Janice Turner

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Janice Turner
EducationRidgewood School
Alma materUniversity of Sussex
Known forColumnist and feature writer for The Times
(m. 1995)
RelativesPeter Preston (father-in-law)

Janice Turner is a British journalist, and a columnist and feature writer for The Times.

Early life[edit]

Turner was born in Wakefield, West Yorkshire.[1] She went to Ridgewood School[2] in the north of Doncaster. She attended the University of Sussex, where she spent a year as an elected Student Union Officer and edited the Unionews magazine. She should not be confused with Janice Turner, chair of the Young Liberals from 1983–1985, who is also a journalist and who is the journal editor and diversity officer of the trade union BECTU.[citation needed]


Before taking up her present post, Turner was a magazine editor for several women's titles, launching That's Life and Real. She left to write occasional columns for The Guardian and wrote a column about magazines for the Press Gazette.

Turner won Interviewer of the Year in the 2014 and 2019 British Press Awards. She was shortlisted for best columnist in 2005,[3] 2007,[4] and 2008,[5] 2016 (highly commended), 2017, 2018 and 2019. She was shortlisted for best interviewer in 2006 and 2017.[6] She was short-listed for the 2017 Orwell Prize.[citation needed]

Turner won the 2020 Orwell Prize for Journalism.[7] She won Comment Journalist of the Year at the 2018 British Journalism Awards. This was criticised by transgender rights activists who objected to her columns expressing concern about the medical transitioning of young people and violence in the trans rights movement, including "children sacrificed to appease trans lobby" and "The battle over gender has turned bloody";[8] Trans activist Helen Belcher (co-founder of Trans Media Watch) accused Turner, via her writing in The Times, of causing the suicides of trans people. Turner vigorously denied Belcher's allegations.[9] The Times defended her reporting and called for a "far broader" debate about how notions of gender identity undermine women's protections under the Equality Act.[10] Belcher lost her complaint to the Independent Press Standards Organisation.[11][12]

In 2016, she won the award "A Woman's Voice" in the Editorial Intelligence awards which she declined with the following statement:[13]

'Man is defined as a human being and a woman as a female.' Simone de Beauvoir wrote those words in 1949. And in journalism, they are still true. Marina, Rosamund, Mary and I have written about elections, war, Brexit, celebrity, poverty, refugees,sport... But whatever women columnists write, and however well we write it, our words are heard only in a minor key. A woman's voice. I would be letting down the many talented female human beings on British newspapers if I accepted this award.

In 2019 Turner tweeted that trans model and activist Munroe Bergdorf was unfit to be an ambassador for Childline because Bergdorf was a "porn model" who had posed for Playboy. Bergdorf denied ever participating in porn, and stated it was wrong to demonize persons that do in any case. Bergdorf was subsequently dropped by the charity due to safeguarding protocols and equality when she "messaged young people directly offering them to contact to her for support," on Twitter. "Ms Bergdorf accused the NSPCC of giving in to pressure from transphobes."[14]

Personal life[edit]

Turner married Ben Preston, executive editor of The Sunday Times, a former editor of the Radio Times, and a former deputy editor of The Times,[15] and the son of Peter Preston, in 1995. The couple have two sons. She lives in Camberwell, South London.


  1. ^ "Regeneration in the newspapers: Fast train set to pull in new business". Retrieved 7 January 2018.
  2. ^ Turner, Janice. "Can you succeed if you go to a comp?". The Times. Retrieved 7 January 2018.
  3. ^ "British Press Awards - first shortlists". Press Gazette. 11 February 2005. Archived from the original on 10 September 2012. Retrieved 19 September 2018 – via archive.is. Janice Turner, The Times
  4. ^ "US". The Independent. Retrieved 7 January 2018.[dead link]
  5. ^ "British Press Awards nominees". The Guardian. 4 March 2008. Retrieved 7 January 2018.
  6. ^ Busfield, Steve (20 March 2006). "British Press Awards as they happened ..." The Guardian. Retrieved 7 January 2018.
  7. ^ "Janice Turner". The Orwell Foundation. 9 April 2020.
  8. ^ Mayhew, Freddy (11 December 2018). "Buzzfeed's LGBT editor worried by transgender media coverage as Times columnist Janice Turner urges free debate on issue". Press Gazette. Retrieved 4 March 2019.
  9. ^ Turner, Janice (20 October 2018). "Suicides should never be a political weapon". Retrieved 26 March 2019 – via www.thetimes.co.uk.
  10. ^ Tobitt, Charlotte (22 October 2018). "Times withdraws from comment awards over treatment of columnists as it defends 'diversity of opinion'". Press Gazette. Retrieved 4 March 2019.
  11. ^ Medialawyer, P. A. (26 April 2019). "Activist loses IPSO complaint against Janice Turner column in Times about trans suicides". Press Gazette. Retrieved 28 June 2019.
  12. ^ "Ruling". www.ipso.co.uk. Retrieved 15 October 2019.
  13. ^ "Women's journalism prize is more desperation than balance". 27 November 2016. Retrieved 25 December 2019.
  14. ^ "Munroe Bergdorf: NSPCC explains transgender activist decision". BBC News. 14 June 2019.
  15. ^ Hodgson, Jessica (15 April 2002). "Turner leaves Real life behind". Retrieved 7 January 2018 – via www.theguardian.com.