Our mentors

Being a John Schofield Trust mentee will put you in direct contact for a year with some of the leading journalists in British broadcasting.

It will help you with developing skills, both professional and personal, in a structured way based on individual needs.

To become a mentor, please contact the Trust using the contact form.

To become a mentee on our 2021 scheme, applications open on 21 September 2020. More information will be available about the application process then.

Jessica Omari

Jessica Alavi-Ellis

Jessica is a Senior Producer and Reporter for Reuters covering stories from location internationally. Previously Reuters on-air correspondent based in Moscow. Jessica forged her early career as a self-shooting reporter in the Middle East, documenting the growing Syrian refugee crisis. Honing her skills at Al Jazeera and Sky News, she went on to become Specialist and then Senior Producer at 5 News, covering crises around the world. Jessica has most recently directed and series produced a monthly science and technology show and a documentary, charting a decade since the global financial crash.

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Sarah Beale

Sarah (uses both surnames – Morris and Beale) has worked as a journalist for 31 years. She started off in local papers before working shifts on national newspapers, joining the BBC as a news trainee in 1992. She was a reporter on BBC London for several years before going on to work as a producer and reporter for the BBC in Brussels and in Washington. After a spell as a PR for various charities and other organisations, she’s now a producer at Channel 4 News.

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Matt Brindley

Matt Brindley

Matt is currently Deputy Managing editor of ITV News. He’s been there 12 years and previously been a programme editor, news editor, and field producer. He edited ITVs Royal Wedding Special Programme in 2018 and the previous year was editor of the ITV London team which won an RTS award for for their Grenfell fire programme. Earlier in his career Matt worked for GMTV and ITV Central news in the Midlands.

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Jess Bulman

Jess is Deputy Editor of 5 News, running the day-to-day news operation with a focus on putting the audience at the heart of the story.

She joined 5 News in 2018 from ITV News where she was Head of Home Planning overseeing UK and specialist content. Jess also ran the newsgathering operation on the day of the Grenfell tower disaster, which was nominated for a BAFTA TV Award.

Jess started her career at BBC Look North as a Broadcasting Assistant. She later moved to Sky News where she spent 11 years in a variety of roles, including output producer, planning editor and news editor. In 2012, she joined ITV Daybreak and was part of the senior editorial team that brought Good Morning Britain to air.

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Tessa Chapman

Tessa has been Chief Correspondent for 5 News since 2011, covering breaking domestic and international stories.

Her first assignment was in Libya where she reported on the liberation of Tripoli and the hunt for Colonel Gaddafi. International assignments have taken her to Gaza, Jordan, Kenya, Nigeria and Indonesia, while closer to home she covered the Costa Concordia cruise ship disaster, the trial of Norwegian mass killer Anders Breivik, and the European migrant crisis. Tessa also travelled to America in the wake of both the Sandy Hook and Parkland school shootings to investigate the country’s gun culture.

Tessa enjoys telling domestic stories too. In 2014 her series of reports on child abuse images was nominated for an RTS award, and she has more recently reported in-depth on the stigma surrounding stillbirth, and produced and directed a documentary on young people leaving the care system.

Tessa graduated from the University of Manchester with a first class degree in Politics and Modern History before studying for a post-graduate diploma in Broadcast Journalism at the University of Central Lancashire.

She started her career in local radio in Manchester, where she was sent to interview the Prime Minister Tony Blair on her first day. She first moved into television news as a reporter for ITV Granada, then worked as a correspondent for Sky News before joining 5 News.

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Chris Cook

Chris works very slowly for Tortoise, a different kind of newsroom. He previously reported for BBC Newsnight and wrote for the Financial Times.

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Andrew Dagnell

Andrew is Acting Head of Newsgathering, ITV News. Usually: News Editor, UK Specialists. Ex-Fleet Street reporter.

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Mark Daly

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.

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Gareth Deighan

Gareth is head of production at SignPost, a north-east based production company.

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Nina dos Santos

Nina is CNN’s Europe Editor based in the network’s London bureau. She has extensively covered the Brexit referendum and the ongoing negotiations between the UK and EU. She has also reported on major stories from the region including the Novichok attacks in the UK, the terrorist attacks in Paris in 2015 and in Brussels in 2016.

Upon joining CNN, Nina obtained a series of global exclusives on the International Monetary Fund following the arrest of Dominique Strauss-Kahn in New York. She was the first journalist to get a copy of the former managing director’s leaving letter, written in jail, and highlighted debate among female IMF staff about whether it was time for a woman at the helm.

An experienced moderator, Nina has chaired panels at the meetings of the World Economic Forum and the German Marshall Fund of the United States. She has also hosted events at the European Parliament in Brussels, at London’s Chatham House and at the Ambrosetti Forum’s annual gathering in Cernobbio, Italy.

Nina began her career in print news with internships at the Financial Times Group and Dow Jones & Co before moving into broadcast news as a presenter with Bloomberg Television, later with Sky News and NBC News.

Nina holds a BSc in Biological Sciences from Imperial College London and a Masters in Economics. Half English, half Dutch, Nina also speaks fluent French and Italian, as well as Spanish, Portuguese and German.

