Nicky Cox

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Nicky Cox MBE (born March 1966) is a British journalist. As of 2011 she is editor of First News, a British national newspaper for children.[1]

Early career[edit]

Nicky Cox, neé Smith, began her career in regional newspapers, as a trainee reporter with the Croydon Advertiser Group, part of Portsmouth and Sunderland Newspapers. Eighteen months later she won the Jesse Ward Young Journalist of the Year Award.[1] She went on to work as a sub-editor on The Sunday Mirror and The Sunday Times. She took up the post of launch editor of Early Times,[2] a newspaper for children, which had limited private financial backing. Cox once took four child reporters to 10 10 Downing Street to interview Margaret Thatcher.


Shortly afterwards she joined BBC Worldwide (then called BBC Enterprises) with a brief to launch a junior version of the Radio Times. The first magazine she launched for the BBC in 1989 was Fast Forward. She went on to work for 13 years as editorial director of the children's division at the BBC launching some 50 children's magazines in total, ranging in age from Teletubbies through to Top of the Pops. She was also editorial director of BBC children's books, DVD and audio in the UK. She sat on the BBC brand development board, working on programmes such as Tweenies. While at the BBC she became executive producer of two charity concerts at Wembley Stadium in aid of ChildLine, which featured Boyzone, Dannii Minogue and Take That.

First News[edit]

While working at the BBC, Cox first met Piers Morgan who was editing The Sun newspaper's Bizarre page at the time. Before the launch of First News, Cox worked as editorial director at Tree Top Media for four years launching magazines including Tinkerbell and Ant & Dec's pre-school animation, Engie Benjy, as well as ITV's Pop Idol. During this period she became a BAFTA judge for children's television programmes.

The newspaper was launched by Cox and Morgan and Cox's cousins, Steve and Sarah Thomson, in May 2006. The official launch was held at a party hosted by Prime Minister Gordon Brown at Downing Street.[3] He said: "Children should be spoken to and listened to more." It is now the widest-read publication for children in the UK with more than a million readers a week (Source: You Gov). The newspaper won an award from Save The Children for "Outstanding Contribution To Children". Nicky collected the award from HRH Princess Anne.[4]

Campaign work[edit]

Cox's Conflict Children campaign, supported by Save The Children and the Government's Department for International Development was signed-up to by 230,000 children across the country.[5] The campaign was to raise awareness of the issues facing children caught up in wars around the world, particularly child soldiers. Nicky brought a choir of orphans from Uganda to perform at 10 Downing Street for Prime Minister Gordon Brown and his wife.[6] Shortly after their return to Uganda, one of the children died from AIDS{ [7] Cox has frequently toured UK schools on the First News Reading Tour with dyslexic author and former actor Henry Winkler, who writes the Hank Zipzer children's novels.[8]

In June 2009 she was awarded an MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours, for services to children.[9] Testimonials for the MBE came from Esther Rantzen, Managing Director at BBC Magazines Peter Phippen, and Save The Children's Chief Executive, Jasmine Whitbread[10]


  1. ^ a b "Team Members". First News. 
  2. ^ Burrell, Ian (2006-05-01). "Piers Morgan launches children's newspaper". The Independent. London. Retrieved 2010-05-20. 
  3. ^ Terazono, Eriko (2006-05-05). "Morgan makes paper child's play". Financial Times. Retrieved 2009-10-11. 
  4. ^ "Home". First News. Retrieved 2016-05-11. 
  5. ^ "Home". First News. Retrieved 2016-05-11. 
  6. ^ [1][dead link]
  7. ^ "Kampala Children's Centre KCC Uganda". Retrieved 2016-05-11. 
  8. ^ "Home". First News. Retrieved 2016-05-11. 
  9. ^ "First News editor Nicky Cox awarded MBE". PRWeek. 2008-06-22. Retrieved 2009-10-11. 
  10. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 24 June 2009. Retrieved 11 October 2009. 

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