Speakers 2019

Speakers at our 2019 conference included senior editors: Kamal Ahmed (BBC News), Chris Evans (Daily Telegraph), Alison Phillips (Daily Mirror), Christian Broughton (The Independent) and Alessandra Galloni (Reuters).

To find out more about our speakers scroll down to the biographies below. 

Our Speakers

Kate Adie
Recipient of the Society of Editors' Lifetime Achievement Award and former BBC Chief News Correspondent

Kate grew up in Sunderland and gained her BA from Newcastle University where she read Swedish.

She became a familiar figure through her work as BBC Chief News Correspondent. She is considered to be among the most reliable reporters, as well as one of the first British women, sending despatches from danger zones around the world. Kate is also the long-serving presenter of Radio 4’s From Our Own Correspondent and a presenter or contributor to many other radio and television programmes.

As a television news correspondent, Kate’s memorable assignments include both Gulf Wars, four years of war in the Balkans, the final NATO intervention in Kosovo and elections in 2000; the Herald of Free Enterprise disaster at Zeebrugge, the massacre at Dunblane, the Selby rail crash, the SAS lifting of the Iran Embassy Siege in London, the Bologna railway station bombing and the Tiananmen Square protest in Beijing in 1989.

Kate carried out numerous assignments in Northern Ireland throughout “The Troubles” as well as reporting on the referendum to ratify the Good Friday Agreement. Kate covered the Lockerbie bombing and reported from Libya after the London Embassy siege of 1984, reporting from Libya many times thereafter, including the bombing of Tripoli by the US in 1986. She also covered the Rwandan Genocide and the British military intervention in the Sierra Leone Civil War.

She has served as a judge for the Orange Prize for Fiction, now the Women’s Prize for Fiction, and the Whitbread, now the Costa Prize, and recently, the RSL Ondaatje Prize.

Kate has also served as a trustee of the Imperial War Museum and is a trustee of Sunderland Football Foundation.

Kate has honorary degrees from universities including Newcastle, Bath, Nottingham, Cardiff and St Andrews and is Honorary Professor of Journalism at Sunderland University.

Kate was honoured with a Bafta Fellowship in 2018.

Other awards include:

  • Royal Television Society Reporter of the Year 1980, for her coverage of the SAS end to the Iranian Embassy siege.
  • Winner, 1981 & 1990, Monte Carlo International Golden Nymph Award.
  • The Richard Dimbleby BAFTA Award 1990.

Kate received a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list in 2018.

Neil Basu
Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner

Neil Basu is the Assistant Commissioner for Specialist Operations (ACSO) in the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS), and the senior officer in charge of Counter Terrorism (CT) policing in the UK, a position he has held since March 2018. Previously, he was the UK Senior National Co-ordinator for Counter Terrorism, and led the policing contribution to the Government’s CONTEST strategy for Pursue and Prevent. While in this role, he also led the national policing response to five terrorist attacks and 14 disrupted plots since March 2017. Neil has been at the forefront of counter terrorism policing at a time when there has been an unprecedented shift in threat. He has been instrumental in strengthening capability, overseeing closer links with community policing, closer co-operation between intelligence partners, and increased preventative measures to counter radicalisation.

As ACSO, he represents CT Policing in its engagement with Government on operational and policy issues associated with tackling terrorism, espionage and proliferation. This role includes responsibility for the investigation of war crimes, Official Secrets Act offences, and protection of VIPs, members of the Royal family, Embassies and Parliament.

Neil joined the MPS in 1992, having completed a BA (Hons) degree in Economics at Nottingham University, and three years working in banking and sales management.

He is a career detective, having served in every rank from TDC to Detective Superintendent in Territorial Policing (Battersea, Brixton, Streatham, Merton); Anti-Corruption as a DI and DCI with CIB3 2000-2002; as a DCI and SIO with Trident Homicide 2003-2006 (where he dealt with 17 ‘category A’ murders, including the conviction of a double murderer that marked Operation Trident’s first 40-year sentence without parole). In 2006, he transferred to Serious and Organised Crime as a Detective Superintendent running teams tackling drugs and firearms criminality. He was the lead for tackling Turkish, Vietnamese and Chinese organised crime, and performed the role of Kidnap and Extortion Commander. From 2008-2009 he was staff officer to Commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson, and in April 2009 was promoted to Chief Superintendent, becoming Borough Commander of Barnet until January 2012.

