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Media Masters


Extended one-to-one interviews with the key people in the industry. Find out their tips for career success, and peek behind-the-scenes at their workplace. Candid, thoughtful and reflective - a chance to share the insight of those at the very top of their game. Presented by Paul Blanchard.


United Kingdom


Extended one-to-one interviews with the key people in the industry. Find out their tips for career success, and peek behind-the-scenes at their workplace. Candid, thoughtful and reflective - a chance to share the insight of those at the very top of their game. Presented by Paul Blanchard.





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Jen Berry - CEO, Digitas UK

Born in Australia, Jen traveled to New York City to work at Razorfish, becoming VP of Client Engagement, Managing Partner and then Executive Vice President and North East Region Lead. She moved to fellow Publicis Groupe agency Digitas UK at the start of 2023. She has worked with some of the biggest brands including Unilever, Citi, United Nations and Marriott, specializing in the latest from TikTok, to MadTech, AI, gaming, and social commerce.Jen talks about her personal journey in leadership – learning that it’s okay to admit when you’re wrong and how nurturing teamwork improves progress — and shares her ambitions to create a societal impact through ‘unicorn’ agency, Digitas, by immersing itself in emerging technologies and partnering with companies like NexTech Girls, to expand access and promote practical education for women and girls in the tech industry.


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Charlie Beckett - Journalism Professor, London School of Economics

Working as a programme editor at both the BBC and Channel 4 News specialising in politics and international affairs, Charlie covered major stories such as the terrorist attacks on New York and London, and is an award-winning filmmaker. In 2006, Charlie joined the London School of Economics and Political Science, and became founding director of Polis, the university’s’ international journalism institute.Charlie discusses his current role, leading JournalismAI and the issues that generative AI still presents: from the inequality of biasing English or European-languages to the gaps in its learning, inability fact-check with enough precision, and other major problems that need to be solved before it’s possible for AI to replicate human writing or publish breaking news. Charlie also explores how AI will be beneficial for journalists—saving time, effort, and boosting journalism by transferring written pieces into different creative mediums.


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Steve Youngwood - Chief Executive Officer, Sesame Workshop

Steve has been involved for almost 30 years with TV, book, and video game growth, working with big names such as Viacom, Disney, and GSV Ventures—a venture capitalist firm that invests in EdTech. Now, as the CEO of Sesame Workshop, he’s leading the world-famous nonprofit educational organisation to help kids everywhere grow smarter, stronger, and kinder, aiming to provide impactful early learning.Steve shares what he’s learned from Big Bird, and how the quintessentially American show ‘Sesame Street’ implements progressive ideas to teach children and raise their social and academic literacy—like greater tolerance and appreciation of different races, gender identities, and those with disabilities—and how the brand is evolving to reach more diverse cultures and countries around the world at a local level. He sees the future of ‘Sesame Street’ streaming on YouTube in collaboration with children’s YouTube stars, focusing more on emotional well-being.


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Katie Forde - Senior Vice President Brand & Digital, Guinness World Records

For nearly 18 years, Katie has guided Guinness World Records through innovative initiatives that maintain its relevance and international esteem. She started as a software engineer and led teams in IT, marketing, to becoming SVP of Content and Product in 2018. In her most recent appointment in 2022, she has led the company’s expansion into digital content services that enable the iconic book of world records to reach new audiences and remain ‘fresh’.Katie talks about how the origin of Guinness World Records started as an idea by the Guinness Brewery becoming a “pioneer” of content marketing. Katie explains the process and the key parameters for adjudicating records and argues that when media brands evolve to stay relevant, they still have a duty to reflect the good and bad of society—reporting the stories of inspiring determination as well as unsafe stunts that have gone horribly wrong.


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Marc Malkin - Senior Culture & Events Editor, Variety

With over twenty years working across print, digital and broadcast media, Marc is one of the most prominent entertainment journalists in the industry. He’s served as a writer and editor for leading publications, including the New York Daily News, Us Weekly, and New York magazine, and was an on-air correspondent at E! News. In 2018, he became senior culture & events editor at Variety and hosts the ‘Just for Variety’ podcast, featuring conversations with the biggest names in Hollywood.From his struggles as an openly gay journalist during the AIDS epidemic in the early 90s, to the ongoing writers’ strike – and how it will evolve – Marc shares his stories and insights from the front row.


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Sara Goudarzi – Editor, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

Sara is a leading writer and editor with expertise in science and disruptive technologies; her work appears in publications such as Scientific American, The New York Times, and National Geographic News. Sara is the author of the novel The Almond in the Apricot and children’s book, Leila’s Day at the Pool. Sara details the threat that chatbots pose to journalism and the media, through scraping information from other sources without distinguishing between credible and uncredible sources, possibly spreading misinformation and feeding into the public’s distrust. Sara argues that although AI is presented as an impending storm that we do not have control over, humans are in control of their deployment and can choose a future where they work with these technologies instead of being replaced by them.


