Mentors 2018

Matthew Amroliwala joined the BBC in 1989 after doing a postgraduate radio journalism course. He was a BBC local radio reporter at BBC Radio Cambridgeshire for 18 months. Matthew then did a BBC television course which saw him working first in Belfast and then in the main national newsroom.

As a general reporter, Matthew returned regularly to Belfast in the early 1990s in the height of the violence running up to the IRA-ceasefire. Matthew has reported as a political correspondent from Westminster, as well as reported from New York, Washington and from Bosnia.

He was one of the first presenters on BBC News 24 and has also been part of the Crimewatch presenting team. He now presents Global on BBC World News. 

Andy Bell is the Political Editor at Channel 5 News. In that role he has covered all the big political stories of recent years and interviewed all the big players. He has worked at ITN and Sky News and before that at the BBC.  He was Foreign Affairs correspondent for the Today Programme at Radio 4 and Paris correspondent. His first job was as a producer at BBC World Service. As well as UK politics he has reported from around the world including Israel, Gaza, Iraq and the USA.

Tim Burke has worked for the BBC for twenty five years. He started making tea at Radio Gloucestershire, and helped answer phones. After a postgraduate course in journalism at Falmouth he became a researcher, reporter, producer and editor of news programmes and is now editor of Outside Broadcasts for elections and referendums for the results programmes with David Dimbleby and Huw Edwards.


Tim also works on Sunday Politics, and helps manage forty or so political reporters around England.


He also generates pan BBC projects and special news moments….and a few other things besides.


Tim is a Sony award winning and BAFTA nominated journalist, who's made documentaries from restorative justice to the psychology of supermarkets shelf stacking.


He is unbeatable at backgammon, slept in a tent for three years and ran the New York marathon with a broken leg.

Rachel Corp is acting Deputy Editor of ITV News and oversees ITV’s award-winning national news programmes, ITV News London, ITN-produced Tonight programmes, live specials and documentaries for ITV, and the newsroom’s digital operation. She is a crucial part of ITN’s senior management team.

Previously as Editor 5News she steered the team through a busy news period, including the snap general election in 2017 and committed coverage on the issue of sexual harassment. She has played a leading role on ITN’s diversity committee and was appointed an Executive Producer of The Wright Stuff. Previously, as Editor of ITV News London, Rachel’s tenure saw her oversee the London Mayoral Election live debates, coverage of the EU Referendum and agenda-setting investigations such as the West London Coroner’s Service.

Rachel joined ITN as a trainee and her early career included the roles of North of England and Senior Field Producer, covering major stories in the UK and abroad, from Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq, to the Hutton Inquiry and the Soham murders. Following a spell as the BBC’s Senior Moscow Producer, she returned to ITV News as a News Editor, rising to Deputy Head of Home News and Head of Home News, during which time her reporting team twice won the coveted Royal Television Society Journalism Award for coverage of the rise of jihadi terror and an exclusive investigation into Thomas Cook.

Mark Daly is an award winning investigative journalist for the BBC. He has reported around 30 documentaries on subjects ranging from racism in the police, the Stephen Lawrence case, historic abuse in the Catholic Church and in football, sport doping and corruption, miscarriages of justice, the Paradise Papers and many more.


Mark has been the recipient of many journalism prizes including from BAFTA, the Royal Television Society, and the Foreign Press Association. He lives in Glasgow, is the Investigations Correspondent for BBC Scotland and regularly reports for Panorama.

Wyre Davies is a passionate Welshman and reports for BBC Wales Investigates. He was the first BBC correspondent to be based in Rio de Janeiro, Wyre has come full circle. He lived in Brazil as a child and took his degree in Latin American studies. His first foreign posting for the BBC was the Chilean capital Santiago in the mid-1990s where he covered events in Spanish-speaking South America.

Subsequent stints as the correspondent in Wales and then the Middle East have seen him cover everything from football and rugby world cups, to political scandals and the Arab uprisings. There have been far too many close shaves and lost friends along the way, but there have also been moments of levity and the unfathomable privilege of roaming the world reporting for the BBC.

Melanie Fanstone started her working life in regional newspapers and moved to the BBC as a trainee. She spent a number of years in radio - Five Live, the World Service and was Assistant Editor on the World at One and PM. She then moved to run specialist teams for BBC Newsgathering, firstly leading a team of 30 journalists covering Health, Science and Environment for BBC News, planning coverage and advising output editors about stories in these subject areas. Currently Malanie is Assignment Editor managing journalists who cover the arts, media and entertainment.

Cait FitzSimons as Editor of 5 News and is responsible for leading the editorial output and direction of 5 News, with a focus on original journalism that puts its audience at the heart of the story. She is part of ITN’s senior management team.

