Emily Sheffield, a former student at the University of East Anglia, is set to become the Evening Standard’s Editor on July 1st, replacing the former Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne.
Sheffield was named as The Guardian’s student journalist of the year as she launched a magazine at UEA entitled ‘Bucket of Tongues’. In an interview with The Guardian, she spoke about the experience: “Editorial meeting started out very organised, but descended into chaos. Deadlines were missed, authors’ names were left off and spelling mistakes were more frequent than the Guardian’s… Despite our lack of professionalism, the freedom we had to create whatever we wanted was a rare opportunity worth seizing”.
Sheffield spoke on her new role as she tweeted: “very proud to be announced as the new Editor of the Evening Standard. It has been a core part of my daily life since I moved to London aged 18. And spent five formative years there as a young journalist in my 20s”. However, she looks set to take over at a difficult period for the publication and the newspaper industry as a whole. The paper furloughed some of its staff whilst imposing a 20% pay cut on other in April. It halted publication of its weekly magazine, ES, a decision Osborne made to “keep people in jobs and go on bringing the paper to you during this crisis”. Additionally, whilst relying on advertising for 80% of its revenues, the London paper has reported losses of £23m over the past two years.
The sister-in-law of former prime minister, David Cameron, Sheffield, 47, has faced criticism from some on social media. Guardian columnist, Owen Jones, tweeted: “The sister of David Cameron’s wife has replaced David Cameron’s Chancellor of the Exchequer as Evening Standard editor… welcome to the giant revolving door that is the British Establishment”.
Sheffield has plenty of experience in the journalism industry. She began as a graduate news trainee at The Guardian before moving on to work for Max Hastings’ Evening Standard for five years. In 2005, she became deputy editor of British Vogue, remaining in that position until 2017. She later set up an Instagram-focused digital brand in August 2018, named ThisMuchIKnow, which strives to encourage young people to engage with the news. Sheffield is set to remain a director of TMIK Media whilst working in her new role.