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Melanie Fanstone

Melanie Fanstone

Melanie 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.

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Roohi Hasan

Roohi is an award-winning Senior producer at ITN working at ITV News for more than a decade. She started her career at 5News where she soon became a News Editor and has also worked at Channel 4 News. Her journalism has taken her around the world, including America for the historic 2016 Election. She has covered some of the biggest international stories over the years, including the Afghanistan and Iraq wars and has interviewed leading global figures. Her investigations have shone a light on British soldiers with PTSD, climate change in India, and the siege of Aleppo. Roohi has won awards and had her shows recognised by BAFTA and the Royal Television Society. In the past year she has also worked with the digital team producing an award winning new show for the channel. Roohi’s great passion is mentoring disadvantaged youth personally and through Prince Charles’ charity, Mosaic. She has written about mentoring for the Financial Times.

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Vicki Hawthorne

Vicki is a reporter and presenter for UTV in Belfast. She joined UTV in 2014 and before that she was Ireland Correspondent for Sky News from 2008. Vicki began her career at Downtown Radio in Belfast and also worked as a video journalist for ITN.

Vicki mainly reports on business and politics for UTV. Working in Belfast for 20 years means she has often covered periods of street unrest. In recent years she has reported on the Brexit referendum at Westminster and the collapse of the Stormont Assembly.

Vicki graduated from Nottingham Trent University with a first class BA Hons in Broadcast Journalism.

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Rohit Kachroo

Rohit 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.

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Martha Kearney

Martha Kearney

Martha is a presenter on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme and has developed a reputation as one of the BBC’s most respected political journalists. Before joining the Today programme, she hosted The World At One (BBC Radio 4) for eleven years. She has also presented a number of documentaries on BBC 2 and BBC 4 on history, literature, nature and art. Martha presented The Great Butterfly Adventure: Africa to Britain with the Painted Lady (BBC4), and being a keen apiarist she’s hosted The Wonder of Bees, Who Killed The Honey Bee? (BBC 4), and Hive Alive (BBC 2). Martha began her journalistic career in radio, and worked as Lobby Correspondent for LBC/IRN, before joining Channel 4’s Week in Politics team. She has been political editor of Newsnight and presented Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour for nearly a decade. Martha has won the Sony Radio Bronze Award and been nominated for a BAFTA for her coverage of Northern Ireland peace process.

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Bernadette Kitterick

Bernadette is a senior producer with BBC Newsgathering based in London. Until recently Bernadette managed the BBC’s Journalism Trainee and Apprenticeship schemes. She has worked as a TV producer with BBC News, ITV and former ITV Breakfast programme GMTV. She was a newspaper reporter in the North West of England and the West Country for six years before moving into broadcasting.

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Mike Kumar

Mike 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, 2017 and 2018.

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Cordelia Lynch

Cordelia Lynch

Cordelia is the US Correspondent for Sky News. She’s reported from 45 states in America and across Mexico, Columbia, Cuba and El Salvador. Cordelia has covered everything from the 2016 US election and Donald trump’s presidency, to mass shootings and in-depth investigations into MS-13, the border crisis, opioid addiction, Neo-Nazis and human rights abuses. Cordelia’s reports and documentary on the Covid19 crisis in America were also broadcast on NBC.

She has secured a number of exclusives in a turbulent political period in America, including news making interviews with John Bolton, Rudy Giuliani and the President of El Salvador.

Cordelia has fronted three documentaries and won awards from RTS and the New York Film Festival. She presents the Divided States podcast and has written for Evening Standard and Grazia. She previously had a weekly column for Metro newspaper.

Before Sky, Cordelia was a Correspondent for Channel 4 News, reporting across Britain and the world, with exclusive coverage of child sexual exploitation in Rotherham, the migrant crisis across Europe and terror attacks. She spent time covering Westminster and her investigation into LGBT asylum seekers resulted in a change of policy at the Home Office. She also presented the programme.

Cordelia started her career as an ITV trainee, before becoming a reporter and then presenter of ITV West Country. She has a first class degree in History from Bristol University and a PGDip in Broadcast Journalism from City University.

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David Mackie

David 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.

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Stewart Maclean 

Stewart is deputy editor of BBC Newsnight. He rejoined the programme as assistant editor in 2017 following an earlier spell as a producer on the show.

Stewart worked for several years at ITV News, where he joined as news editor before becoming Head of UK Specialists, leading the newsroom’s teams of specialist correspondents and producers.

Stewart started his career in newspapers. He joined the Daily Mirror graduate trainee scheme in 2004, and went on to become a staff news reporter. He left the Mirror to become a freelance correspondent, based in Johannesburg in South Africa, from where he worked for four years for all of the UK’s national newspapers.

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Chris Mason

Chris is one of the BBC’s Political Correspondents. Chris started out as a trainee at ITN, before joining the BBC in Newcastle in 2002.

From local radio to 5 live and then to Westminster, Chris then had a two year stint in Brussels as a Europe Correspondent, well before reporting on the EU became even remotely fashionable.