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Sophie Holland - Casting Director

Sophie started off as an actor, and founded her own casting agency in 2015, working predominantly with high-end TV, film and theatre productions. She has collaborated to source talent for The Witcher and Wednesday among others, and advocates for casting more diverse talent into leading acting roles to encourage broader representation in Hollywood.Sophie reflects on the impact of social media on acting, both the way it has transformed the industry since the #MeToo movement, making it a safer and more inclusive place to work; and how social media followings can affect casting decisions based on the impact it has on promoting the show or film. She also explores how finding actors who perfectly embody a character is not the goal—they need to be able to push the boundaries of the role.


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Lawrence Krauss - Theoretical physicist and cosmologist

Lawrence is a sought after public speaker, university lecturer, and bestselling author of several books, including "The Physics of Star Trek," and "A Universe from Nothing", which explain complex scientific ideas clearly to the general public. He’s also the host of “The Origins” podcast, which explores human experiences through science and culture.Lawrence posits that our fear of A.I actually stems from a larger fear—the fear of the unknown. He argues that science is actually about celebrating the secrets of the universe rather than needing to explain everything, but we need to become more skeptical as a society.


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Emily Reuben - CEO and Co-founder, Duchenne UK

In 2012 inspired by her son’s diagnosis, Emily founded Duchenne UK, a charity dedicated to finding a cure for Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Coming from a background in TV news, Emily shares how their successes in raising millions of pounds to support research were in part due to her understanding of the media from within and having connections to high-profile journalists. She discusses some of the progress, such as groundbreaking drug treatments and the development of exoskeletal suits to assist the afflicted, and shares about the impediments they face, from battling slow bureaucracy for drug approvals to the ticking clock Duchenne puts on to all those suffering from the condition.


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Martin Kaelble - Co-founder, Informed

Martin spent over a decade working for some of the biggest names in German media, including the Financial Times, Gruner + Jahr, and Capital Magazin. In 2021, frustrated with “wasting time sifting through the overwhelming ‘wild west’ news feed” and the escalating problem of misinformation – he founded the app Informed. Starting as a newsletter, he saw the potential to move beyond the convenient curation of news for the reader and realized that important journalism was being lost, and the opportunity of holding power to account was being eclipsed by a news feed of vanilla content. Now a successful app, Martin deliberately employs a human curation team – giving access to paywalled content for no extra charge.


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Inzamam Rashid - North of England Correspondent, Sky News

Inzamam kicked off his career on regional BBC radio in 2016 before making his way into TV, covering breaking news, politics, and human interest stories. He has reported on major events such as the Manchester Arena bombing and the Grenfell Tower fire and won two awards for his pandemic coverage. Inzamam shares his experience transitioning from radio to TV in the dynamic world of journalism, shedding light on the challenges he faced due to racism – and how this is improving – and providing valuable advice to those hoping to break into TV news. He delves into some of the breaking news stories he has covered, giving his insights on navigating the fast-paced media landscape while reporting on stories in a reliable and trustworthy manner. He also highlights the need to report on more positive and inspiring stories, particularly from the North of England.


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Sir Robin Millar - Chairman, Chrysalis Records & Chairman, Scope

Known for being one of the most influential people in the music industry with the “best ears”, Robin has been awarded 150 gold and platinum discs and has produced 44 number one hits alongside prominent musicians including Elton John, Sting, Sade, Everything but the Girl, and Boy George. Blind since the age of 16, he’s been an outspoken advocate for facilitating the inclusion of disabled people in all aspects of society and life. Robin shares his experiences and insights on working in the music industry as a person with a disability, emphasising that it’s not the lack of sight that gifts his ears, but listening without the distraction of the other senses that gives him an edge. He discusses the internalised shame surrounding disability, with 8 out of 10 people not disclosing theirs, and his belief that interdependency not independency is vital to normalising disability and creating a more inclusive society.


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Peter Tatchell - Human rights campaigner

From campaigning for Aboriginal rights in Australia in the 1960s to attempting to arrest Robert Mugabe in 2001, Peter made a name for himself over a six-decade-long career as an international human rights and social justice activist, challenging preconceptions around transphobia, homophobia, and xenophobia around the world. Peter reflects on how activism has changed from his early efforts in the 60s to now, harnessing social media as a tool for mobilizing a wider – previously unreachable – audience, and the unfortunate “bullhorns” it creates, which threaten that progress. He also shares how by challenging the status quo, he’s opened himself up to a near-daily barrage of violent threats — all of which must be taken seriously — and how he no longer believes in laws that would ban hateful speech.


