Speakers

Booking is now open for the Society of Editors’ Media Freedom Conference 2023, The Future of News, 15 March 2023, Leonardo Royal Hotel, London City. 

A full list of confirmed speakers will appear below as they are announced. To enquire about speaker or sponsorship opportunities please email claire.meadows@societyofeditors.org. 

Information on how to book can be found here

Our Speakers

Jo Adetunji
Editor, The Conversation UK

Jo Adetunji is Editor of The Conversation UK, which publishes articles written by academic experts via a newsroom of journalists, and was previously a reporter at The Guardian. She is passionate about supporting journalism that is healthy and thriving, and is a trustee of the Public Interest News Foundation which champions independent publishers. She was a member of the Cairncross Review into press sustainability in the UK and is on the board of the British Journalism Review. She is also a keen supporter of the NCTJ’s Journalism Diversity Fund. 


Kamal Ahmed
President, Society of Editors, and Co-founder and Editor-in-Chief, The News Movement

Kamal is co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of The News Movement, a new media business focused on social media channels, new audiences and digital consumption. He is also a partner in the strategic advisory firm, WJL Partners.

Between 2018 and 2021, Kamal was Editorial Director of BBC News, working across news strategy, daily news and planning, commissioning, analysis, visual and audio journalism and new forms of digital content. He was a member of the Newsgroup Board and the Sounds board.

Between 2016 and 2018 Kamal was Economics Editor at BBC News, 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 responsible 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 and before that was Executive Editor, News, at The Observer. Between 2000 and 2004, Kamal was Political Editor of The Observer, covering Tony Blair’s premiership. He has also worked at The Guardian and Scotland on Sunday.

In December 2022, Kamal was elected as President of the Society of Editors. 


Professor Charlie Beckett
Founding Director, Polis and Head of the Polis/LSE Journalism and AI research project

Charlie Beckett is a professor in the Media and Communications Department at LSE. He is the founding director of Polis, the LSE’s international journalism think-tank. Since 2018 he has been leading the Polis JournalismAI project, a global network of news organisations working on research, training and innovation around artificial intelligence and journalism. Before joining the LSE, he was a senior film-maker and editor at the BBC and ITN’s Channel 4 News.


Maria Breslin
Editor, Liverpool Echo

Maria was appointed editor of the Liverpool Echo in July 2020 becoming the first woman editor in the title’s long history. She previously served as senior editor and executive editor digital leading the Liverpool newsroom’s digital first transformation back in 2015.

Maria joined the Echo in 2007 as head of content having previously worked on sister title the North Wales Daily Post as news editor. 

A journalist with the Press Association’s North West bureau for five years, Maria covered many big stories and events including the Lockerbie bombing and Harold Shipman trials, the Macpherson report into the racist killing of Stephen Lawrence and the Queen’s Golden Jubilee celebrations. 

Maria’s passion is to improve diversity in the industry and in the Liverpool newsroom ensuring our journalists and the stories they write better represent the communities we serve across the City Region. 


Rebecca Camber
Crime and Security Editor, Daily Mail and Chair, CRA

Rebecca is the Chair of the Crime Reporters Association (CRA), a group of specialist journalists covering crime and policing across print, broadcast and new media. She first joined the CRA 13 years ago and was elected Chair in 2019, becoming the first woman to lead the organisation since its inception in 1945. The award-winning journalist joined the Daily Mail 17 years ago as a general news reporter and moved onto the crime desk in 2010. In 2020 she became Crime and Security Editor, the first woman in the paper’s history to hold that role.


Conor Matchett
Deputy Political Editor, The Scotsman

Conor is the deputy political editor at The Scotsman where he has worked on the politics beat since June 2020 with a focus on government transparency. He started his career at the Eastern Daily Press in Norfolk before moving back to Scotland in 2019 for a job on the Edinburgh Evening News. After moving to the sister title, The Scotsman, in the midst of the pandemic, he focused on the impact of the Covid-19 on care homes and the cover-ups at the heart of government which saw the scale of care home deaths in individual care homes withheld from the public unlawfully until after the Holyrood election. He has also focused on potentially dodgy deals between the Scottish Government and private business, most notably Sanjeev Gupta of GFG Alliance. His work on the deal done with Mr Gupta to save the Lochaber Smelter was part of the entry which won Regional Journalist of the Year at the Media Freedom Awards. Conor is most often found in the Scottish Parliament causing mischief with freedom of information requests and adding to the mountain of work of the Scottish Information Commissioner. Originally from York, he comes from a tradition of local journalism in Northern Ireland and the north of England despite the warnings of his mother to do anything but become a journalist.


