Editors. The head of the Met Police’s counter-terrorism, AC Neil Basu, delivered a keynote speech on the reporting on terror. The morning keynote address was given by lawyer and film-maker Jeremy Bliss as part of his campaign for justice for journalists killed worldwide. 

Panellists included national editors Kamal Ahmed (BBC) and Alison Phillips (Daily Mirror), Chris Evans (Telegraph) and Christian Broughton (The Independent). 

The conference debated the most pressing issues facing our industry and culminated in a celebratory gala dinner at Stationers’ Hall where broadcaster Kate Adie spoke and received a Lifetime Achievement Award for her contribution to journalism. 

Our Speakers

Visit our Speakers page for a detailed list of speakers who took part

Kate Adie

Former BBC news correspondent and leading journalist, Kate Adie, will be honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Society of Editors' celebratory gala dinner.

AC Neil Basu QPM

Neil Basu is the Assistant Commissioner for Specialist Operations in the Metropolitan Police Service and the senior officer in charge of Counter Terrorism policing in the UK; a position he has held since March 2018.

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.

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.

Alessandra Galloni

Alessandra Galloni is Global Managing Editor of Reuters, overseeing journalists in Reuters’ 200 locations around the world. She joined Reuters in September 2013 as Editor of the Southern Europe bureau, after spending 13 years at The Wall Street Journal in various positions as correspondent, economics and business writer and editor in New York, London, Paris and Rome.

Vic Motune

Vic Motune is Head of News at The Voice, the UK’s largest publication aimed at a black British audience. His role involves developing content for the print edition, as well as video and audio content for The Voice’s website and social media platforms.

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.

Charlene White

Charlene White is a journalist and broadcaster for ITV News. She is the main presenter of ITV News London, as well appearing regularly on ITV’s national Lunchtime and Evening News programmes. Charlene has been with ITV News for over a decade and has more than 20 years’ experience in the industry. Before joining ITV News Charlene worked at the BBC.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Christian Broughton

Christian Broughton has been Editor of The Independent since 2016, leading the title’s pioneering transformation from print to digital.

Sarah Brown

Sarah Brown is head of news partnerships for UK/Ireland for Facebook. Prior to joining Facebook, she spent 15 years in international journalism and communications, working for organisations including CNN, BBC and Al Jazeera English in London, Doha and Washington D.C. on the forefront of digital and social media. She is based in London.

Professor Lucy Kueng

Professor Lucy Kueng is an advisor and expert on strategy, innovation and leadership who focuses on successful responses to the challenges of digitalization. Co-located in London and Zurich, she is Senior Research Fellow at the Reuters Institute, Oxford University and Board Member of the NZZ Media Group.

James Mitchinson

James Mitchinson is the Editor of The Yorkshire Post – Britain’s Most Trusted Newspaper – and Editorial Director for JPIMedia Yorkshire, responsible for more than 30 titles and over 100 journalists.

Keith Poole

Keith Poole is the digital editor of the Sun Online and has experience managing two high-profile international news platforms. Having spent time building the MailOnline’s digital brand in the US as its Managing Editor, Keith has managed the Sun’s free website since 2016.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

View the highlights of the 20th Anniversary Conference on Twitter

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