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The Progress 1000: London's most influential people 2016 - Editors and Journalists

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The Evening Standard Laura Kuenssberg is a force to be reckoned with as the BBC's first female political editor ( 2015/REX Features )

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Laura Kuenssberg

Political editor, BBC

Having made history last year by becoming the first woman to hold the position of BBC political editor, Kuenssberg has proved a brilliant appointment. She has broken myriad stories and her dignity in the face of vile online abuse — after becoming a victim of trolling by Labour Party supporters who accused her of bias — made her a hero among many of her peers.

David Dimbleby

Presenter, BBC

The doyen of veteran journalists, Dimbleby steered the nation through an extraordinary night when he fronted the BBC’s coverage of the EU referendum results in June, just as he has anchored the BBC’s coverage of every general election since 1979. He is unlikely to give up his day job on Question Time any time soon, having said: “I shall be dragged kicking and screaming from my chair.”

Paul Dacre

Editor-in-chief, Associated Newspapers

The editor of the Daily Mail, arguably the UK’s most influential newspaper and scourge of the Establishment, marked 24 years in the role in 2016 — and, at 67, there is little sign of him losing his relish for the job. Indeed, with a reshuffle among senior executives, Dacre has shown he remains very much the man in charge. The Mail’s support for Brexit was hardly a surprise.

Geordie Greig

Editor, Mail on Sunday

One of the UK’s best-connected journalists, Greig has a keen eye for political scoops and his Mail on Sunday frequently sets the news agenda for the week ahead. The former editor of Tatler and the Evening Standard is without question one of the newspaper industry’s major players. Greig’s success was evident at this year’s Press Awards, when he and his team bagged gongs including newspaper and scoop of the year.

Faisal Islam

Political editor, Sky News

Islam cut his teeth in newspapers before switching to television in 2004. Stepping into Adam Boulton’s shoes at Sky was a tough gig but two years into the job he is showing his mettle, not least with a probing examination of David Cameron in the build-up to the EU referendum. His pointed questioning — “What comes first: World War III or the Brexit recession?” — held Cameron’s feet to the fire.

John Witherow

Editor, The Times

Newspaper veteran who started out in the industry as a Reuters trainee nearly 40 years ago. He may have a low public profile but he is one of the industry’s biggest beasts, spending two decades editing The Sunday Times before moving over to its daily stablemate in 2013. Witherow has improved profits while revamping sections and overhauling digital operations. He says the paper’s “relentless focus on quality journalism and cost management has helped us to build a sustainable model”.

Tom Bradby

Anchor, ITV News at Ten

The ITV lifer took over as the main face of the channel’s news bulletin last October following a 10-year stint as political editor, sparking another “battle of the bongs” with the BBC for viewers in the key 10pm slot. Bradby, who joined ITN as a trainee in 1990 and also presents ITV’s The Agenda discussion programme, is renowned for his journalistic scoops. ITV’s new presenting team is being built around him.

Martin Clarke

Publisher, MailOnline

The world’s most popular news website continues its march under the leadership of the fearsome Clarke. The site — known for its “sidebar of shame” — racks up 14 million web browsers a day around the world. Traditional print may be wobbling but MailOnline’s revenues jumped 20 per cent in the six months to March and Clarke is eyeing further growth in the US.

Zanny Minton Beddoes

Editor-in-chief, The Economist

The fiercely intelligent Minton Beddoes — the first female editor-in-chief in the publication’s 173-year history — has Oxford, Harvard and the International Monetary Fund on her CV and is one of the most influential voices in financial journalism. She is pushing the august title’s social media presence as well as radio and TV projects to avoid, in her words, being “the grandpa at the disco”.

Sarah Sands

Editor, London Evening Standard

Who says the newspaper industry is in decline? Under Sands’s leadership, the Evening Standard has gone from strength to strength, with a circulation of 900,000. Indeed, on the day after the EU referendum, it topped one million for the first time. The paper’s relationship with London is one of perfect symbiosis.

Sarah Sands (ES)

Allegra Stratton

National editor, ITV News

The straight-talking lobby journalist made her name during her four-year stint as political editor on Newsnight. Since her move to ITV she has been presenting Peston on Sunday. Stratton was the first to report that George Osborne, then chancellor, would cut tax credits in the Budget earlier this year and has proved herself a vital part of the team which ITV hopes will challenge the BBC’s recent dominance of the 10pm news slot.