She joined the current team in 2013 after taking a year out from news to travel the world.


She started her television journalism career at Channel 5 News, beginning as a News Assistant in 1997 not long after the channel first went on air. By the time she left 3 years later, she'd discovered her love of making programmes. She moved onto to Sky News working across its output including as a producer for Julie Etchingham in Thailand after the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. She also programme edited 5 News after the contract was won by Sky.


She left in 2008 to join ITV as a Programme Editor on News at Ten. During her time at ITV, she also worked on the 2010 General Election programme and the highly acclaimed Royal Wedding programme.

Gabriel Gatehouse is foreign correspondent for Newsnight on BBC2. He started his career in radio in 2001, cutting his teeth at the BBC’s Russian language service. Since moving to BBC News, he has been based in East Africa, the Middle East and the former Soviet Union.


Gabriel was part of a team that won a Sony Gold award for the BBC World Service’s coverage of the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton in 2011: a gentle interlude between postings in Iraq and Libya. More recently he received the RTS Current Affairs - International Award  for his reporting of the Rohingya Crisis.

Martin Geissler joined ITV News in 2002. Since then, he’s enjoyed postings as Africa correspondent and then Europe correspondent. In 2008 Martin’s work inside Zimbabwe was nominated for Emmy, BAFTA and RTS awards. In 2012 he won the One World media award for his reports on the Somali famine.


He covered the 2014 Scottish referendum, still lives in Scotland and maintains a close interest in the country, its people and its politics. These days he enjoys a wide brief, covering major events both at home and abroad

Chris Howard is the Executive Producer for Sky News Tonight. He has also been a mentor in 2017. 

Rohit Kachroo is the Security Editor for ITV News, concentrating on counter-terrorism and national security, both in the UK and abroad. He has previously been UK Editor and Africa Correspondent. In 2011 Rohit won Young Journalist of the Year at the Royal Television Society Awards for Journalism.

Mike Kumar is an Output Editor, in charge of TV and mobile content at Sky News. Since joining in 2005, he's held a number of senior roles editing programmes across the channel.

Before that, Mike spent more than 12 years at the BBC. He joined as a news trainee working at Greater London Radio (GLR) and the regional programme Newsroom SouthEast. He was a reporter/producer/newsreader at BBC Radio Newcastle, before returning to London as a programme editor on Radio Five Live, BBC Breakfast and News 24.

Mike was previously a mentor for the Trust's scheme in 2014.

Jack Leather is Digital Editor at Channel 5 News.


His grounding was in sports journalism, reporting on the Olympics for in London and Lausanne. He travelled to Austria, South Korea, Guatemala and China to cover the bidding and hosting of the Games.


He then became a writer on the BBC’s Match of the Day Magazine, before moving into politics as News Editor for PoliticsHome. He was a member of the Lobby in Westminster and played a key part in coverage of the 2010 election and formation of the coalition government.


After reporting on the 2012 Olympics for Metro, he moved to ITN later that year – starting in the ITV News digital department before moving to 5 News. Jack grew up in France, studied in Bath and now lives in North London. He was nominated for Editor of the Year at the 2018 Online Media Awards. 

Sian Lloyd is the Wales Correspondent for BBC News.


During  23 years with the  BBC,  Sian has reported and presented for a range of daily TV and Radio news programmes and documentaries.


Most recently, she has presented on BBC Breakfast and Panorama.


She began her career with BBC Wales where she carried out a number of roles including Health Correspondent, reporting and presenting on Wales Today, Good Evening Wales, and the current affairs programme Week in Week Out.

Suzanne Lord is currently Deputy Head of News and Editor of News Intake at STV. In a career spanning almost 20 years Suzanne has worked all over the UK in a variety of roles and on  some of the biggest stories of recent times.


Suzanne’s career started  as a freelance reporter  for BBC  Radio Shetland . Via Hull, York, Leeds and then Aberdeen she ended up in the bright lights of London working in her dream job at Newsround. During  this time she travelled to New York to cover the 5th anniversary of 9/11, did the MTV awards in Portugal and made a series of films about the drought in North-Eastern Kenya.


After that she spent time as a producer the BBC News Channel, the One, Six and Ten o’clock news before taking on a role as Scotland producer based in Glasgow. Life on the road was exciting and everyday a different challenge. From landmark Scottish elections, through to breaking news and even a last minute dash to Iceland to cover the volcanic ash cloud,  this was the job which had it all.  Following on from that she expanded in her newsgathering experience in the busy north patch for the BBC before taking on a job as Editor of TV News training for the BBC.


