Bio

‘Jon Robins produces articles that have huge emotional impact. He handles interviews – with people who have been through gruelling and often life-threatening situations – with tact and sensitivity. Yet his copy makes gripping reading, and he often scoops stories weeks, if not months in advance.’

From a nomination by the Observer for the Press Awards 2006, specialist journalist section.


Journalism

Victor Nealon, front cover, Indy on SundayI have been a full-time freelance journalist since 2000.

My work has regularly appeared in The Times, The Observer, The Guardian, The Independent, The Financial Times, The Daily Express and Sunday Express. My articles have also appeared in magazines including The Big Issue, Red Pepper and the New Statesman.

For six years I wrote for the Observer’s consumer pages and for four years for the Guardian Law. You can check out all those articles in my Guardian profile.

I have written for most of the major legal titles, as well as many specialist business  and media titles.

You can see some of my work on the portfolio page.

I have a track-record for breaking stories in both the national and trade press. I won the Bar Council’s legal reporter of the year in 2015 for two articles in the Independent on Sunday, including the front page story ‘A failure of Justice’ – see above. I previously won the award in 2005 for my writing in The Observer and Guardian (CASH writer scoops award). I was a finalist in the 2010 Avanta Press Awards, run with the Fabian Society, to ‘recognise and reward journalistic excellence in employment, skills, training and welfare to work provision’ for features in the Guardian and Observer over the previous 12 months.

My website (www.thejusticegap.com – see below) won the ‘Journalism Award’ category in the inaugural Halsbury Legal Awards 2013  –  the award was recognition for ‘heartfelt work battling for legal aid. The product is a superb publication which does not avoid the difficult issues.’


The JusticeGap

This is an online magazine (www.thejusticegap.com) about the law aimed at the public. It was launched on October 6th 2011.

The site is ‘about the law as it relates to you’. It is about journalism and, in particular, shining a light on those parts of the justice system that don’t often see the light of day in the mainstream media.

UntitledIn 2013 we started a reporter scheme with Winchester University’s journalism department. Students work as ‘JusticeGap reporters’ as part of their course – involvement with the site is also offered as part of the University’s specialist MA pathway in crime and justice reporting.

The site attracts on average 70,000 unique visitors a month.

‘For those concerned with the law and justice – as well as the difference between the two – the JusticeGap is increasingly essential.’
David Jessel, Rough Justice, Trial & Error


Research

I undertake research and media training work through Byfield Insight, a dedicated legal research company I set up with Gus Sellitto and Richard Elsen, directors of the Byfield Consultancy, at the start of 2010.


Teaching

I am a visiting lecturer at Winchester University in their journalism department. One day a week I teach second and third year students news reporting skills. The department has received awards from the BBC, the Broadcast Journalism Training Council, the Royal Television Society and the Chartered Institute of Journalists for its innovative approach to journalism education.


Other

  • Patron of Hackney Community Law Centre
  • Advisory committee member for the Centre for Criminal Appeals
  • Honorary editor of the National Pro Bono Yearbook published by the Bar Council, Law Society and Chartered Institute of Legal Executives
  • Member of the Attorney General’s public legal education working group
  • Senior Visiting Fellow in access to justice at Lincoln University