He has reported from over 20 countries worldwide, covering football in Kazakhstan, an earthquake in Italy, murder trials, a scandal in Formula 1, the Brevik attacks in Norway, the birth of Kosovo, the trial of Radovan Karadzic in The Hague and the World Santa Claus Congress in Copenhagen.

Chris became a Political Correspondent in 2012. He has since become a stand in presenter, working on BBC Breakfast, Radio 4, Radio 5 live and the BBC World Service, when the bosses have run out of better ideas.

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Paula McGrath

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

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Chris Morris

Chris 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

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Eileen Murphy

Eileen is a BBC Digital Exec Editor. Digital, news, data journalism, local audiences, BBC Shared Data Unit.

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Nina Nannar

Nina is Arts Editor for ITV News.

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Nick Pollard

Nick Pollard

Nick has spent 50 years working in the media industry. He is a Broadcast and Media Consultant/Executive, currently working for CGTN (China Global Television Network). He is the former Head of Sky News, Executive Producer of News at Ten at ITN and Chief Executive of British Forces Broadcasting. He was the former Main Board Member at Ofcom, the UK’s Broadcast and Telecoms Regulator. Whilst working at the BBC, he helped launch Newsnight. Nick started his journalism career after leaving school when he became a trainee reporter on the Birkenhead News.

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Tom Rayner

Tom is currently a political correspondent for Sky News based in Westminster, but has covered stories around the world, from Antarctica to Afghanistan, and has produced a number of long-form documentaries.

Before joining the politics team he was Sky’s Asia correspondent, launching a new bureau in Bangkok from which he delivered exclusive reports from across the region including a series on the Philippines drug war and a documentary on plastic pollution in the Indian Ocean.

Tom also ran the Middle East bureau in Jerusalem between 2012 and 2016, which saw him cover the rise of ISIS in Syria and Iraq, the refugee crisis in the Mediterranean and report from Gaza during the 50-day war of 2014.

Tom has worked for Sky News since 2007 and was shortlisted for RTS young journalist of the year in 2009 and 2013.

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Jonathan Rugman

Jonathan 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.

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Ian Sherwood

Ian is a Director for NBC News. Previously he was Senior Assignment Manager and 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.

Ian has been a mentor four times now.

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Steve Sidebottom

Steve is Assistant Editor at Sky News

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Tim Smith

Tim is BBC England’s business partner. He’s worked in broadcasting for thirty years, and was previously head of BBC Yorkshire and editor of BBC Look North for a decade. He’s also worked as a bureau editor for BBC News and as a reporter and presenter for 5-Live when it began in 1994.

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Simon Vigar

Simon Vigar

Simon 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.

2019 is his fifth 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.

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Katerina Vittozzi

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Alex Watson

Alex is a Content Editor at ITV Tyne Tees in Gateshead where she has worked for 19 years in a variety of roles including as a reporter/presenter and a weather presenter before moving behind the camera in 2008. Previously she worked as a reporter/presenter at Border Television in Carlisle and at BBC Radio Lancashire.

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Simon Wilson

Simon is Head of Journalism, Europe and Americas at the BBC World Service overseeing six of the BBC’s language services and around 300 staff. Simon has been with the BBC for more than 30 years – initially as a radio reporter and presenter and for many years as a TV producer in foreign news. He spent six years in the Middle East from 2001 covering the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, the Iraq war and was in charge of the BBC’s coverage of the 2006 conflict in Lebanon between Israel and Hezbollah which won a US Emmy award for international news coverage. He was a 2008 Nieman Journalism Fellow at Harvard University and from 2008 to 2013 was the BBC’s Washington Bureau Chief. Prior to returning to the UK in 2018, Simon spent five years as Editor of the BBC’s news bureaux in Europe, managing the main hub office in Brussels along with satellite bureaux in Paris, Berlin, Rome and Geneva and a network of freelance correspondents around the EU.

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Ian Woods

Ian has been a broadcast journalist for 36 years, most recently with Sky News where he held positions including US Correspondent, Senior Correspondent and Sports Editor.

During his time at Sky he reported on stories as varied as the overthrow of Colonel Gaddafi, the Japanese earthquake and tsunami, climate change in the Arctic, the trial of Harvey Weinstein, four US presidential elections, three Space Shuttle launches, one Space Shuttle crash and numerous hurricanes and cyclones including Hurricane Katrina.

He carried out the first broadcast interview with the parents of Madeleine McCann, and after being invited to witness an execution in Oklahoma, he wrote a book about the death penalty in the United States. The execution was also The basis of Sky’s first ever podcast series.

He established Sky’s first bureau in Australia, where he learned to shoot and edit his own reports and live broadcasts.

Previously he was a presenter for BBC East Midlands Today, and reported for BBC national news. He began his career in local radio in Coventry.

He’s now freelance and working on his own documentaries, and as a reporter for various broadcasters.

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Past mentors

In the past we have had an impressive roll of high profile journalists mentor for us, for example, Evan Davis, Rohit Kachroo, Martha Kearney, Ronke Phillips.

Each year we match mentees to mentors who can best help mentees with their career plans and we are fortunate to have a pool of mentor volunteers on whom to call. A third of our mentors volunteer again. If you would like to become a mentor, please get in touch via our contact form