Speakers and Chairs

Jackie Ashley, Journalist and Broadcaster and President, Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge

Jackie has been President of Lucy Cavendish College since September 2015. Her career started in 1979, as a BBC trainee. A rich and varied working life has followed, including roles such as Producer and Newsreader on Newsnight, Political Correspondent with ITN, Channel 4 politics producer, Presenter of several political programmes on BBC2  and ITV and Political Editor at the New Statesman. In her previous role – as a Columnist and Political Interviewer at The Guardian – Jackie has covered Labour, Conservative and Coalition politics, women’s rights, the media and public services, with a particular focus on health. She has also closely followed the weekly political argument as the presenter of BBC Radio 4’s The Week in Westminster.

Lionel Barber, Editor, Financial Times

Since his appointment in 2005, Barber has helped solidify the FT’s position as one of the first publishers to successfully transform itself into a multichannel news organisation. During Barber’s tenure, the FT has won numerous global prizes for its journalism, including Newspaper of the Year, Overseas Press Club, Gerald Loeb and Society of Publishers in Asia awards.

Barber has received several distinguished awards, including the St George Society medal of honour and the Legion d’Honneur for his contribution to journalism. He serves on the Board of Trustees at the Tate and the Carnegie Corporation of New York.

Peter Barron, Vice President, Communications and Public Affairs, Google

Peter Barron is Vice President of Communications and Public Affairs for Europe, Middle East and Africa at Google. He joined Google in 2008.

Previously he was editor of BBC2’s Newsnight from 2004-2008 and worked in TV News and Current Affairs for nearly twenty years.

He has also been deputy editor at Channel 4 News and Tonight with Trevor McDonald and devised and edited the BBC Current Affairs drama-documentary series If…

David Bartlett, Editor, Cambridge News


David became editor-in-chief of the Cambridge News in August 2016.

Prior to working in Cambridge, he spent nine years at the Liverpool Echo and had the privilege of reporting and managing some of the biggest stories in Liverpool where he undertook a number of roles including executive editor for live news.

Yavuz Baydar, Co-founder, P24 and Editor, Ahval

Yavuz Baydar is an award-winning Turkish journalist. In December 2013, Baydar co-founded the independent media platform, P24, Punto24, to monitor the media sector of Turkey, as well as organizing surveys, and training workshops. Baydar currently writes commentary in Turkish for Köln-based online news site, Arti Gercek. Until the coup attempt in July 2016, he wrote opinion columns for the liberal daily Ozgur Dusunce and, and in English, daily Today’s Zaman, on domestic and foreign policy issues related to Turkey, and media matters, which all had to cease publications due to political oppression and clampdown. Baydar was given the Special Award of the European Press Prize (EPP), for ‘excellence in journalism’, along with the Guardian and Der Spiegel in 2014.

Pete Clifton, Editor-in-Chief, Press Association

Pete is responsible for PA’s editorial content across all formats. He also leads the continuing transformation of the agency to a digital-focused, multi-platform business. Pete joined PA from MSN in 2015, after three years leading its 70-strong editorial team. Before that, he spent 15 years at the BBC in a number of senior editorial roles including Head of Editorial Development, Head of News Interactive, Editor of the BBC News website and launch Editor of the BBC Sport website.

Cressida Dick, Metropolitan Police Commissioner

A former Superintendent of Thames Valley Police, Cressida Dick joined the Metropolitan Police in 1983. In 2001 she took a career break and returned to the Met as a Commander. Commander Dick undertook a number of roles across the MPS including heading up the Met’s Diversity Unit, followed by Operation Trident which had been formed to tackle an increase in gang violence.

She was appointed as the Deputy Assistant Commissioner for Security and Protection in 2006, before becoming the Assistant Commissioner for the Specialist Crime Directorate in 2009. In 2011 she became the Assistant Commissioner for Specialist Operations responsible for countering terrorism and extremism as well as specialist units including royal, diplomatic, and government protection.

