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Kamal Ahmed to chair ‘Role of the Editor’ panel at Society’s Anniversary Conference

The ‘Role of the Editor in the Evolving Newsroom’ will be debated at the Society of Editors’ Annual Conference on November 12.

The panel will be chaired by Kamal Ahmed, the Editorial Director of BBC News. Formerly the BBC’s Economics Editor, Kamal now manages various BBC outlets including the daily News Editors; Question Time and Digital Current Affairs.

Alison Phillips, Editor of the Daily Mirror and moreover, the first female editor since its very first editor in 1903, will also be present to give her own unique view on the responsibilities of a modern age editor.

Chris Evans, Editor of The Telegraph, will also join the panel. Having worked at the Daily Mail for 12 years, Chris became head of news at The Telegraph before taking up editorship in 2014.  

Editor of The Mail on Sunday and former Daily Mail Royal Reporter, Ted Verity will also be in attendance.

Passionate about using the strength of the local press, Nancy Fielder, Editor of The Star, Sheffield Telegraph and Doncaster Free Press will be present to provide a regional outlook on the panel discussion.

Reuters Global Managing Editor, Alessandra Galloni, will also be speaking on the panel to provide her expertise from the more global perspective of news editing.

Ian Murray, the Society of Editors’ executive director said:

“In a fast-changing media world the role of the editor would seem ever more vital.

How editors of some of the most important news operations are seeing this change and their thoughts on the future of the role will make fascinating and compulsive listening at this year’s conference.” 

This year, to mark the 20th Anniversary of the Society, a Gala Dinner will be held at Stationers’ Hall in London. At the celebrations, former BBC Chief News Correspondent Kate Adie will deliver an address and receive a Lifetime Achievement Award for her life-long commitment to journalism.

Also speaking at the conference will be editors James Harding (Tortoise), Jonathan Calvert (Insight Editor, The Sunday Times) and Claire Newell (Investigations Editor, The Telegraph).

A panel discussing the state of Press Freedom in the UK will also be debated with panellists Elizabeth Denham (UK Information Commissioner), The Rt Hon John Whittingdale MP, Martin Breen (Editor, Sunday Life) and John Battle (Head of Compliance, ITN).

The programme as it stands is available on the Society’s website. Early bird booking ends on 19 September – do book now to avoid missing out.

Find out more about our speakers below:

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. 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.

Alison Phillips

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 fifteen. 

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

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.

Ted Verity

Ted Verity cut his teeth as a reporter on the Stoke Evening Sentinel before joining the Daily Mail as a News reporter in 1991.

For two years Ted was Royal Reporter – climbing Everest with the Duchess of York and touring Australia with Prince Charles – before being made Femail Editor in 1996.

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.

In September 2018 Ted, who is married to wife Joanne with a six-year-old-son Archie, was appointed Editor of The Mail on Sunday.

Nancy Fielder

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.