Be it columnists, financial reporters, commentators on current affairs or newspaper editors, the Debrett’s list celebrates the most noteworthy journalists in the UK today. Providing exposure of up-to-date information and news, analysis and comment, our journalists are amongst the leading exponents of the art. In today’s digital age, journalists must reckon with the 24-hour supply and demand of coverage and recognise the many means in which information can be broadcast. They are also responsible for scrutinising government and other powers and in turn, being scrutinized themselves.
John Witherow. Editor The Times.
South African born John Witherow is the editor of The Times. After graduating from the University of Leeds and receiving a diploma in journalism from the University of Cardiff, Witherow’s career in journalism began as a trainee at Reuters. He soon moved to The Times as the home and foreign correspondent before joining the Sunday Times, where he would remain for nearly 30 years, 18 of which as editor. He became editor of The Times towards the end of 2013, and was recently appointed to the Appointment Panel of the Independent Press Standards Organisation which, in accordance with the guidelines established by the Leveson Enquiry, aims to regulate the UK’s newspapers.
Alan Rusbridger. Editor The Guardian.
Born in Zambia, the editor of The Guardian, Alan Rusbridger, began his career in journalism training as a reporter at the Cambridge Evening News. Rusbridger first joined The Guardian in 1979 and worked as a reporter, columnist and feature writer for seven years. After roles as a TV critic for The Observer and Washington correspondent at the London Daily News, Rusbridger returned to The Guardian as features editor and became editor in 1995. He has since been named Editor of the Year three times. The Guardian played an influential and trailblazing role in its coverage of the phone hacking scandal and in a controversial move in 2013, The Guardian published files leaked by Edward Snowden, the US intelligence analyst, adding another dimension to the debate.
Jeremy Warner. Assistant editor Daily Telegraph.
Jeremy Warner is the assistant editor of the Daily Telegraph. He is also recognised across the board as one of the country’s leading economics and business commentators. Warner writes on economics, business and finance subjects for the Daily Telegraph, the Sunday Telegraph and Telegraph.co.uk. The Society of Editors credited Warner with an “outstanding contribution in defence of freedom of the media” following Warner’s refusal to reveal sources to Government inspectors. Prior to assuming his role at the Telegraph, Warner spent 23 years at The Independent, having written for the paper since its launch in 1986.
Richard Littlejohn. Columnist Daily Mail.
Richard Littlejohn is considered to be one of the most influential journalists of our time. Born in Ilford but brought up in Peterborough, Littlejohn obtained the highest mark in his year in the 11+ but turned down a scholarship to public school as they didn’t play football. Littlejohn left grammar school at 16, beginning work as a trainee journalist in his home town. Littlejohn went on to write for the Evening Standard and The Sun, before contributing award-winning current affairs columns to the Daily Mail. He has also written for Punch and The Spectator.
Martin Wolf, CBE. Chief economics commentator and associate editor Financial Times.
The associate editor and chief economics commentator at the Financial Times, Martin Wolf is recognised as one of the most influential economics writers in the world. Wolf’s interest in economics was heavily influenced by his family history. Wolf’s mother, a Dutch Jew, lost nearly thirty of her close relatives in the atrocities of the Holocaust. As a result, Wolf has always been wary of political extremes. Feeling that economic policy mistakes were one of the root causes of the Second World War, Wolf felt encouraged to pursue his interest in economics. In 2000, Wolf was awarded a CBE for his services to financial journalism.
Ian Hislop. Editor Private Eye.
Ian Hislop is the editor of the UK's number one bestselling news and current affairs magazine, Private Eye. With a readership of over 700,000, the paper broadcasts to a wide readership. The son of a civil engineer, Hislop’s family travelled extensively during his childhood, before he came back to school in the UK. Hislop says that his childhood ended at the age of twelve, following the death of his father. This made him increasingly independent. He joined Private Eye at the age of 21 and became editor only five years later; he has remained in that position for the last 28 years. Through Private Eye, Hislop is devoted to exposing corruption through investigative yet humorous journalism.