Cressida Dick was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire and retired from the Met Police in 2015. She joined the Foreign and Commonwealth Office as a Director General. She was appointed to Commissioner in February 2017.

Alan Edmunds, Editorial Director, Trinity Mirror Regionals

Alan was appointed editorial director in June having previously held the role of deputy editorial director.

A former editor-in-chief and managing director of Media Wales which he joined in 1986, Alan has held various reporter and management titles with the company before becoming Editor of Wales on Sunday in 1997 and later took the helm of icWales (now WalesOnline) and the Western Mail.

He has 20 years of experience as an editor. Alan also sits on the International Advisory Board of Cardiff Business School.

Chris Evans, Editor, The Telegraph

Chris Evans is Editor of The Telegraph, a role he has held since 2014. He joined the business in 2007, and was previously News Editor and Head of News. Evans started his career in Bristol at news agency, South West News Service, which he joined after leaving Oxford University.

He spent 11 years at the Daily Mail, spending stints as a general reporter and in the Femail department before becoming News Editor.

He was born in Walsall and went to King Edward School in Birmingham. He lives in London with his wife and two children.

Jodie Ginsberg, Chief Executive, Index on Censorship

Jodie is chief executive of Index on Censorship. Founded in 1972, Index has published some of the greatest writers and campaigners of the age and helped lead campaigns such as libel law reform in the UK.

Jodie joined Index in 2014. She was formerly a foreign correspondent and business journalist with Reuters, working in South Africa and Ireland before taking up the post of Reuters’ Bureau Chief in London in 2010.

Jodie has also worked as Head of Communications for Camfed, a charity that supports girls and young women in Africa through education, and at think tank Demos.

Richard Gizbert, Presenter, The Listening Post, Al Jazeera

Richard Gizbert created The Listening Post for Al Jazeera and has hosted the programme since its debut in 2006. Prior to that he spent 11 years as a London correspondent for ABC News (US), doing extensive war reporting in the former Yugoslavia, Chechnya, Rwanda and Somalia.

Prior to joining ABC News, Gizbert worked in Canada, covering federal politics and co-presenting special events coverage. For his reporting on CFTO-TV of a hostage situation at the House of Commons, Gizbert received the National Award for Breaking News Coverage. Gizbert grew up in Ottawa area. He plays guitar and ice hockey, both badly.

Alison Gow, Editor-in-Chief (Digital), Trinity Mirror Regionals

Daily Post Editor Alison GowAlison was appointed Editor-in-Chief of Trinity Mirror’s digital output in June 2017. In her former role as Editor of Digital Innovation for Trinity Mirror Regionals, she was responsible for developing new ways of digital storytelling, exploring tools and platforms to source, curate and present information, and engage audiences.

A former daily newspaper editor, she has worked in regional journalism for more than 20 years, and has specialised in digital journalism since 2008.

Toby Granville, Editorial Development Director, Newsquest

Toby has been the Editorial Development Director at Newsquest since February 2015 and responsible for transforming its editorial departments into multimedia newsrooms. He began his career in 1990 at the Sunday People and gained his first byline in a national newspaper at the age of 17.

He achieved his first editorship at the age of 26 at The Wharf which won Newspaper of the Year under his leadership. Since joining Newsquest in 2002 Toby has edited a number of its leading award-winning daily titles such as the Dorset Echo and Bournemouth Daily Echo and was named Editor of the Year in 2011.

Heather Harris, Executive Editor, Bloomberg

Heather is the Senior Executive Editor for Bloomberg News in Europe, Africa and the Middle East, supervising a staff of more than 650 reporters and editors in the region. She joined Bloomberg as a reporter in Frankfurt in 1995 covering the German economy and bond market after an internship at the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

She became editor for European utilities and industrials coverage in 1999 and German bureau chief from 2001-2005. Ms. Harris moved to London in 2006 as bureau chief before taking on EMEA-wide coverage of companies from 2010-2013. She has been in her current role, overseeing all of EMEA editorial, for four years.