Glasgow came calling again and a chance to expand her skills and knowledge in the commercial sector. Suzanne joined STV in 2015 and has enjoyed bringing the TV and digital teams together, launching new programmes,  as well as devising training programmes and new ways of working.

Maddii Lown is a foreign affairs journalist with Sky News. She was a mentor previously in 2017. 

Paula McGrath is a BBC News producer covering global health issues. She began her journalism career in Southampton working for regional ITV News.  

David Mackie is Head of Operations for BBC Cymru Wales, based in Cardiff, and leads the teams which support programmes produced there for Wales and UK audiences.  


He has spent 30 years in broadcast since beginning his career as a reporter with ILR in Scotland, at Moray Firth Radio.


Before moving to Wales he worked in a variety of roles for BBC Newsgathering, including Head of Operations, UK Intake Editor and World Assignment Editor in London, where he was responsible for correspondent and crew deployment to stories in the UK and abroad, as well as working on location around the UK, in Europe and the US.

Chris Morris has been a BBC foreign correspondent for more than 20 years. He’s been based in Sri Lanka, the United States, Turkey, India and Europe. 

Chris now covers Brexit for @BBCRealityCheck

Ian Pannell is a senior foreign correspondent for ABC News. Ian previously worked for BBC News for 20 years, covering stories all over the world.


Ian’s career began at BBC Radio Leicester where he progressed from unpaid tea-boy to reporter. He made the move to London and network radio in the form of a new upstart in the BBC stable – 5 Live. From there Ian moved to Radio One, Newsbeat and a few years later to The World at One (WATO) and PM on Radio Four.

He has held several senior reporting positions whilst at the BBC, including as Middle East Correspondent and North America Correspondent.

In recent years Ian has reported from the front lines of Crimea during the Ukraine/Russia conflict, Gaza during the Hamas and Israel conflict, and Nepal after the earthquake that devastated the country in 2015.


He was awarded an International Emmy for his contribution in covering the conflict between Hezbollah and Israel; the Royal Television Society Award for International News Coverage on his 2013 report of Syrian rebel-held areas; and an International Press Award for his stories on displaced families in Syria. Ian has been honored with two additional Emmys and two Peabody awards for his excellence in reporting. He also holds several other awards for his dedication to honest, authentic storytelling.

As a News Correspondent for Sky News Tom Parmenter has covered major stories all over the UK and across the world. This has included terrorist attacks, witchcraft, riots, natural disasters, celebrity sex scandals and big sports events.


He has gained exclusive access into underground cannabis farms, forced the UK Government to publish secret sex abuse files and in the days after the London riots spoke exclusively to a gang of looters and helped take a stash of illegal guns off the streets. 

Tom joined Sky News in 2006 as North of England Correspondent where he also covered the “disappearance” of schoolgirl Shannon Matthews, the horrific shooting of schoolboy Rhys Jones in Liverpool as well as the floods in Yorkshire and Cumbria. 

Previously Tom has worked as a reporter for ITV Central and ITV Meridian.

Ronke Phillips has been a journalist for more than 20 years and has been fortunate enough to enjoy a varied career in print, radio and television. She has worked both as a presenter and reporter – for national and regional television, both in the UK and abroad.

Ronke, who is of Nigerian heritage, attended a girl’s school in Putney before gaining a BSC honours degree in Third World Economics and Social Sciences.

She began her broadcast career working as a radio reporter for a host of local BBC Radio stations including BBC Radio London, Nottingham, Leicester and Derby.

The breakthrough into television journalism came through a place on the ITN’s News Trainee Scheme through Central TV in Nottingham. Ronke has also worked for BBC Daytime, BBC Features, BBC New York and GMTV.

Since 1999 she has been a correspondent at ITV’s London Tonight, working on a number of special investigations including coverage of the release of the M25 three, the murder of Victoria Climbie and the July 7th bombings in 2005.

In 2002 she won a Royal Television Society award for her coverage of the verdicts in the Damilola Taylor trial.​

Ronke is also a freelance writer, her articles have appeared in a number of newspapers and magazines including the Independent, The Daily Mail, The Voice and Pride Magazine

Matthew Price is currently the Chief Correspondent for the Today programme on BBC Radio 4. He has worked across the world since joining the BBC in 1994 as a trainee local radio reporter.


As Middle East Correspondent he covered the Lebanon war in 2006, the death of Yasser Arafat, Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza and the end of Ariel Sharon. He covered the Iraq war in 2003 and reported many times from the country in the following years. As Belgrade Correspondent he covered the trial of the murdered Serbian prime minister Zoran Djindjic. In 2007 he moved to New York where he covered the collapse of Lehman brothers and the subsequent credit crisis. He followed John McCain on the campaign trail in the 2008 presidential election.