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Julian Treasure - TED speaker & soundscaping expert

As one of the foremost experts on the science of sound, Julian’s five TED talks have been viewed over 150 million times, with “How to Speak so That People Want to Listen” ranking in the top ten all-time most popular. He founded The Sound Agency in 2003, focusing on helping brands through ‘soundscaping’, which “uses sound to connect with customers on a deeper emotional level”. Julian discusses the growing evidence of how sound affects people psychologically, emphasising the benefits of schools teaching “conscious listening” as a crucial skill for professional settings and, more importantly, within our relationships – as often, feeling valued is tied to being heard. He advocates intentionally seeking out and listening to opposing views to stop the cycle of polarisation and echo chambers perpetuated by the media, combating the rise of conspiracy theories – as “listening is the sound of democracy”.


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John Thornhill - Innovation Editor, Financial Times & Founder, Sifted

Describing himself as an “accidental journalist”, John joined the FT in 1989. In the three decades since, he was Moscow correspondent in 1994 following the collapse of the Soviet Union, and led six editorial teams around the world – including Asia and Europe. As Innovation Editor since 2016, he widened the publication's technology coverage, even creating an innovation of his own: Sifted, which reports on the vibrant European tech startup scene as an antidote to Silicon Valley culture. Sifted focuses on the human element of entrepreneurialism which is driving innovation from the front, and shows the tough reality of running a startup. John shares his concerns with the rapid advancement of deepfakes and AI, which make telling the difference between truth and lies almost impossible – but how he ultimately sees this as an opportunity for consumers.


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David Ewalt - Editor-in-Chief, Gizmodo

Gizmodo was the first independent tech blog, which launched in 2002, reporting on technology, science and internet culture. With over 40 million actively engaged monthly readers the site is growing, with a new section focusing on the technology and business of spaceflight and exploration. David shares how his career began working at his university’s newspaper to becoming editor at The Wall Street Journal and Reuters, before joining Gizmodo as editor-in-chief in 2021. He offers insights into the advancements of VR technology and the role of AI in the modern workforce—and how it will change the way we live.


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Philip O'Ferrall - CEO, Outernet Global

Outernet is an all-inclusive entertainment district in London, reimagining the musically iconic Denmark Street – where acts such as David Bowie and the Sex Pistols kicked off their careers – bringing together music, art, film, gaming and retail. Using advanced screen technology, Outernet offers a new way for creatives and leading brands to produce and experience content, partnering with the likes of Ridley Scott and the Royal College of Art. Philip began his career learning the technical aspects of broadcasting, becoming Senior Vice President of Global Digital Media for MTV Networks in 2007, and then Executive Vice President and Managing Director of its parent company Viacom a year later. He explores how his extensive knowledge of tech led to his team launching the first music video on a mobile phone – and explains what the metaverse really is for the uninitiated.


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Bob Sorokanich - Editor-in-Chief, Jalopnik

With more than 10 million monthly readers, Jalopnik is the automotive industry’s most influential publication – with news and analysis not only covering cars, but also planes, boats, trains and even spaceships. A lifelong car enthusiast, Bob has dedicated his journalism career to his love of automobiles. Starting out as a reporter at Gizmodo, he then spent 7 years at Road & Track magazine, ultimately being promoted to Deputy Editor, before leaving to take over the helm of Jalopnik in 2022. He credits Tesla’s influence on the rise of electric vehicles for personal use – predicting a complete takeover in the next three decades – and the critical need for Tesla’s buy out.


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Hugo Greenhalgh - Editor, ‘Openly’ Thomson Reuters Foundation’s LGBTQ initiative

Since taking over as editor in 2018, Hugo has driven Openly’s mission to become the world’s most trusted destination for impartial LGBT+ news. Reaching Reuters’ one billion clients daily, the platform aims to uncover breaking stories and investigates the queer narratives inside major global events, typically untold by mainstream media, made possible through shifting from spot news to social media reporting. Hugo is also the author of ‘The Diaries of Mr Lucas’, and explores how he uncovered this fascinating account of queer life in London before the partial decriminalisation of gay sex in 1967, and what led to Mr Lucas giving him his indiscreet journals for publication—revealing an affair with a member of the Kray twins gang.


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David Loyn - Veteran foreign correspondent

After three decades with the BBC reporting from South Asia and Afghanistan, David's expertise was called upon by the former Afghan President as an advisor; he now consults for the Foreign Office and trains mid-career diplomats. Amongst many other accolades, his 1998 reporting from behind the lines of the Kosovo Liberation Army earned him ‘Journalist of the Year’ from the Royal Television Society. David reveals one of the least reported consequences of 9/11 — the surge in PTSD amongst journalists covering the attacks — and details his campaign for news organisations to provide better mental health support. He shares how a “freelance adventure” in Poland spamming LBC’s news desk led to him becoming their official correspondent, and gives his top tips for uncovering a breaking story.