Ronan Harris, Managing Director, Google UK and Ireland


Ronan is MD of Google UK. Prior to this he was VP of Google EMEA and Head of Google’s operations in Ireland. Ronan joined Google’s EMEA headquarters in Dublin in 2005. Since then he has focused on growing the company’s online advertising sales across EMEA and also launched several other Google products and initiatives in the region.

He began his career with Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation at their Information Storage Products division in Japan. He went on to spend nine years in Japan working in consulting and technology and returned to Ireland in 2001 to work in private equity before joining Google.

Rob Irvine, Editor in Chief, Manchester Evening News

Rob has been editor in chief of the Manchester Evening News since April 2012. He also oversees the MEN Media weekly titles and the Huddersfield Examiner.

Rob has been in journalism for more than 30 years starting out at the Warrington Guardian, Chester Tonight and Coventry Telegraph before moving to the Bradford Telegraph & Argus, Derby Telegraph and Liverpool Echo.

He is a former editor of the Daily Post in North Wales.

Simon Jenkins, Columnist, The Guardian

Simon Jenkins is a journalist and author. He writes weekly columns for the Guardian and the London Evening Standard. He has edited the Evening Standard and The Times and was chairman of the National Trust from 2008-14.

He was political editor of the Economist, and worked on Country Life and the Sunday Times. He served on the boards of British Rail, London Transport and the Museum of London and was deputy chairman of English Heritage. His books include works on London’s architecture, the press and British politics.

Orit Kopel, Co-Founder and VP of Business Development, WikiTribune


Orit Kopel is the Co-Founder & VP of Business Development of WikiTribune, an inventive Wiki-based news platform which brings together a community of volunteers with hired professional journalists in an effort to create a collaborative news space. With a background as a qualified Human Rights Lawyer, Kopel is CEO of the Jimmy Wales Foundation for Freedom of Expression, advocating for bloggers and social media users who are persecuted for speaking out online. She previously acted as Jimmy Wales’ Special Adviser for Google’s Expert Advisory Council on the ‘Right To Be Forgotten’, defending Internet freedom.

Megan Lucero, Director, The Bureau Local

Megan is the Director of the Bureau Local, a unique national hub of journalists and technologists working together to investigate stories that matter in communities across the UK. She’s grown a network of over 350 people, spanning 84 cities across the country.

Megan, formerly the Data Editor at The Times and Sunday Times, was part of the first data journalism team at The Times and led its development from a small supporting unit to a key component of investigations. She spearheaded the paper’s political data unit ahead of the 2015 General Election – making it the only one in the industry to reject polling data ahead of the vote.

Tim MacGabhann, Reporter, Al Jazeera and freelance journalist formerly based in Mexico City

Tim MacGabhann is a writer and freelance journalist, whose work has been published in Al Jazeera, The Washington Post and Reuters. An extract of his forthcoming first novel, Call Him Mine, appeared in the autumn issue of Index on Censorship.


Ian MacGregor, President, Society of Editors and Editor Emeritus, Telegraph Media Group

ian macgregor

President of the Society of Editors, Ian is Emeritus Editor of the Telegraph Media Group. Formerly Weekend Editor of the Telegraph, he has previously worked for the Southern Evening Echo, South West News Service, the Press Association, Daily Express and Daily Mail.

He was launch editor of the Metro newspapers, editor of the Scottish Daily Mail, and deputy editor of the Evening Standard. He moved to the Telegraph group in 2007, and has been deputy editor of the Daily Telegraph, editor of the Sunday Telegraph, and Weekend Editor.

He was appointed Emeritus Editor in June 2017.