In April 2012, he graduated first in class from the Bramshill Strategic Command Course. Since then he has held a variety of Chief Officer roles. He was also the national lead for Less Lethal Weapons from 2013-2016, and introduced the Taser X2 to British policing.

In 2015, Neil was promoted to Deputy Assistant Commissioner in Specialist Operations beginning his Counter Terrorism career as the London lead for Protection and Security. The following year, he became the Senior National Co-ordinator for CT investigations, and in March 2018, was appointed as ACSO, when his first task was dealing with the aftermath of the Salisbury nerve agent attack. Neil has been commended 10 times during his career for bravery, leadership and detective ability, including two Commissioner’s Commendations. He was awarded the Queen’s Police Medal (QPM) for distinguished service in 2016.

Neil is married and enjoys spending time with his wife and three sons.  

Elizabeth Denham
Information Commissioner

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 ICO provides guidance on and regulates key laws such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Data Protection Act 2018, the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR) and Freedom of Information Act 2000.

Elizabeth brings an international dimension to the role with her previous work as Information and Privacy Commissioner for British Columbia and Canada and Assistant Privacy Commissioner of Canada.

Elizabeth was appointed chair of the International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners (ICDPPC) in 2018 which seeks to provide international leadership in data protection and privacy as the premier global forum for data protection authorities.

In the 2019 New Year’s Honours list Elizabeth was awarded Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for services to protecting information. She was also named as the most influential person in data driven business in the 2018 DataIQ 100 list.

Tracy De Groose
Executive Chair of Newsworks

As Executive Chair of Newsworks Tracy is tasked with championing Britain’s vibrant news media to readers and advertisers across the nation. Tracy, who has been in role for one year, is a passionate advocate of free speech, the news industry and the role journa­­­­­lism plays in society.

Prior to this, Tracy was CEO of Dentsu Aegis Network, where she managed the UK & Ireland P&L of 20 media, creative, digital and data agency businesses with over 4,000 people across London, Manchester, Edinburgh and Dublin. Under her leadership the group doubled in size between May 2014 and September 2017.

Tracy’s earlier career saw her tackle some of the UK’s biggest marketing and communications challenges. From the early days of revitalising the Stella Artois brand in the 90s – making it reassuringly expensive and 1998 FMCG Brand of the Year – to turning media agency Carat into the fastest growing network in 2013 and a Sunday Times top company to work for.

A champion and trailblazer for diversity and inclusion, Tracy believes in paving the way for others to follow and regularly prioritises time to mentor, support and guide emerging talent. While at Dentsu, she developed a ‘women and leadership’ programme, launched a diverse creative agency, fortysix, and devised The Code – a secondary schools programme to promote digital and creative skills in schools to make a positive impact on the next generation of talent.

In 2016, Tracy was named one of London’s most influential people in the Evening Standard’s Progress 1000 list and hailed as a ‘Woman to Watch Europe’ by Advertising Age. She also sat on the World Economic Forum’s Future of Innovation and Entrepreneurship Council.

Jeremy Bliss
Lawyer and Film-maker

Jeremy Bliss is an Australian-British filmmaker, writer, and lawyer. Jeremy was Christopher Allen’s cousin and has supported Christopher’s family since the killing in matters including the repatriation, early investigative work, media coordination, lobbying and in instructing the legal team who work now to seek justice. Jeremy is a convener at More United and has contributed to the New Statesman and the Columbia Journalism Review. He is directing a documentary about the killing of Christopher and the road to justice.

He holds a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Arts from Monash University, Sciences-Po and Tel Aviv University and was called to the Supreme Court of Australia in 2012.

Kamal Ahmed
Editorial Director, BBC News

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. He is a member of the Newsgroup Board and the Sounds board. Between 2016 and 2018 Kamal was Economics Editor for the BBC, leading economics coverage for the corporation. He joined the BBC in April 2014 as Business Editor from the Telegraph Media Group where he was Executive Business Editor with responsibility for The Sunday Telegraph’s business and economics coverage.

Between 2007 and 2009 Kamal was Group Director, Communications, at the Equality and Human Rights Commission. Prior to this Kamal was Executive Editor, News, at The Observer and one of the team that lead its relaunch. He has also worked for The Guardian and Scotland on Sunday.

Chris Evans
Editor, The Daily Telegraph

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
Editor, Daily Mirror

Alison first worked as a reporter for the Harlow Star weekly newspaper before going to Leeds University where she was editor of Leeds Student.

She was then a trainee at the Evening Argus in Brighton before joining Connors News Agency and Woman magazine. 