In 2010 Matthew’s work with producer Ian Sherwood and cameraman Chuck Tayman covering Mexico’s drugs wars was nominated for an Emmy Award. In January 2011 their work as a team was recognised with a Dupont-Columbia School of Journalism Award for coverage of the 2010 Haiti earthquake. The coverage of the Haiti Earthquake also earned Matthew, producer Ian Sherwood and cameraman Chuck Tayman an Emmy Nomination in 2011. Matthew was named News Journalist of the Year at the Sony Radio Awards in 2011. Previously during his time with the BBC’s newsrooms programmes he won the RTS Young Journalist of the Year and a BAFTA for his work in Afghanistan. He has also been the BBC's Europe Correspondent. 

Jonathan Rugman has been Foreign Affairs Correspondent of Channel 4 News since 2006, previously serving as the programme's Washington and Business Correspondent. He began his career based in Turkey for the BBC World Service and "The Guardian" and is the author of "Ataturk's Children - Turkey and the Kurds". 


Stories he has covered include famine in Somalia, Haiti's earthquake, the Arab Spring uprisings, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the rise of ISIS in Iraq. He has covered several presidential elections in the US and France and his journalism has won over 10 awards, including a BAFTA in 2016.  He has also worked in television documentaries and as a reporter on "File on 4" for BBC Radio 4. 

Ian Sherwood is the Senior Assignment Manager for NBC News. Previously he was Senior Editor International News for Sky News. 


Ian worked for BBC News as deputy bureau chief based in Washington DC and New York. He has also been foreign planning editor, World Duty Editor, Home Duty Editor and a senior producer for the BBC.


During his time based in New York Ian was awarded the Alfred I DuPont Columbia School of Journalism Award for his coverage of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti working alongside Matthew Price and cameraman Chuck Tayman. During that time he also received two Emmy nominations for their work as a team for coverage of the earthquake in Haiti and coverage of Mexico’s Drug Wars and a BAFTA nomination for coverage of the earthquake in Haiti.


Ian was the lead producer covering Barack Obama’s election campaign working with Gavin Hewitt and cameraman Rob Magee. He covered the war in Iraq, Libya and the 2008 war in Georgia. Ian led the team deployed to Tavistock Square on the day of the 7/7 bombings in London.

Ian has also previously worked at ITN before joining the BBC in 2002. He has two children, a boy and a girl.

Tira Shubart has been a freelance news & documentary producer & journalist trainer for more than three decades working around the world. She has worked extensively for BBC News over the years and also for Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Al Jazeera, NBC News & ABC News.


Tira was a partner in Frontline Television News with Rory Peck and became a co-founder, and now Trustee, of the Rory Peck Trust.  Tira also writes comedy and her series, Taking the Flak, about a TV team in a fictional African country, ran on BBC2. She splits her time between news & news consultancy work, particularly in Africa, and comedy writing.

Twenty years ago David Shukman visited the secret lab at Los Alamos that created the nuclear bomb and he's been fascinated by science and scientists ever since. His reports on research have taken him as far afield as the Antarctic ice-sheet, the Amazon rainforest and the depths of the Gulf of Mexico.

Since joining the BBC back in 1983, David has covered Northern Ireland, defence, Europe and world affairs. He is the author of three books.

His favourite memories include reporting from East Berlin during the fall of the Wall and exploring the tunnels of the Large Hadron Collider on a bike.

Shona Somerville is Political Producer for Sky News in Westminster. 

Simon Vigar is the Royal Correspondent for Channel 5 News, the highlight being an exclusive interview with Prince Harry. Simon has covered many tours since 2007, including Harry’s visit to Jamaica when the Prince won a ‘race’ with Usain Bolt and Prince George’s memorable first trip Down Under.


Simon also led coverage on the Paris and Brussels attacks for 5 News, the shock retirement of the Pope and several major trials including Stephen Lawrence, Baby P and Joanna Yeates. He began his career in commercial radio and has been the 'news guy' for several breakfast shows, including Capital, Heart & LBC.


2017 is his third year as a mentor and he says he and his mentees agree the most beneficial part is acting as an impartial, confidential sounding board. Quick phone chats at the end of a good or bad day are often better (and more realistic) than lots of meetings.

Morwen Williams is Head of Newsgathering Operations at BBC News, leading a team of 220 engineers, camera operators, radio studio managers, media intake teams and other technical staff. Previously she was deputy UK editor and UK special events assignments editor for BBC News.



Morwen has also worked as deputy editor for BBC Manchester and output editor for BBC London. She is married with two teenage boys, and is a keen cyclist

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