Will Moy, Director, Full Fact

Will has been the Director of Full Fact, the independent factchecking charity, since 2010, through three referendums, the Leveson Inquiry into press standards, the European Parliamentary and 2015 general elections. He appears regularly on TV, radio, and at events to discuss Full Fact’s work and factchecks, as well as giving evidence to the Leveson Inquiry and select committee inquiries.

Before Full Fact, Will worked for the non-party-affiliated peer Lord Low of Dalston and the Parliamentary Advisory Council on Transport Safety.

Ian Murray, Executive Director, Society of Editors

Ian was appointed Deputy Executive Director of the Society of Editors in April 2017. He is the former Editor of the Southern Daily Echo and the Editor in Chief of Newsquest’s Hampshire titles.

He stepped down from the role in 2017 after 20 years in the position. Alongside editing the Daily Echo, he was also in charge of the weekly free News Extra Series in the Southampton region, the New Forest Post, and Hampshire Society magazine series. He was the president of the Society of Editors for 2013-2014. Ian formerly sat on the Editors’ Code Committee which oversees the industry’s Code of Practice.

Amol Rajan, Media Editor, BBC

Amol is the BBC’s first ever Media Editor, covering the global impact of the rapidly changing media landscape across politics, business and culture for the BBC’s biggest outputs: ‘Today’ on Radio 4, and ‘Six O’Clock News’ and ‘Ten O’Clock’ News.

Before joining the BBC, Amol was Editor of The Independent. When appointed to the role in 2013, aged 29, he was both the youngest ever Editor of a British broadsheet title, and the first non-white Editor in Fleet Street history.

Prior to being Editor, he had been Comment Editor, Sports News Correspondent and news reporter for the title, and for two years was adviser to Evgeny Lebedev, the paper’s owner.

Mark Rowley, Assistant Commissioner, National Lead Counter Terrorism Policing

Mark Rowley has been the Assistant Commissioner for Specialist Operations in the Metropolitan Police since June 2014. He leads the Counter Terrorism Policing Network in the UK and represents CT Policing in its engagement with Government on operational and policy issues associated with tackling terrorism, espionage and proliferation.

This portfolio also includes responsibility for the investigation of war crimes, Official Secrets Act offences, and the protection of VIPs. He is also responsible for Protection, Security and Counter Terrorism/Domestic Extremism in London.

Ray Snoddy, Media Commentator

Ray is a freelance journalist who presented the BBC Television accountability programme Newswatch for eight years and writes regularly for a variety of publications after being media editor of The Times for seven years. Before moving to The Times he was a reporter on the Financial Times for 19 years writing mainly about media and communication issues. Presented television series on the media, Hard News on Channel 4 and Media Monthly on Sky News and has made documentaries for radio and television. Regular columns include Television, Mediatel and InPublishing Books include The Good, The Bad and the Unacceptable on press standards and Greenfinger on Michael Green and Carlton Communications.

James Stephenson, News Editor, BBC News and Current Affairs

Before his appointment as News Editor in 2014, James was Head of News for BBC World News. He was also Deputy Head of the BBC Newsroom and is a former Editor of the BBC News bulletins at Six and Ten on BBC One. Before that he was Middle East Bureau Chief in 2007-2009.

He was Chairman of the Foreign Press Association for Israel and the Palestinian Territories. In 2000 he became Deputy Editor of Newsnight. James launched the Politics Show, presented by Jeremy Vine, in 2003. He continued as Editor while also taking on responsibility for weekly radio political programmes and election results programmes, including the 2005 General Election.

In addition, James was Executive Editor of Question Time 2006-2007.

Sarah Whitehead, Head of Home News and Deputy Head of Newsgathering, Sky News

Sarah Whitehead is Head of Home News and Deputy Head of Newsgathering at Sky. She joined Sky in 2011 as Head of International News just as the Arab spring began.

Sarah joined Sky from the BBC where she was Deployments Editor in Foreign News and a Strand Editor on the News Channel.

In the 16 years she spent at the BBC she had an eclectic career involving working in documentaries, drama and news.