Emily Maitlis

Presenter, Newsnight

As one of the main presenters on the BBC’s flagship news discussion programme, the multi-lingual Cambridge graduate was seen by many as the natural successor to Jeremy Paxman. But Maitlis, who still occasionally presents the news, insists the era of badgering interviewees in the Paxman style is well and truly over and says she gets her best results with a gentler style of questioning.

Newsnight presenter Emily Maitlis (Chris Williamson/Getty Images)

Tony Gallagher

Editor-in-chief, The Sun

Known for his ferocity and exacting standards, Gallagher went from reporter to news editor at the Daily Mail, and was instrumental in the launch of MailOnline. As deputy editor of the Daily Telegraph he showed he was not afraid to take on the Establishment when he led the coverage of the MPs’ expenses scandal, shortly afterwards being made editor. After another stint at the Mail he made his move to the “Currant Bun” last September and has given it a harder crust.

Rachel Sylvester

Journalist, The Times

Whose intervention arguably changed the course of British political history? Sylvester’s. The Times’s political journalist wrote an interview with Andrea Leadsom, in which the leadership hopeful made loaded comments regarding Theresa May’s lack of children. The ensuing furore led to Leadsom’s withdrawal, making May Prime Minister, and confirmed Sylvester’s status as one of the country’s most influential political commentators. Not bad for a day’s work.

Kirsty Wark

Presenter, Newsnight

Arguably the Corporation’s top TV interviewer, Wark has presented a wide range of programmes, from the ground-breaking Late Show to election specials, live stadium events and, since 1993, Newsnight. This year she chaired the Evening Standard’s mayoral hustings between Sadiq Khan and Zac Goldsmith. When not interrogating interviewees, she enjoys cameo appearances in everything from Doctor Who to Absolutely Fabulous.

Fraser Nelson

Editor, The Spectator

Never afraid to publish the controversial, the sparky former business and political journalist has taken the “Speccie” from strength to strength. This year the magazine won the London Press Club award for scoop of the year for its exclusive exposé of the Kids Company scandal. Nelson is also a columnist at the Daily Telegraph.

Cathy Newman

Presenter, Channel 4 News

Known as the news presenter who breaks her own stories, Newman is also a fierce critic of everyday sexism. She took on the political establishment in her determined and measured pursuit of the Lord Rennard sexual harassment case and has said the idea that any of the women on the programme are “autocuties” is “for the birds”, insisting she works hard for her scoops.

John Humphrys

Presenter, Today

Many politicians are probably waiting beseechingly for Humphrys to retire but the 73-year-old is unlikely to hang up his microphone just yet. The veteran broadcaster has spoken candidly about the rivalry and competition between him and his co-presenters on the agenda-setting Today programme, and it is clear his passion for news is undimmed.

Nick Ferrari

Presenter, LBC

An experienced tabloid journalist, outspoken Ferrari has sparked many a row on his populist breakfast show, where high-profile guests are subjected to no-holds-barred interviews. Labour’s Yvette Cooper suffered his wrath this year after Ferrari reminded her about her unfulfilled pledge to take in a refugee during last year’s party leadership contest.

Mishal Husain

Presenter, Today

The first Muslim presenter of BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, multi-lingual Husain is known for her unflappable style and politely persistent interviewing technique. Having worked in journalism around the world she offers a fresh perspective on important global events and has been a huge asset to the Today line-up since joining in 2013.

Kate Reardon

Editor, Tatler

The vivacious editor of Condé Nast’s society magazine has lightened the “posh” bible’s pages by bringing more fun and humour to them. Since she took the helm, Reardon, who proudly refers to herself as a “honking great Sloane”, has aimed to make Britain’s oldest magazine more accessible and says she has tried to take on staff from all walks of life — as long as they are well-groomed.

Christian Broughton

Editor, The Independent

When the print Indy closed in March, Broughton was thrust centre stage in the title’s brave, digital-only future. He had overseen the huge growth of since taking the helm in 2012, almost quadrupling traffic. He launched sister site Indy100, and the revamped, paid-for Independent app has picked up a healthy number of subscribers. He’s an Indy man through and through, having first worked on the paper while still a student.

Kay Burley

Presenter, Sky News

She is the journalist who often makes the news herself. Due to Burley’s prolific tweeting and controversial comments, she is a victim of regular trolling and the occasional damaging headline. But none are likely to get through her thick skin. She’s a tough on the scene reporter who has been broadcasting on Sky since its first day. An inspiration for women, particularly older reporters, on-air.

