Four new Visiting Fellows join the Reuters Institute

5th March 2020

We are pleased to announce four new Visiting Fellows to the Reuters Institute. They will spend various periods of time over the next couple of academic terms to explore a critical area of the news media while sharing their expertise and experience with those at the institute. The Visiting Fellows bring a wealth of insights from editorial, policymaking, and academic perspectives.

Richard Allan

Richard Allan left Facebook at the end of 2019 after 10 years in various public policy roles at the company.

Richard has worked on most of the "hot" technology policy issues including privacy and data use, content regulation, the conduct of politics online, competition, tax and connectivity.

Prior to joining Facebook, Richard was European Government Affairs Director for Cisco Systems from September 2005. He has also been an academic visitor at the Oxford Internet Institute.

From 2008 to 2009 Richard was Chair of the UK Cabinet Office’s Power of Information Task Force working on improving the use of government data.

Richard was an elected Member of the UK Parliament between 1997 and 2005, and was appointed to the House of Lords in 2010.

In the early part of his career Richard was an archaeologist and created software for the UK’s National Health Service - he remains equally fond of Latin and SQL.

During his time at the Reuters Institute Richard will be writing about the regulation of online services. He will have a particular focus on the interaction between social media and politics reflecting his long experience in both these areas. This will include looking at government responses to the changing media landscape and in particular at regulatory responses that targeted at 'fake news'.

Sarah Sands

Sarah Sands trained on the Sevenoaks Courier as a news reporter, before moving to the Evening Standard – initially as Editor of the Londoner's Diary – and took further posts as Features Editor and Associate Editor. She joined the Daily Telegraph in 1996 as Deputy Editor to assume responsibility later for the Saturday edition.

She was appointed the first female Editor of the Sunday Telegraph in 2005. In 2006 she worked as Consultant Editor on the Daily Mail and in 2008, she became Editor-in-Chief of the UK edition of Reader's Digest.  She was appointed Deputy Editor of the London Evening Standard in 2009 and became its Editor from 2012-2017. Sarah is currently the Editor of the Today Programme.

Her work at the Reuters Institute will focus on the media's relationship with government.

Gabriela Torres

With 20 years of experience of journalism in television, radio, print, online and social media production across two continents and five countries, Gabriela Torres is now Head of Social Media Central Team at BBC World Service.

Ms Torres’ team provides strategic direction, support, mentoring and sense of belonging to 42 BBC Languages newsrooms that have presence on 188 social platforms worldwide.  This is a highly competent team in online analytics and able to use data in creative decision making.

One key part of Ms Torres’ work is to increase engagement of female audience on social media. As women are a main driver of traffic and promoters of a brand, she had developed and implemented systems and processes to ensure performances in relation female traffic is monitored and analysed on regular basis. This ensures the outputs of the analysis are fed back and followed with teams.

In addition she has developed reports to make recommendations, organize and deliver presentations, all with the ambition to successfully tap into female audiences and inform pan-BBC content on social media and wider story commissioning decisions.

Her work at the Reuters Institute will look at improving digital and social media newsrooms to increase female audiences and generate overall growth.

Anya Schiffrin

Anya Schiffrin is currently focused on the ways different governments and foundations are addressing the question of online mis/disinformation and possibly policy and regulatory policies. Director of the media and communications specialization at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs in New York.

She has lectured and written on the watchdog and advocacy role of journalists and impediments that investigative journalists face. She has edited three volumes on the subject of media capture and the third volume, Media Capture in the Digital Age, will be published in 2020 by Columbia University Press. Schiffrin is known too for her work on investigative reporting in the Global South and she is the editor of Global Muckraking: 100 Years of Investigative Reporting from Around the World (New Press, 2014) and African Muckraking: 75 years of Investigative journalism from Africa (Jakana 2017).  Schiffrin spent 10 years working overseas as a journalist in Europe and Asia and was a Knight-Bagehot Fellow at Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism in 1999-2000. She served for nine years as a member of the advisory board of the Open Society Foundation’s Program on Independent Journalism.  She currently serves on the OSF Global Board.

During her time at the Reuters Institute she will be working on a book about policy responses to online mis/disinformation.