Rita Payne is a Journalist, Commentator and Media Consultant, President Emeritus, Commonwealth Journalists Association and actively engaged in ongoing work with the Institute of Commonwealth Studies on programmes to defend media freedom.
Her other roles include Adviser, Asian Affairs magazine and The Democracy Forum, Advisory Board, Global Thinkers Forum; member of the editorial board, Round Table, Commonwealth journal on international affairs and Vice-President, Uniting for Peace.
Rita writes for a range of publications covering politics, the media, culture, travel and tourism. Rita is regularly invited to moderate or speak at public meetings and on TV and radio on topical issues and participate in workshops and seminars in the UK and abroad. She was a judge for the Rory Peck Awards 2020. She has participated in dialogues and webinars with senior political figures and newsmakers at a range of events including the Zee Jaipur Literary Festival in London, Habitat III in Quito, UN World Urban Forums in Rio de Janeiro and Nanjing, One World Media Festival and Rotary World Peace Symposium and United Peace Federation webinar on Europe. She has been nominated for the BBC Global Reith Awards and Asian Woman of Achievement Awards. She has been on Commonwealth election observer missions to the Solomon Islands and Sierra Leone. She worked for nearly thirty years at the BBC. She was Asia Editor on BBC World News (TV) with responsibility for three news programmes a day. Before moving to TV Rita was a news editor/producer/presenter at BBC World Service radio. She was born in Assam, India.