She came to Trinity Mirror (now Reach) in 1998 as a feature writer on the Sunday People magazine. She moved to become Features Editor on the Daily Mirror in 2001.

In 2016 she 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.

She is chair of Reach plc’s Reaching Gender Equality group and Deputy Chair of Women In Journalism. 

She has three children aged between nine and 15. 

Alison is also a regular media commentator and has appeared on such programmes as Question Time, BBC Politics Live and ITV’s This Morning. 

Alessandra Galloni
Global Managing Editor, Reuters

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.

Alessandra is the recipient of an Overseas Press Club Award in the U.S. and a UK Business Journalist of the Year Award. She is co-author of “From the End of the Earth to Rome,” an e-book on Pope Francis. Alessandra, an Italian national, is a graduate of Harvard University and has a Masters degree from the London School of Economics.

Nancy Fielder
Editor, The Star; Sheffield Telegraph; Doncaster Free Press

Nancy Fielder is editor of The Star, Sheffield Telegraph and Doncaster Free Press. She is passionate about using the strength of the local press to fight for the areas they represent. 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. Nancy is a mother of three, recently completed a PhD focusing on the impact on mobiles on the distribution and consumption of local news and takes part in newspaper reviews on both Sky News and the BBC.

Vic Motune
Head of News at The Voice

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.

A journalist whose experience includes print, radio, and television news he has won two Race in the Media Awards for his work and a MIND award for reporting on mental health.

Before joining The Voice, Vic was a producer with 5 Live, creating and producing the weekly magazine show Word Up!

He has also written for publications such as the New Statesman, the Big Issue North, and Mental Health Practice to name a few.

Charlene White
Journalist and Broadcaster, ITV News

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
Investigations Correspondent, BuzzFeed News

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. Jane began her career on the prestigious BBC Journalism Trainee Scheme before becoming one of the youngest senior broadcast journalists at the BBC aged 24, and going on to work as a producer at Panorama. She freelanced for the likes of Dispatches, PBS Frontline, and the New York Times before joining BuzzFeed UK’s founding investigations team in 2015.

Tom Bristow
Head of Archant Investigations Unit

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.

His stories have led to criminal convictions and his work has been shortlisted for the British Journalism Awards and long listed for the Orwell Prize.

After graduating from Edinburgh University with a Masters in History and German in 2009, Tom joined the Press Association training course in Newcastle and has been working as a journalist ever since.

He has also worked for the Liverpool Echo and The Local in Berlin.

Jonathan Calvert
Insight Editor, The Sunday Times

Jonathan Calvert is the longest serving editor of the Insight team in its 50 year history, having held the job for 14 years. His first scoop for the team was exposing the cash for questions scandal as an undercover Insight reporter in 1994, and he was head-hunted soon afterwards to become investigations editor at The Observer where he oversaw a string of major exclusives. Since returning to his real home at The Sunday Times Jonathan has taken the helm of the Insight team and steered it through long line of famous exclusives – such as the Fifa files investigation which made waves around the world. He has been won a multitude of journalism awards, including Scoop of the Year on three occasions and Journalist of the Year at the British Press Awards.   

Paul Henderson
Deputy Editor, Daily Mirror

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.

He has previously worked as Royal Correspondent for the Daily Star; spent a decade as Chief Investigative Reporter at the Daily Mail; held a role as Daily Express Chief Reporter and was News Editor and Investigations Editor at the Mail on Sunday.

Over his career he secured first interviews with Buckingham Palace cat burglar Michael Fagan; led a team to the Far East to interview Pamella Bordes after the House of Commons sex scandal and interviewed the accused Lockerbie bombers in Colonel Gaddafi’s Tripoli. While at the Mail on Sunday, his investigation into Jeffrey Archer’s bagman Michael Stacpoole ultimately led to the Tory Peer being jailed for perjury.

Last year as Sunday Mirror Interim Editor, he published the result of an 18-month investigation led by Geraldine McKelvie into the Telford child sex abuse, which gained the paper Sunday Newspaper of the Year.  

Claire Newell
Investigations Editor, The Telegraph

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. Their work has led to political inquiries, police investigations and changes to legislation.

Jodie Ginsberg
CEO, Index on Censorship

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.

Prior to joining Index, Jodie worked as a foreign correspondent and business journalist and was UK Bureau Chief for Reuters news agency.

She sits on the council of global free expression network IFEX and the board of the Trust for The Bureau of Investigative Journalism, and is a regular commentator in international media on freedom of expression issues.

