Lord Black of Brentwood is Executive Director of the Telegraph Media Group (publisher of The Daily Telegraph and The Sunday Telegraph). He has been with the group since 2005. Previously he had been Director of the UK Press Complaints Commission, the
independent body responsible for administering the system of newspaper self regulation. He is now Chairman of the Press Standards Board of Finance and additionally a Trustee of the Imperial War Museum and of the Royal College of Music. He lives in London.
Patsy Robertson, is a former Jamaican journalist and diplomat who has been involved in Commonwealth affairs for many years, serving three Secretaries-General, first as Press Officer and then as Director of Information in the Commonwealth Secretariat. She was the official Commonwealth spokesperson from 1983-1994. After leaving the Secretariat in 1994, she joined the United Nations as senior media adviser to the Secretary-General of the Fourth World Conference on Women held in Beijing, China in 1995, and returned to the UN to fill the same role for the Beijing+5 conference in New York in 2000 and for the General Assembly Special Session on Children in 2001 and 2002. Jamaican-born, Patsy Robertson was educated in Jamaica and the United States. She is an active member of several civil society organisations and is a founder member of the Commonwealth Journalists Association, as well as a Trustee of the Thomson Foundation and the British Empire and Commonwealth Museum. She is currently Chair of the Commonwealth Association of former employees of the Commonwealth Secretariat and the Commonwealth Foundation.
Bob Satchwell has been executive director of the Society of Editors since its foundation in 1999. He was editor of the Cambridge Evening News from 1984 to 1998 but started his career with the Lancashire Evening Post in 1970 where he rose from graduate trainee to associate editor before going to Fleet Street as assistant editor of the News of the World.
Amongst his many other commitments, he is a member of the Defence Press and Broadcasting Advisory Committee, the Cabinet Office Media Emergencies Forum, the Ministry of Justice Information Users’ Group, and a director of the London Press Club. He is also a non-executive director of the National Council for the Training of Journalists, a member of the Newspaper Qualifications Council, an Associate Press Fellow at Wolfson College, Cambridge, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. He was awarded the Journalists’ Charity Chairman’s Award in the national Press Awards for 2013 and an International Writers Award by the International Council of Jurists in 2014.
Derek Smail has been involved for more than 35 years in the UK and Commonwealth media industry.
Born in Britain of New Zealand parents, as well as heading the family weekly newspaper business on the Scottish Borders for some 20 years, he published the London-based weekly, New Zealand News UK for New Zealand’s global diaspora as well as the weekly SA Times for the South African diaspora.
For the last 18 years he has been Executive Chairman of African Media Investments Ltd, which was established to identify and develop independent media opportunities in Southern Africa. He is a Founder Director and shareholder of Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe (Pvt) Ltd, publisher of the Daily News, which is now Zimbabwe’s leading independent daily newspaper and remains ever true to its masthead slogan of ’telling it like it is’. He has also been a director and shareholder of two weeklies in Botswana, the Guardian and the Midweek Sun.
Derek Is now based in Christchurch, New Zealand, from where he remains in close touch with media matters particularly in Zimbabwe, where the Daily News continues its vital role to report the news without fear or favour and to shine lights in dark corners.
an Beales, for 20 years a leading UK regional newspaper editor, is now a media consultant specialising in self-regulation of the press and newspaper design. He was founder editor of the CPU magazine, CPQ. He is secretary to the UK Editors’ Code of Practice Committee and author of The Editors’ Codebook, the official handbook to the UK Editors’ Code, and of Imperfect Freedom, a study of press self-regulation in the Commonwealth.
He has acted as a consultant in Cape Town, Colombo, Accra, Nairobi, Mombasa, Barbados, Tblisi, Madrid, Samoa, Tonga, Beijing, Shanghai, Guanzhou, and Chongqing.
John Spencer is Group Managing Editor of the Press Association, the national news agency for the UK and Ireland.
A journalist, John joined the PA in 1999 as Managing Editor after 20 years in regional newspapers, including 15 years at The Star, Sheffield, where he held a number of senior editorial and management posts. Over the last five years he has had responsibility for setting up and growing the PA’s two editorial production centres in India, one in Mangalore in the south of the country and the other in Pune, near Mumbai. These centres now employ more than 230 people, enabling the company to provide 24/7 services to newspapers, broadcasters and media players in the digital space.
His relationship with the CPU goes back to 1986 when he won that year’s Harry Brittain scholarship for British journalists and spent an extended period on newspapers in New Zealand.
Robin Esser has been Executive Managing Editor of the Daily Mail since 1997, dealing with a wide range of issues from Press Freedom to complaints from readers writing in green ink!
He joined the Daily Sketch in 1957 before moving to the Daily Express in 1960 where he edited the Express’s William Hickey column 1963- 1965 – then the most powerful gossip column around. He became Features Editor of the Daily Express at the age of 32, later headed up the New York bureau of the Express, covering the first landing on the Moon, and was made Northern Editor of the Express in 1970. Returning to Fleet Street a few years later, he had a spell on the Evening News and became Editor of the Sunday Express in 1986 in succession to the legendary John Junor who continued to write his famous column for him.
In 1991 he joined the Mail to oversee the launch of two magazine projects and has been there ever since.
Philip Harding is a journalist, broadcaster and media consultant. Previously he was a senior executive and editor at the BBC where he held a wide variety of senior editorial jobs. He was Director of English Networks and News for the World Service, Controller of Editorial Policy (responsible for the editorial standards of all BBC output and wrote the BBC’s editorial guidelines), Chief Political Advisor, editor of news programmes at Five Live, editor of the Today programme and deputy editor of Panorama.
He is a Trustee of the Press Association news agency and of the One World Broadcasting Trust. He is a Fellow of the Radio Academy and of the Society of Editors, where he is also on the Advisory Board. .
He writes for the Guardian newspaper on the media and on politics. He also broadcasts on Radio 4 as a reporter and as an interviewee. He has also lectured at Wharton Business School on open media and innovation.
Recently he has helped devise and is facilitating the BBC’s College of Journalism’s course for new editorial leaders dealing with issues such as impartiality and defining the ‘public interest’.
He has also worked as consultant in Argentina and Taiwan on public broadcasting and political policy.
Lindsay Ross worked for the Commonwealth Press Union for 12 years. Originally employed by the CPU in 1997 as Press Freedom Director with a brief to broaden the scale of press freedom and media rights activities, she was subsequently appointed Executive Director in August 2003. She was the only woman and the only journalist to hold that role in the organisation’s history.
For many years she lived in East Africa where she worked as a freelance consultant in both the public and private sector. Before that she was with the International Herald Tribune for ten years running their London Bureau. During a 30-year career in the media she has worked as a freelance journalist, in public relations and as a press officer for international organisations.
She has lived, worked and travelled extensively in developing countries particularly South and South East Asia and Eastern and Southern Africa, focusing on political and social issues. Presently she and her partner live in London.