Peter Preston (English Language and Literature, 1957) is a journalist and author (Bess and 51st State) as well as an Honorary Fellow of St John’s College. During his time at St John’s, Peter served as Editor of Cherwell before securing a three-year traineeship at the Liverpool Daily Post. In 1963 he joined the Guardian, where he enjoyed a variety of roles and opportunities as a Reporter, Foreign Correspondent, Education Correspondent, Diary Columnist, Features Editor and Night Editor. He then went on to serve as Editor for 20 years (1975–95).
Peter continues to work for the Observer as a weekly columnist. He writes 'Peter Preston on press and broadcasting', as well as articles on political and social issues. He served as a member of the Scott Trust (1979–2003), Chairman of the International Press Institute (1995–97) and Chairman of the British Association of Newspaper Editors. He was a Co-Director of the Guardian Foundation for 15 years, training journalists in Eastern Europe and Africa. Today, Peter is a Founder and Preparatory Committee Chairman of the new European Press Prize, giving awards to journalists in 47 different European countries.
He has been awarded honorary degrees from City University, London and the Universities of Leicester, Loughborough, Essex and Roehampton.
St John’s would like to mention its special thanks and gratitude to Peter for taking the time to support our students interested in careers in journalism.