Robert Peston

Political editor, ITV News

The Beeb knew ITV was serious about competing in the news programming stakes when Peston was poached last autumn. He made his first appearance on News at Ten in January and his eponymous Sunday morning show began in May. Reviews of the latter have been mixed but Peston is clearly revelling in his new role.

Janine Gibson

Editor-in-chief, BuzzFeed UK

Having missed out on the editorship of The Guardian, Gibson has brought a more serious edge to BuzzFeed’s UK operation, without overly diluting its fun factor. She has a well-resourced investigations team at her disposal and has made the site a genuine scoop-getter: match-fixing in tennis and failings at the National Crime Agency were both in its sights in the past year.

Nick Robinson

Presenter, Today

When he began his new role as a presenter of the Today programme last November, former BBC political editor Robinson felt his voice wasn’t up to the task (it had been left croaky after cancer treatment), although he believes it has now improved. In any case, his journalistic credentials were never in doubt — he has been a terrific addition to the team.

Eddie Mair

Presenter, Radio 4

In the run-up to the EU referendum, Scottish broadcaster Mair suggested that the media had failed to tackle voters’ basic questions about the UK’s future. He aimed to redress the balance by answering queries sent in by listeners of his PM programme. Mair remains a model broadcaster and an inspiration to up-and-coming talent.

Anna Wintour

Editor-in-chief, Vogue

One of London’s great journalistic exports, Wintour is synonymous with the magazine she has edited since 1988. The fashion world has hung on her words for years, but 2016 saw Wintour get political — she made a speech at the Cannes Lions conference which included jokes about Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders and even her preferred choice to be the next US president, Hillary Clinton.

Fashion legend Anna Wintour (Pascal Le Segretain/Getty)

Guido Fawkes


Love him or loathe him, politicians and journalists can’t ignore the influence of Mr Fawkes, aka Paul Staines. Guido’s Sun on Sunday column came to an end this year, with Staines admitting he wouldn’t miss sweating over his Friday deadline. But goes from strength to strength, often breaking news to the rest of the media.

Matthew d’Ancona

Columnist, London Evening Standard and The Guardian

A true big-hitter among political commentators, d’Ancona was a voice of wisdom during the referendum debates and his analysis of a difficult period for the Conservative Party has been masterful. His writing is not only brilliantly readable, it also carries with it a knowledge of recent political history that is unsurpassed by his peers.

Martin Ivens

Editor, The Sunday Times

It is two decades now since Ivens was appointed deputy editor of The Sunday Times, and three years since he took over the hot seat. Circulation this year has been healthy, with July’s readership up 1.53 per cent year on year. Earlier this year the paper’s digital output was merged with that of its daily sister title, with both departing from the rolling model in favour of four online editions a day.

Charles Moore


The former editor of The Spectator and the Daily Telegraph bagged one of the scoops of the year when he established that the Archbishop of Canterbury’s biological father was not the man who brought him up. He contacted Justin Welby, who agreed to take a paternity test which proved Moore’s belief. The outcome was a remarkable story, sensitively told with Welby’s dignified consent.

Lionel Barber

Editor, Financial Times

It’s been quite a year for the editor of the Pink ’Un, following the sale of the paper by Pearson Group to Nikkei at the end of 2015. Barber has more than weathered the change of ownership. With economic uncertainty the order of the day post-referendum, the FT is essential reading now more than ever. He was given France’s Légion d’Honneur this summer.

Ian Katz

Editor, Newsnight

Having brought in former Guardian colleague Nick Watt to Newsnight as its new political editor, Katz can reflect that the team around him is very much his own. He has had to battle the impact of an extension to the BBC News at Ten, but Newsnight remains vital viewing for anyone who wants the inside track on British politics.

Ian Katz (Adrian Lourie )

Jason Cowley

Editor, New Statesman

A former editor of Granta, Cowley has revitalised the New Statesman since taking the helm in 2008, giving it a relevance in British public discourse the magazine had not had for years. His strident views on what he saw as the failures of government leading to the vote to leave the EU have chimed with many dismayed by the Brexit decision. His editorship goes from strength to strength.

Andrew Marr

Presenter, BBC

His Sunday show often sets the agenda for Monday’s political pages. Marr’s reputation as one of the BBC’s chief grillers is well deserved and backed by his viewing figures of two million. In a pre-referendum chat with Boris Johnson, the former mayor’s first major appearance as the leading figure for Brexit, Johnson failed to answer many questions head-on, and when he tried to take control of the direction of the interview, he was sharply reminded who was in charge.

