Ex-Times editor confirmed as new director, BBC News and Current Affairs
Editor | 16-04-2013
As the dust settles after the managerial casualties caused by the Jimmy Savile scandal, the BBC has appointed James Harding as director, BBC News and Current Affairs.
BBC News claims to be the largest broadcast news operation in the world, responsible for daily bulletins on the BBC’s main TV channels and radio stations, as well as flagship programmes such as Today, Newsnight, Question Time and Panorama. It also produces and runs regional TV and radio news programmes in England, the BBC News website, the BBC News Channel, BBC Parliament and BBC Radio 5 live.
Harding, previously editor of The Times from 2007-2012,will sit on the BBC’s executive and management boards and will oversee the BBC’s news and current affairs programming. Commenting on his appointment, he said: “The BBC's newsroom strives to be the best in the world, trusted for its accuracy, respected for its fairness and admired for the courage of its reporting. I am honoured to be a part of it."
The former Times editor replaces Helen Boaden,director of BBC News, who in November 2012 stepped down from her job in the wake of the resignation of George Entwistle as BBC Director General and after a series of editorial blunders by BBC2 flagship news programme Newsnight, which saw the shelving of a programme that would have revealed the BBC legend as a paedophile and which went on to wrongly implicate a former leading politician in the Thatcher government as a child abuser.Boaden was moved sideways into the role of director, BBC Radio.
The corporation hopes that the new appointment will draw a line under the recent past. Added newly appointed Director General, Tony Hall: “High quality journalism sits right at the heart of the BBC making this is an absolutely critical role. James has a very impressive track record as a journalist, editor and manager. I believe he will give BBC News a renewed sense of purpose as it moves away from what has been an undeniably difficult chapter. As an organisation, the BBC will also benefit from his external perspective and experience which he will share as a member of the BBC’s executive team."