The Rt Hon John Whittingdale
Former Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport

John Whittingdale has been Member of Parliament for Maldon in Essex since 1992. Prior to his election, he served as Political Secretary to Margaret Thatcher from 1988 until in 1992.

In 2001 John was appointed Shadow Secretary of State for Trade and Industry and later Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport. 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.

Following the 2015 General Election, John was appointed Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport and became a member of the Privy Council. Following David Cameron’s resignation, he became a member of the new Select Committee on Exiting the European Union and in 2017 was elected Vice Chairman of the Committee.

John is Chairman of the British Group of the Inter Parliamentary Union and a full member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe. He is also Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Groups for Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova and Lithuania and Chairman of the All Party Writers Group and the All Party Group for Media Freedom.

John Battle
Head of Compliance, ITN

John Battle is Head of Compliance at ITN, the television production company that produces ITV News, Channel 4 News and 5 News.  ITN Productions also produces documentaries/ current affairs programmes for domestic and international broadcasters.  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.  Recently he led the legal advice on Channel 4 News’ Cambridge Analytica/Facebook investigation. 

John initially worked as a criminal law barrister before working as an in-house lawyer for two major newspaper groups, Associated Newspapers and News UK.  He is the chair of the Media Lawyers Association and has been a key industry figure in lobbying for greater openness in the courts – including the CPS Media Protocol and filming courts and inquiries.   John also teaches in-house the NCTJ Court Reporting and Media Law courses.

Martin Breen
Editor, Sunday Life

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. A board member of the Society of Editors, he also sits on the Independent News and Media executive team which manages the company’s print and digital interests in Northern Ireland including the Belfast Telegraph. The 42-year-old is also an industry adviser for the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ) for their courses in the region.

Alison Gow
Editor in Chief (Digital) for Regionals Division, Reach PLC.

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.

Alison is a former newspaper editor and digital editor, with titles including WalesOnline, the Daily Post and the Liverpool Echo. 

Christian Broughton
Editor of the Independent

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

Having started his career at The Independent while at university, Christian has held a number of positions across a range of departments, from weekend magazines to sport, and from news to daily features.

In 2012, while Night Editor of the paper, he was appointed Digital Editor, and has since overseen the expansion of the digital newsroom to more than 100 staff journalists in nine countries, as well as huge audience growth, reaching 120 million monthly unique browsers.

Now The Independent is a profitable and growing news organisation with global reach and influence, Christian is busy expanding the title in the US and UK, and supporting the development of reader revenues.

Sarah Brown
Head of News Partnerships for UK/ Ireland at Facebook

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
Senior Research Fellow, Reuters Institute, Oxford University

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. Lucy keynotes frequently at international conferences and is the author of numerous books and cases including Going Digital, Innovators in Digital NewsStrategic Management in the Media (winner of the AEMJM Media Management Book Award), Inside the BBC and CNN – Managing Media Organizations, and When Innovation Fails to Disrupt, the Case of BBC News Online

James Mitchinson
Editor of The Yorkshire Post and Editorial Director for JPIMedia Yorkshire

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.

A married dad of two young boys, James has become a high profile campaigning editor on behalf of the North of England, highlighting the impact on communities brought about by the inequalities of the North – South divide.

He began his career as a journalist in 2001 at the Worksop Guardian, a paper he delivered as a boy.

Keith Poole
Digital Editor, The Sun Online

Keith started in journalism in 1997, through the graduate trainee scheme of a local newspaper group in Kent. He was a reporter there for two years before becoming a reporter for Press Association. From there Keith joined the Evening Standard as a reporter before taking the leap to news editing back at PA on their national and international desk.

Joining the Daily Mail in 2002 on the news desk, Keith rose to become the paper’s youngest ever News Editor at the age of 30 in 2007. He was then promoted to assistant editor with a more overarching news and production role before taking the leap to digital with MailOnline in 2011.

Keith spent three years in New York with MailOnline as Managing Editor to establish it as one of the biggest US digital news brands, where it won widespread domestic recognition for its unrivalled coverage of many of the country’s biggest news events. He returned to the UK in 2014 to open a global desk for MailOnline before taking on the challenge of The Sun’s new free website in January 2016.

Keith is a married father of three young children who lives in Richmond, Surrey. He’s a lapsed drummer, cyclist, avid reader of sci-fi and historical novels and loves travelling the world (when he has the chance).

Look out for further speaker announcements coming soon.