Andrew Marr (Adrian Lourie)

Martha Kearney

Presenter, Radio 4

Kearney’s career at the BBC started in 1987, when she was accidentally hit by an egg thrown at the Liberal Party’s David Steel. But she restored the balance in May by leaving egg on the face of Tory schools minister Nick Gibb, who failed to answer an exam question on her World at One show. A popular presenter, she is as comfortable with politics and current affairs as with beekeeping and the Brontës.

Katharine Viner

Editor-in-chief, Guardian News & Media

After the acclaim that greeted Viner’s appointment as editor of The Guardian last year, reality has set in. Financial losses, redundancies and a row over ex-editor Alan Rusbridger’s blocked appointment to chair the Scott Trust have all proved challenging. But Viner has not shied from taking tough decisions and the paper has broken important stories, which is ultimately the key to success for any editor.

Evan Davis

Presenter, Newsnight

The face of BBC2’s flagship news programme is also a regular as the host of Dragons’ Den and Radio 4’s The Bottom Line. Less confrontational than Newsnight’s former big beast Jeremy Paxman, but still willing to poke fun, for instance when mocking the John Wayne “power stance” of David Cameron and George Osborne. He picked up broadcaster of the year in May’s LGBT Awards.

Joe Murphy

Political editor, London Evening Standard

Twelve years after taking over as political editor, Murphy is more integral to the paper’s news operation than ever, still securing scoops before other lobby journalists have finished their breakfast. Over the extraordinary events of the past year he has always made sure the Standard is first with the unfolding political drama. Murphy is a top-class operator at the height of his powers.

Stig Abell

Editor and publisher, Times Literary Supplement and presenter, LBC Radio

The bearded, brogue-wearing former director of the Press Complaints Commission sprung a surprise when he was appointed managing editor of The Sun in 2013, and an even bigger one when he moved to the TLS this year. He also presents a weekly show on LBC and is a regular on Sky’s newspaper review.

Justin Webb

Presenter, Today

With a US presidential election looming, Webb will soon come into his own on the Today programme, having spent eight years as the BBC’s man in Washington. An LSE graduate, the urbane Webb now lives in Camberwell and enjoys the support of his family — in May his daughter Martha criticised his pay and suggested society could easily cope if her father’s dulcet tones weren’t a Today programme fixture!

Justine Picardie

Editor-in-chief, Harper’s Bazaar UK and Town & Country UK

A Londoner born and bred, Picardie has been in charge at Harper’s Bazaar since 2012, the culmination perhaps of a career that has taken in newspapers, magazines and writing books about such diverse subjects as Daphne du Maurier, Coco Chanel and life after death. Splitting her time between London and Scotland means Picardie knows all about Town & Country living.

Justine Picardie (Rex Features)

Matthew Kaminski

Executive editor, Politico Europe

When Politico launched a European edition, they went to Kaminski. Born in Poland, he grew up in Washington DC and worked in Europe as a journalist before being appointed to the board of the Wall Street Journal. He won a 2015 Overseas Press Club prize for his coverage of the Ukraine crisis and has made Politico a distinctive and in-demand voice in the European conversation.

Jeremy Selwyn

Chief photographer, London Evening Standard

Selwyn has been with the paper for 29 years. From Ed Miliband and his bacon sandwich to Zac Goldsmith struggling with a pint, and from dawn until dusk, he’s always on hand to take shots that change the course of history. He won the News Media Association award this year for a snap of the Duchess of Cambridge with a City trader in drag.

Nima Elbagir

Reporter, CNN

An award-winning war correspondent who lives in south London but has worked in some of the world’s deadliest places, Elbagir has spoken out about the “chauvinistic” attitudes towards young women war reporters. She brought the plight of Nigerian schoolgirls captured by terror group Boko Haram to a global audience and was part of the team which obtained a “proof of life” video of the missing girls, bringing their families much relief.

CNN Correspondent Nina Elbagir

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The Progress 1000: Editors and Journalists


Laura Kuenssberg is a force to be reckoned with as the BBC's first female political editor 2015/REX Features


Sarah Sands ES


Newsnight presenter Emily Maitlis Chris Williamson/Getty Images


Fashion legend Anna Wintour Pascal Le Segretain/Getty


Ian Katz Adrian Lourie


Andrew Marr Adrian Lourie


Justine Picardie Rex Features


CNN Correspondent Nina Elbagir