International Director and Co-Founder
William Horsley is co-founder and international director of CFOM. He promotes the Centre’s mission to strengthen international protections for free and independent media and freedom of expression, through advocacy and significant policy innovations with governments, stakeholders, and inter-governmental organisations.
William received a BA and MA in Oriental Studies from Oxford University in 1971. He had a distinguished 35-year career as a BBC radio and TV reporter, foreign correspondent in Asia and Europe, and programme maker and presenter including on Newsnight (BBC 2), and Europe Direct (World TV/News24). He writes the CFOM International Director’s Column and contributes to media outlets including the BBC, Al Jazeera, Open Democracy, Dawn, Mainichi Shimbun and The Round Table (Commonwealth Journal of International Affairs).
William wrote several special Reports on the State of Media Freedom in Europe for the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. He was active as an independent member of the Council of Europe’s expert committee, which drafted the 2016 Committee of Ministers’ Recommendation on the protection of journalism and the safety of journalists and other media actors That landmark soft law instrument laid the foundations for the European Union’s Recommendation on the Protection, Safety and Empowerment of Journalists (2021). His other publications include the 3rd OSCE Safety of Journalists Guidebook (2020). He is co-author with Professor Marilyn Clark of A Mission to Inform: Journalists at risk speak out (Council of Europe, 2020); and with Meera Selva of the UNESCO Issue Brief on Freedom of Expression and the Safety of Foreign Correspondents (2021).