Nick Davies. Investigative reporter.
Freelance journalist Nick Davies regularly works as an investigative reporter for The Guardian. Over his 35 years working as a reporter, Davies has been named Journalist of the Year, Reporter of the Year and Feature Writer of the Year at the British Press Awards. Davies penned over 100 stories for The Guardian on the illegal phone tapping by Rupert Murdoch’s News of the World and the subsequent failure of the relevant authorities – the police, press regulators and government – to question the behaviour thoroughly. Recently, Davies instigated the coalition of news organisations which published the US military and diplomatic secrets that Wikileaks had obtained. The global debate that this initiated led to The Guardian being named Newspaper of the Year at the Press Awards.
Paul Dacre. Editor Daily Mail.
Editor of the Daily Mail Paul Dacre never had any desires to pursue a career outside of journalism. Educated at University College School on a state scholarship, Dacre went on to read English at the University of Leeds where he edited the student newspaper. Today, he is widely considered to be the most successful editor of his generation. Throughout Dacre’s premiership, the paper has won the prestigious accolade of Newspaper of the Year six times, twice as many prizes as any other paper. On an average weekday, the paper sells 1.5 million copies, making it the second most read newspaper in the country.
Martin Ivens. Editor Sunday Times.
Martin Ivens is the editor of the Sunday Times. Educated at St Peter’s College, Oxford, Ivens was appointed to the role of deputy editor at the broadsheet in 1996. He began writing his political column in 2007 and was appointed to the role of acting editor in early 2013. The long-serving member of the Sunday Times team was given the permanent and confirmed role as editor by the independent national directors of Times Newspapers in September 2013, at the same time that John Witherow was confirmed as editor of The Times.
Andrew Norfolk. Investigative reporter The Times.
Investigative reporter Andrew Norfolk began his career in journalism in 1989 as a trainee at the Scarborough Evening News. He joined the Yorkshire Post six years later, before starting at The Times. Norfolk rose to greater prominence recently due to his investigative exclusives revealing the pursuing, grooming and sexual abuse of teenage girls in Northern England. In 2012, Norfolk was awarded The Paul Foot award in recognition of his work and the fact that his writing had prompted two inquiries into the matter to be ordered by the Government, a Parliamentary inquiry and the development of a new national child sexual exploitation plan.
Caitlin Moran. Columnist The Times.
The eldest of eight children, Caitlin Moran was home-educated from the age of eleven in her family’s three bedroom council house in Wolverhampton. Convinced she would become a writer throughout her teenage years she wrote her first novel at the age of 13. When she was 15 The Observer’s Young Reporter of the Year, and began her career as a journalist for music newspaper Melody Maker at the age of 16. She now writes three columns a week for The Times, having joined the paper in 1992, and is one of the country’s most celebrated columnists. In 2011 her book How To Be A Woman was awarded Book of the Year at the Galaxy National Book Awards.
Fraser Nelson. Editor The Spectator.
Editor of The Spectator Fraser Nelson was educated at the Nairn Academy and the Dollar Academy before reading history at the University of Glasgow. In 1996, Nelson began working as The Times’ business correspondent and was political correspondent for The Scotsman. He joined The Spectator in 2006 as their political editor, becoming editor in 2009. In 2013, Nelson was awarded Editors’ Editor of the Year by the British Society of Magazine Editors, the highest accolade in the British magazine industry. He is also a columnist of the Daily Telegraph.
Janan Ganesh. Columnist Financial Times.
Political columnist Janan Ganesh is a columnist for the Financial Times on the topic of British politics. Prior to this, Ganesh worked as a researcher at the Policy Exchange Westminster think tank for two years and held the role of political correspondent for The Economist for five years. Ganesh is a frequent contributor to various TV and radio shows and holds a weekly slot as a pundit on BBC1’s Sunday Politics. Ganesh authored a biography of Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, 2012, called George Osborne: The Austerity Chancellor.
