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The Digital Future? New panel announced for Society Conference

Posted on: September 20, 2019 by Mariella Brown

The digital editor of the UK’s largest newspaper website, Keith Poole of the Sun Online will join delegates at this year’s Society of Editors Conference to discuss The Digital Future: Building audience and future-proofing the newsroom.

Prominent voices of the digital media industry will be joining the discussion, including representatives from Twitter and Reuters Institute as well as The Yorkshire Post.

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

Guiding the panel as chair will be Alison Gow, the digital editor-in-chief of Reach Plc’s regional division. Gow is currently leading Laudable, a Google-funded podcast collaboration with Reach and JPI media, which explores the scope for audio content and innovation in local news.

To explore the role of social media companies in this debate, Jo Kelly, Twitter’s Head of News and Sport Partnerships (EMEA) will be offering her views. Kelly’s team works with publishers and organisations which need support from Twitter to help grow their digital reach, revenue and develop online initiatives.

Also sitting on the panel will be editor of the Yorkshire Post and editorial director of JPI Media Yorkshire, James Mitchinson. From his campaigning work highlighting the North-South divide, Mitchinson will be adept at offering thoughts on the future of a regional newsroom in the digital world.

To consider the concepts behind developing a future-proof newsroom will be Professor Lucy Kueng of Reuters Institute, Oxford University. Professor Kueng is an expert on strategy and innovation; having published multiple books, she brings her expertise on responding to the challenges of digitalisation.

Ian Murray, executive director of the Society of Editors, said: “I can honestly state that no one understands what the future holds for the digital newsroom better than the panellists we have assembled for the Society’s Conference this November. Their insight will be fascinating and extremely valuable to the industry. A must-attend debate.”

Celebrating the 20th anniversary of campaigning for press freedom, the Society conference already holds in store three panels which will debate the most important issues facing our generation.

Major editors such as the Mirror’s Alison Phillips, the Telegraph’s Chris Evans and The Mail on Sunday’s Ted Verity will be debating the changing role of the editor in newsrooms. Further highlights include a debate scrutinising the relevance of investigations, covered by leading investigative editors Jonathan Calvert (The Sunday Times) and Claire Newell (The Telegraph). A panel on press freedom will include the UK’s Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham and MP John Whittingdale. 

Alongside Kate Adie, who will be receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Gala Dinner on 12 November, a host of important keynote speakers are soon to be announced.

The full conference programme for November 12 is available on the Society’s website.

Find out more about our speakers below:

Keith Poole

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).

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.

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

Jo Kelly

Jo Kelly is Head of News and Sports Partnerships for the EMEA at Twitter, where she manages a team of Partner Managers. Her team works with publishers, broadcasters, federations, teams and individuals to support their needs and goals on the platform. This activity spans helping grow reach, revenue and collaborating on innovative initiatives. 

Jo began her career in local and regional journalism and before joining Twitter was Associate Editor at the Daily Mirror where she led the audience engagement team, social team, community team and branded content team. 

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.

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.

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. 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

Picture: Keith Poole, Alison Gow, Professor Lucy Kueng, James Mitchinson

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