Catherine Mayer
Journalist and best-selling author of the royal biography of King Charles III: 'King Charles: Heart of a King'

Catherine is a journalist and the co-founder of the Women’s Equality Party and Primadonna Festival. She is the author of four books including The Sunday Times’ bestselling biography of the king, Charles: The Heart of a King. Catherine has previously worked on staff at The Economist, held deputy editorships at Business Traveller and International Management magazines and spent 11 years as a foreign correspondent for the German news weekly, FOCUS. In 2004, she joined TIME as a senior editor, later becoming its London Bureau Chief, TIME Europe Editor and, finally, Editor at Large. She has served as president of the Foreign Press Association in London, stood for election to the European Parliament, headed up a think tank about the impacts of data-driven technology and performed a one-woman show on the same subject. Since the death of her husband, she runs his music estate and a recording studio.


Russell Myers
Royal Editor, Daily Mirror

Russell is the Royal Editor at the Daily Mirror and a regular guest on ITV’s Lorraine. He is an award-winning British journalist and broadcaster based in the UK. He is also the co-host of the British Press Awards-winning weekly royal podcast, Pod Save the Queen. In the Daily Mirror, Russell also works as a Chief Investigative Reporter.


Nic Newman
Senior Research Fellow, Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism

Nic is Senior Research Fellow at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism where he is lead author of the annual Digital News Report, the world’s largest on-going study of consumer behaviour around news covering 46 countries. He also authors an influential annual report on journalism and technology trends and has published a recent report on how publishers are using TikTok to attract younger audiences. Other research interests include podcasts and digital audio, new storytelling formats, social media and misinformation and trust in news. Nic also works as a consultant helping media companies with product strategy, data metrics, and digital transformation. He was a founding member of the BBC News Website in 1997 where he led international coverage. As Head of Product Development and Engineering for BBC News he helped introduce innovations such as apps, blogs, podcasting and on-demand video. For ten years he led digital teams, developing websites, mobile and interactive TV applications for News, Sport, Weather and Local.


Roya Nikkhah
Royal Editor, The Sunday Times

Roya is the Royal Editor for The Sunday Times and a leading presenter and commentator for major television and radio networks. A former Royal and Arts Correspondent for The Sunday Telegraph, Roya has more than 12 years of experience in royal coverage, breaking exclusive stories and covering major royal events. She has secured exclusive interviews with members of the royal family including His Majesty the King and the Duke of Sussex. Over the Platinum Jubilee in 2022, Roya co-anchored the BBC’s coverage of the National Service of Thanksgiving with David Dimbleby. In 2021, she joined Huw Edwards for the BBC’s official coverage of the death and funeral of the Duke of Edinburgh.


Sophie Peachey
Producer and Journalist, The News Movement

Sophie Peachey is a Producer and Journalist at The News Movement in London. She studied Politics and International Relations at the University of Bristol, and then did a Masters in Television Journalism at City University – gaining a BJTC Journalism qualification. After her training, she freelanced as a self-shooting video journalist for Press Association, filming prominent figures and breaking stories across the capital. She then went on to work as a staff video journalist at The Independent, before her current role at TNM. Sophie covers a wide breadth of topics, including Royal coverage, the Ukraine conflict and protests in Iran. Recently she has been working on investigations into the Brixton Academy crush and the rise and fall of Andrew Tate. 


Alison Phillips
Editor-in-chief, Daily Mirror

Alison is the Editor-in-Chief of the Mirror across print and online. She got her start as a reporter at the Harlow Star, before joining the Sunday People magazine at what was then Trinity Mirror in 1998 and becoming features editor. She was later made deputy editor-in-chief across the group before being appointed Editor of the Daily Mirror and eventually Editor-in-Chief across the Mirror. She is the current chair of the Women in Journalism organisation and vice-president of the Society of Editors. She lives in London and has three children.