Sarah Sands. Editor Evening Standard.
Fleet Street star Sarah Sands is the editor of the Evening Standard. Raised in Kent, Sands trained as a news reporter on the Sevenoaks Courier before making the move to the Evening Standard as the editor of the Londoner’s Diary. Sands progressed to the rank of features editor and associate editor and in 1996 she became deputy editor of the Daily Telegraph. In June 2005 she was appointed as the first ever female editor of the Sunday Telegraph. Sands returned to the Evening Standard in 2009 as their deputy editor before being appointed to the role of editor in 2012.
Lionel Barber. Editor Financial Times.
Editor of the Financial Times Lionel Barber began his esteemed career in journalism at The Scotsman. The British Press Awards named him Young Journalist of the Year and Barber was quickly snapped up as the business correspondent for the Sunday Times. In the years that followed, Barber was the Lawrence Stern fellow at The Washington Post, then the Financial Times Washington correspondent, the Brussels bureau chief, London news editor, continental Europe editor and US managing editor. In 2006, Barber was appointed to the role of editor of the Financial Times where he has guided the paper through the digital revolution and the financial crisis.
Polly Toynbee. Political and social commentator The Guardian.
Having failed her 11+, Toynbee attended a state comprehensive school in London. Despite only gaining one A-Level, Toynbee won a scholarship to study at Oxford. After 18 months she dropped out and began working in a factory and a burger bar, with the intention of writing in her spare time. Toynbee eventually landed a job as a reporter and feature writer for The Observer. She went on to work as editor of the Washington Monthly, social affairs editor at the BBC and associate editor of The Independent. She is now a popular columnist with The Guardian, having joined the paper in 1997.
Trevor Kavanagh. Associate editor The Sun.
Trevor Kavanagh is the associate editor of The Sun. Educated at Reigate Grammar School, Kavanagh left school at 17 to work for local newspapers. Over the next few years Kavanagh flitted between the UK and Australia working for titles such as the Bristol Evening Post and the Sydney Daily Mirror before assuming a position at The Sun on a permanent basis. He was political editor at the paper until 2006, and continues to write as a columnist. Kavanagh gained notoriety with his coverage of the Hutton Inquiry when he received details of the report before it was published, in what is recognised as one of the greatest ever scoops in British journalism.
Kevin Maguire. Associate editor Daily Mirror.
The award-winning journalist Kevin Maguire is associate editor of the Daily Mirror and a political columnist on the New Statesman with his Commons Confidential column on the world of Westminster. Maguire worked at the the Mirror in the nineties, where he won an award for his story informing the public that BSE could be transferred to humans. Maguire then left the Mirror to assume the role of chief reporter at The Guardian, before returning to the Mirror in 2004. Maguire is frequently called upon to offer his informed opinion on political matters and is a regular contributor to the BBC and Sky News.
John Micklethwait. Editor The Economist.
John Micklethwait began his career as a banker with Chase Manhattan Bank. After two years, he joined The Economist as a financial correspondent. As the current editor-in-chief of The Economist, his former roles include business editor and United States editor at the title. With around 100,000 digital subscribers and a weekly international print circulation estimated at 1.5 million, Micklethwait broadcasts to a vast worldwide audience. Thus, around the world he is regularly called upon as an economic commentator. He has also co-authored five books and been named Editor’s Editor of the Year by the British Society of Magazine Editors.
Adam Boulton. Political editor Sky News.
Adam Boulton is a well-known face as a Sky News presenter and political editor, where he has reported from every continent in the world except Antarctica. He is British television’s longest-serving political editor; it is estimated that Boulton has spent more hours covering breaking stories than any other television reporter in Britain. It was recently announced that Boulton will soon step down as political editor to anchor a new Sky show that will air from the broadcaster’s Westminster studio. Boulton is also a regular contributor to The Times, and also frequently writes for the Sunday Times, The Guardian, The Spectator, The Independent, the Sunday Express, the New Statesman and the Sunday Mirror.