Gabriel Pogrund
Whitehall Editor, The Sunday Times

Gabriel  is Whitehall Editor at The Sunday Times. He recently won Scoop of the Year at the 2022 London Press Club Awards for his reports revealing that King Charles’s aides fixed an honour for a Saudi donor. The Metropolitan Police continues to investigate. He won the Anti-Corruption Prize at the 2021 British Journalism Awards for his reporting on the Greensill scandal, having broken the story of David Cameron’s texts to Rishi Sunak. Gabriel was Stern Fellow at the Washington Post, where he covered Congress, the Supreme Court and the midterm elections during the Trump presidency. He previously won Young Journalist of the Year at the British Press Awards. In 2018, Gabriel revealed that the MP Charlie Elphicke, now a convicted sex-offender, had been accused of serious crimes, prompting him to launch a years-long and ultimately fruitless legal battle against the Sunday Times. He is the author of Left Out: the Inside Story of Labour Under Corbyn, which was a Guardian, Telegraph and Times Book of the Year.


Tom Richell
Head of Multimedia, The Independent

Tom Richell is The Independent’s Head of Multimedia. He joined the publication in 2017 as Head of Video, before moving into a more broad role two years later. He leads a global team of more than 20 journalists, producers and editors covering a wide variety of topics in news, sport, culture and lifestyle.

At the end of 2020 Tom launched Independent TV, a video-first brand to focus on high quality, original production video – with marquee shows such as Behind The Headlines, On The Ground and Decomplicated now featuring regularly. Independent TV has gone on to gain millions of views across The Independent’s website and social media, and has recently launched on Connected TV apps.

In 2022 Tom was included in The Future 100 Club by The Media Leader, a group the “most exciting individuals shaping the industry”. Tom was also featured in the Future of News series by Newsworks,

Prior to The Independent, Tom worked as a Video Producer for The Sun in London. Before making the move into the national press, Tom was a reporter and producer in the local TV network at Made in Bristol, having launched the channel in 2014. He has also worked as a reporter for The Big Issue magazine in Cape Town, South Africa.

Tom discovered his passion and talent for filming and editing video while studying Journalism at the University of the West of England.


Sophia Smith Galer
Senior News Reporter, VICE World News

Sophia is a multi-award-winning journalist, author and TikTok creator with over 130 million views. She is a Senior News Reporter for VICE World News, a Visiting Fellow at Brown University, and is currently shortlisted as Health Journalist of the Year at the British Press Awards. 

In 2022 she was selected for the Forbes under 30 list, British Vogue’s list of the UK’s 25 most influential women, and her first book, Losing It: Sex Education for the 21st Century, was published by Harper Collins to critical acclaim.

She is credited with pioneering TikTok as a newsgathering and publishing platform, winning Innovation of the Year at the British Journalism Awards in 2021, and speaks internationally about her investigations across sexual and reproductive health rights.


Hannah Storm
Founder and co-director, Headlines Network

Hannah Storm is the Founder and Co-Director of Headlines Network. She is the former CEO of the International News Safety Institute and the Ethical Journalism Network, as well as a sought-after speaker, facilitator, trainer and writer. Hannah co-authored the first study into moral injury and the media for the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism with Professor Anthony Feinstein and has written extensively at the intersection of gender, mental health, physical and online safety. She is also a qualified Mental Health First Aider with MHFA England. Outside her journalism work, she’s an award-winning author of flash fiction and an accomplished marathon runner, and she finds writing and running hugely beneficial for her mental health. 


Ben Taylor
Editor, The Sunday Times

Ben Taylor was recently announced as Editor of The Sunday Times. Ben joined The Sunday Times in 2020 as Deputy Editor, prior to which he served as Executive Editor at the Daily Mail. He spent 22 years at the Daily Mail in a number of roles including Crime Correspondent and News Editor. He is a French graduate and trained at South Glamorgan Institute in Cardiff before starting his professional life on local newspapers in Birmingham.


Camilla Tominey
Associate Editor, The Daily Telegraph

Camilla is Associate Editor covering Politics and Royals at The Daily Telegraph and presents a weekly Sunday afternoon radio programme for LBC. Camilla is also the resident royal expert for ITV’s This Morning and appears frequently on royal documentaries on BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5. Camilla was formerly Political Editor, Royal Editor and columnist for the Sunday Express. 


Sarah Whitehead
Deputy Head of Newsgathering, Sky News

Sarah is Deputy Head of Newsgathering. She joined Sky in 2011 as Head of International News and moved to be Head of Home News in 2014. Sarah joined Sky from the BBC where she was Deployments editor in foreign News and Strand Editor on the BBC News Channel. In the 16 years she spent at the BBC she had an eclectic career involving working in documentaries, drama and news.


Look out for further speaker announcements coming soon.